May 20-23, 2018 Javits Center, NYC
Stationery, Distinctive gifts & creative pursuits

Stationery Stories - What is Yours?


“The endless creativity inspired by the desire to help people stay connected in memorable ways constantly renews itself in this industry. There is so much room for imagination, risk-taking, and even failure – we are continuously trying new things and surprising ourselves.”


Rick Ruffner, NSS exhibitor and president, Avanti Press

When I created Avanti Press in Detroit 36 years ago, one of my first decisions was to exhibit at the National Stationery Show in New York. I was assigned the last booth at the end of the last aisle in a very crowded show. After the first day I was feeling pretty good. I had received really positive responses from the handful of retailers who made it all the way down the aisle!

As I was leaving the show that night, a fellow exhibitor asked me how my day had gone. ‘What did you write?’ he asked – which completely threw me. ‘You know,’ he persisted, ‘orders, how many orders did you write?’ I hadn’t even thought about that – writing orders wasn’t actually my goal. I just wanted to get product feedback.

That night I went to Woolworths to buy a generic order pad and some pens. By writing an order a day I took home four orders and Avanti was officially in business!

The way I see it, N.S.S. is more of a convention than a tradeshow. The connections we make with our sales reps, customers, suppliers, and competitors are priceless. We haven’t missed a show in 36 years. Even though our booth is a little bigger these days, we still show up every May with the same desire to learn and grow. And we still write at least four orders every year!

Want more Stationery Stories? Read them here.