“Like you, I love paper. I see the beauty in the tangible quality of it – the weight of each sheet, the feel of a fine piece of stationery in my hands… A text goes away, an email gets deleted, but paper can be saved. What we make matters.”
This letter was originally sent by Sugar Paper co-founder, Chelsea Shukov, to industry colleagues, independent of the National Stationery Show. The NSS has been granted permission to reprint the content of this message, and thanks Ms. Shukov for her support.
The first time I walked into the National Stationery Show, I knew I was home.
Like you, I love paper. I see the beauty in the tangible quality of it – the weight of each sheet, the feel of a fine piece of stationery in my hands. I save the beautiful business cards from fancy hotels and I take matchbooks from any restaurant that offers them. The letters I have from my grandmother capture her handwriting and mark specific chapters in my life. These items preserve memories that could easily be forgotten. A text goes away, an email gets deleted, but paper can be saved. What we make matters.
We make things that people hold onto. Think of the thousands of cards that have been written and sent from the shelves of your stores. Love letters, letters of condolence, birthday cards to long lost friends… these letters are meaningful and important and special and we are the people behind those cards. We are the people who make them and sell them, but more importantly, we are the people who value them. We are the men and woman who are keeping the tradition of the handwritten note alive. What we do is special.
For many of us, the Stationery Show is a big part of that. It’s where our business started – where we placed our first order, showed our first collection, made our first sale, and where we unpacked our dreams for the world to see. It is a place where inspiration surrounds us and fills us up, where our industry comes to life, where we strive for bigger, brighter, and better, because we believe in what we make. And it matters. Now more than ever. As we watch the show move downstairs to our new smaller home, we need to be there to prove that it matters – to support one another so that those cards and letters and matchbooks can bring a little magic to the world one interaction at a time for centuries to come. Let’s remember why we came to the NSS in the first place and why it’s important that we stay. We are the makers and the artists. The business owners and the entrepreneurs. The ones who build and strengthen this industry each and every day. Let’s not let it slip away.
Chelsea Shukov, Sugar Paper, Co-Founder