Press Releases

NSS 18 Celebrates Community & Creativity


Inklings Paperie Awarded “Best of Show”


WHITE PLAINS, NY (May 24, 2018) The National Stationery Show®, brought together a community of thousands of buyers and sellers of specialty paper products and lifestyle gifts from May 20-23 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

“The aisles were crowded, attendance was great, and the buyers were ready to order,” summed up exhibitor Theresa Kuo, Smitten on Paper, Monrovia, Calif.

As the only North American event for the global stationery market, the show was packed with new product offerings, including greeting cards, custom invitations, giftwrap/ribbon, stationery, specialty party supplies, bridal accessories, customized products, writing instruments, paper crafting supplies, journals, calendars, lifestyle gifts and more.

“The Show is a gathering of the industry community, which is filled with incredibly talented designers and makers. It’s a huge celebration of the creativity in the industry, and a transformative experience for buyers and sellers alike,” said Kelly P. Bristol, NSS Show director. “The artists take a break from designing new products to meet and have important conversations with buyers, and get inspiration from each other. Not only do the retailers have the opportunity to see thousands of new products in one place, but they get to meet the designers and hear their stories, which they can then share with their customers back home.”

Barbara Mooney, Daisy’s, Alameda, Calif., said, “The Show always brings in new and exciting young vendors. It is so inspiring to buy from entrepreneurs and bring their creative spirit into my shop. I follow so many of the small makers on Instagram that I walk into their booths feeling so connected and excited to make a purchase.”

Best New Products Named
A panel of industry judges selected the Best New Products from among nearly 350 entries by 200 exhibitors, which were showcased in a display near the Show floor. Inklings Paperie, Canton, Mich., received the Best of Show and Craft It Up/DIY category awards for its Make Your Own Scratch-Off Mini Notes, a way for people to encourage their friends with a surprise scratch-off card. “It’s truly an honor to receive the Best in Show Award, especially because there are so many creative and talented people in our industry,” said Lindsay Henry, the company’s founder and director. Winners in all categories can be viewed at the NSS website.

The 29th Annual LOUIE Awards gala, “Raw Meets Refined,” sponsored by the Greeting Card Association, was held on Sunday, May 20. The LOUIEs recognize, reward, and celebrate the moment art, editorial and design perfectly coalesce to bring emotions to life and memorialize the numerous milestones in our lives through greeting cards. Gala attendees headed to SpiN, a fun casual venue in the Flatiron District, and were treated to street-style food and drinks, street performers, a DJ, ping pong, and of course, honoring the winners. An exhibit of the finalists and winners, designed by Universal Presentation Concepts, was on display during the NSS.

Value-Added Seminars and Events
Key industry experts presented nine new buyer education seminars, with three sessions offered each full day of the Show. Topics included: the changing landscape of retail, successful small business expansion, consumer buying behavior, social media and what’s on the forefront of trends. Three topics were addressed by panel discussions: millennial-aged gift shoppers, successful store expansion stories, and “4 under 40” - successful industry players who are on the rise.

The Boulevard was a new area that brought together the adjacent NSS and SURTEX Shows to highlight the synergies between the two events. It was home to the social media lounge, daily activities and demonstrations, and the Theatre featuring nine free seminars in three separate tracks for attendees: Business Nuts & Bolts, The Art of Writing, and Trends from the Show Floor. The Boulevard also was the site for calligraphy demonstrations by Becky Park, Wellspring Writes, Chavelli Tsui, Studio Chavelli, and Danielle Rothman, Rothbyrns Creative.

“Education and events are a good way to build community and camaraderie in our industry, and I’m glad to see a lot more at this year’s Show,” said Mackenzie Jeans, Allport Editions, Portland, Ore., which has been an exhibitor for more than 25 years.

Gratitude was one of the Show themes, with John Israel sharing his mission and message of spreading gratitude, and signing copies of his book, “The Mr. Thank You Project: A journey to elevate the level of gratitude on the planet…one card at a time.” The NSS also hosted the Appreciation Station, where attendees could write their own notes of gratitude, which staff mailed directly from the Show floor. Partners contributing to the Appreciation Station were 1973, Ashkahn, Egg Press, Hello!Lucky, Sakura of America, and the Greeting Card Association’s Thinking of You Week.

Pre-Show Happenings
Debuting this year was Makers’ Day, a one-day conference focusing on growth strategy essentials for vendors and makers, on Friday, May 20. Five one-hour seminars, led by industry professionals focused on topics such as optimizing your website sales, safeguarding your business and maintaining a strong brand, working with manufacturers’ reps to grow your sales, and working with a production partner.

One of 24 participants, Claire Emery of Claire Emery Art and Illustration, Missoula, Mt., said Maker’s Day was a “great gateway to empower us and give us tools to help grow our business.” After the conference, two of the workshop leaders and several of the participants stopped by her booth to continue their discussions. “It’s like having my own personal consultants,” Emery said. “I came a long way to get here and it was a big investment, but well worth it.”

After nearly a decade, the popular Retail Tour returned on the day before the show opened. Kat Krassner and Keb Kennedy, co-founders/co-editors of PRESENT Magazine, hosted an informative tour of five of New York City’s best gift and stationery shops. “With so many beautiful things at the Show, it could have been overwhelming,” said tour participant and first-time attendee, Emily Ekstrom, owner of Hucklebeary, Duluth, Minn. “The tour gave me merchandising ideas and helped me narrow down what I wanted to look for at the Show. Not only was it great to see the stores and get ideas to take back home, but I liked networking with the other retailers.” Ekstrom and three other tour participants went out for dinner afterwards and met up throughout the show.

Special Sections
The Show floor featured two special sections: #fresh and the Supply Side. #fresh is a focused juried section featuring original products from more than 30 emerging, trend-forward businesses that are one to five years old. A few exhibitors participating in #fresh included Ash + Chess, Pretty Bird Paper Co., Marini Ferlazzo and PleaseNotes. The Supply Side featured product equipment, services and supplies including die-cutting, foil stamping, embossing, holography, lamination, packaging, converters, paper printing thermography, production machinery, envelopes and more.

“This is our first trade show ever and it’s been a really positive experience. It’s been exciting to speak to all sorts of people interested in our work,” said #fresh exhibitor Nathan Ferlazzo, Marini Ferlazzo, Melbourne Australia. “Meeting so many people in the industry and hearing their stories is one of the best parts of the show. We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Giving Back
For the seventh year the NSS partnered with Gift for Life to participate in AIDS Walk New York on Sunday, May 20, the opening day of the Show. The Gift for Life/NSS team recruited walkers to raise funds to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and education.

Attendees and exhibitors also donated nearly $1,000 to Writes for Women during the registration process. Writes for Women is a society for paper industry professionals who aim to engage, motivate, empower, and educate themselves and others on economic and social justice for women, while raising funds for efforts for social, economic and equality nonprofit programs. Writes for Women also teamed up with the Paper Party held Tues. May 22. More than $7,100 was raised from the proceeds of ticket sales. Writes for Women directs funds raised to the MS Foundation for Women.

Mohawk was the official paper sponsor of the NSS 2018, providing stock for the attendee and exhibitor materials and promotions. Uchida of America Corporation was the official pen sponsor of the NSS 2018, providing a distinctive pink LePen with the Show name at registration. The Casey BarberSHOP was the official pin sponsor of the Show, providing a fun, NYC-themed pin to buyers at registration.

Two additional Emerald Expositions-owned design events - SURTEX, North America’s premier exposition for the selling and licensing of original art and design, and the ICFF - ran concurrently with the National Stationery Show at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. One badge provided attendees and exhibitors access to all three events, generating cross-market innovation and inspiration


About the National Stationery Show

The National Stationery Show is the only North American trade show for global buyers and sellers of specialty paper products — from greeting cards, custom invitations, announcements, gift wrap, calendars, and journals, to lifestyle gifts, such as candles, toys, personal care, travel gadgets and more. More than 8,000 total industry professionals come from 50 states and 77 countries to exhibit, and to source product from hundreds of exhibiting brands. Some 200 exhibitors stage their debut at each show, many in #fresh, a juried section of companies of 1-5 years in business. Another dedicated section of the show, The Supply Side, features exceptional production and finishing services for stationery and gift companies — including paper, converting, engraving, die-cutting, printing, packaging finishing etc. The Show is co-located with SURTEX, the premier event for sourcing original art and design, and ICFF. The NSS has been an integral part of the industry it serves for more than 70 years.

The National Stationery Show is owned by Emerald Expositions, a leading operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States. The company currently operates more than 55 trade shows as well as numerous other face-to-face events. In 2017, Emerald’s events connected over 500,000 global attendees and exhibitors and occupied more than 6.9 million NSF of exhibition space.

For additional information and registration, visit

Dianna Smoljan
National Stationery Show
PR Counsel/Media Relations