National Stationery Show 2014
What an amazing trip! We had a blast in New York and made some great sales and great connections. Every night and every day was full to the brim_ from the moment we stepped off the plane to catching that last cab to JFK. Even though I have attended the National Stationery Show in NYC for 8 years! … every year has been a totally different experience for me and this year was no exception.
The last two years have completely changed my perspective since we launched our own wholesale line and became an exhibitor at NSS. I thought I had gleaned some insight into what buyers wanted last year when we displayed with the Ladies of Letterpress: I asked lots of questions (of both buyers and exhibitors), got lots of business cards and did my best to follow up. Going all in for our first full booth for 2014 seemed like the obvious next step, it seemed easy enough. In a lot of ways it was, but I underestimated the importance of a few key elements.
1. Planning: I signed up for my booth in August of 2013. I had almost a full calendar year to prepare but as it often goes, life got in the way (Yes, I’m a huge procrastinator). With the store and preparation for the holidays and then the holidays and then the post holiday clean up and inevitable tax freakout_ add two kids, a husband and two dogs on top of that and what you have is complete mayhem. So basically I didn’t really get started until well into February.
2. Our Booth Design: Our booth was fine, but it in no way represented what I feel we are capable of. However, being at home in your studio with all your regular tools at your disposal is a lot different from being in NY with a limited time to make it happen. I was also super concerned about budget_ I didn’t want a $10,000 booth. After much deliberation we decided that this year we would go with basic white foam core walls that cost a whopping $1500_ the custom pantone colored walls were more like 3 grand! This comes back to the whole planning thing_ I would have liked to have made some reusable hard walls, but the logistics were tricky and frankly I didn’t have the time to figure it out for this year. The take away for me was that if you go with white FC walls you need some eye catching decorations to draw in the buyers and get them interested. (We actually did make some wall decor but they just didn’t look right when we got there so we didn’t end up using them.) The good news is we spent just under 5,000 on our booth, which considering the obstacles and expenses, is pretty darn good even if we did sacrifice some style.
Here you can see the “framing samples” as we affectionately named them and decided not to hang… oh well.
The booth in various stages of set-up… hanging the cards took forever_next time_shelf.
3. Pre-show Mailers and Outreach: We didn’t mail anything. I really wanted to but with a last minute snafu with a die I planned to use, I decided to relieve myself of that area of stress. I don’t regret that part, one must have sanity after all. But I realize now, hindsight being 20-20, that I could have printed those way in advance. We did send and email blast which is also important.
Enough of what we did wrong_ here’s a few things I think we did right. Yay go us!
1. I printed enough of everything to get most orders out right away when we got back … small victory perhaps, but it made life easier especially after a particularly taxing few months.
2. We found an awesome vintage and antique furniture rental company called Octavia & Brown (thanks Danny of Oh Hello Friend!). This meant no dragging our sorry behinds to Ikea, saving us hours of our lives and relieving the city of the burden of what to do with one more cheap shelving unit.
3. We made a really cute give away. Green and Chamomile teas with letterpressed and edge painted tags. The give aways are my favorite part of NSS and a real chance to show your personality.
4. I talked everyone’s ear off. Sometimes making a complete fool of myself to be sure but talking all the same. I think this is pretty important. If I learned anything the last two years it is that unless you’re… (insert one of the many awesome stationers that we carry in the store here) you have to work hard to make most sales. Especially at NSS where talent abounds. There were a lot of people I met from companies that I would give my right pinkie toe to work with that might not have stepped foot in my booth had I not actively engaged them. I didn’t worry about being annoying, after all one hopes people are there to find new lines, speak with a variety of exhibitors and ultimately to BUY.
With my list of pros and cons in hand, I am already really excited to start planning for 2015. I have a few ideas of how to make our booth better with out too much stress or expense. I also realized at this show and in the days leading up, what a great support system we have already in place, it seems there is no shortage of companies in the stationery industry willing to share their ideas and knowledge, and I intend to take people up on their offers of advice. If you are reading this because you are thinking about exhibiting at NSS, I’d be more than happy to pay it forward_ feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
The very last thing I did in New York before I left was go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hadn’t been since I was a child with my mom and I am so glad I went. Though I wish I’d had the whole day, I left full of inspiration, ideas and color palettes swirling in my head … now to act on them.
love in the new year :: january 2014
The night I met my husband, I went home and told my roommate I had met the man I was going to marry. Nearly sixteen years later, we can say with gusto we are happily married. And while I wasn’t always “lucky in love” I certainly had luck on my side that fateful night.But as you may know, marriage is not always bunnies and unicorns. Our schedules have become fuller and time passes too fast. There are days where the extent of our communication is what’s for dinner?, or a peck on the cheek as I’m running out the door. Therefore, it is my resolution this year to be more connected … not only to my husband, but to my family, my friends, and even to my customers. I aim to be present; to soak up the moment; to put my phone down and bring my eyes up; to slow down and appreciate all that we have.
My commitment to this resolution so far has been in baby steps – turning off my phone; putting down what I’m doing to truly listen; looking people in the eyes; giving more hugs. And how perfect is it that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! In love, or not, this holiday was made for connection. To connect, physically, emotionally, in person, on Skype, on paper - Valentine’s day was designed for this!
So, excuse me, I need to start writing my love letter now … to remind my husband, but more importantly, myself, just how lucky we are.
Amy Dolan, owner
with Taylor Valliant, owner
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Noteworthy Holiday Window 2013: The Making of…
Right now I am remembering to stop and take a deep breath … there I did it.
Remembering to breathe is something I have a hard time with in the month of December. Between getting Custom Holiday Card designs printed and out the door (order yours here!), stressing over Holiday inventory to chauffeuring the kids to their various winter activities, it is a nutty flurry (or blizzard rather) of activity. Last Sunday, the temps outside reached a record 25 below and I must admit I was totally psyched to spend an entire day in my pajamas. It was a welcome calm, like the eye of the great hurricane that is my life during the “most wonderful time of the year”_ the holiday season.
Last week Amy and I finished our 6th Holiday Window display. We spent a little over a week painting, cutting, drawing!, and burning the midnight oil. Arguably, we should start this a little bit earlier, but in truth we work better under pressure, despite the resulting dark circles under the eyes … this little elf could use some of that “long winters nap”!
Pass the Rum Egg Nog.
And please remember to VOTE
When we moved into our space over five years ago we knew from the get-go we were going to have to come up with some pretty amazing window displays. Measuring 18 feet long by 8 feet tall, our store windows are a floor to ceiling experience on the outside and on the inside. Over the years, they have ranged from sublimely simple to seriously tedious … we have spent many a night working ’til the wee hours, often to the surprise and amusement of the “last call” crowd. I love that feeling I get in the middle of the night looking across Higgins at our new window alight and blazing with accomplishment. Like most aspects of running a small business, it is a labor of love and Missoula has loved it back awarding us 4 Missoula’s Choice awards for best window display and Best Overall Holiday Window for 5 years running. Here’s a look back at some our faves.
Noteworthy’s First Christmas
Explorations in paper fashion & paper decor…
My personal favorite… the feathers were all cut by hand from old sewing patterns and vintage writing paper and held up by a strip of plywood I cut with my new best friend, the jigsaw.
For this one we made a couple big panels out of plywood, painted them midnight blue and glued broken shards of broken mirror to give our trees that icey wintry look. The dress was made out of paper and invitations salvaged from defunct invitation and stationery albums.
Nothing says summer like giant tissue flowers! I loved looking at these everyday.
With our most recent window, we had set out with the hope of doing something simple and elegant, but it ended up being our most elaborate. The stenciling of the window alone took a whole week of nights to complete. And then another week to add all the details. I loved this one because it told a story and we got to use a lot of antiques that had been passed down from my grandmother.
Right now our window stands empty. In October we will be displaying the steam roller prints again and after that we will have another christmas window in the works. As of yet we have no solid plans but it always seems to come together best in the wee hours of the night.
The Montana Bridal Expo
We had a blast meeting brides-to-be at the Montana Bridal Expo! We love working with brides to select the perfect invitation at events like the Expo because the beautiful details of the wedding day should be manifested in the invitation. The invitation is a beautiful, tangible representation of what the wedding will be like. From colors to stock, to wording to style, the invitation gives guests a sneak peak of what is in store.
Thank you to all the brides who stopped by our booth to see our designs. We invite you to visit us at our store on 101 S. Higgins Ave for a custom consultation. Bring your swatches, Pinterest boards and ideas. Click here to visit the Pinterest page for Noteworthy Paper & Press.
Fall has come to Missoula fat and golden and almost overnight. While we Noteworthy* girls are settling in for the chilly nights with green tea, down jackets and our letterpress to keep us warm, lot of our friends are going on vacations or snowbirding south for the winter. This fall migration inspired our Bon Voyage roundup of the perfect gifts for a friend who is going away.
1. These darling mini-suitcases from kidstyle are the perfect vessel for a bon voyage gift. Fill them up with travel sized bottles of fancy toiletries and accessorize with a luggage tag your friend can re-use. Wooly socks and an eye mask wouldn’t go amiss, either.
2. This pad of Pack This! lists from Knock Knock reminds you to pack everything from travel documents to your cell phone charger.
3. This rad viking ship Bon Voyage card from Sycamore Street Press is perfect for a friend who is off to pillage or just enjoys the gold foil stamping and fine letterpress printing of the card.
4. This Roma Lussa journal is handmade in Italy. Its leather string closure makes it a perfect travel journal because it closes tight around post cards, train tickets, and the deep thoughts your traveler friend will think in a Parisian cafe.
5. This map of the world wrapping paper would make the perfect wrap for a globe trotting friend’s gift. We can even gift wrap for you!
Noteworthy Letterpress: Orange you glad…
I am in love with this color. I’m not sure what’s come over me, I haven’t felt this way about a fluorescent since the eighties. After a long hot week in Missoula, Courtney (our shop manager extraordinaire) and I were looking for something fun to do on an otherwise quiet Friday afternoon. This color is anything but quiet by the way. Courtney came up with this great little hand-set letterpress greeting card design, letterpress printed on Waste Not Paper stock. The fantastic and beautiful background paper shown in the following photos is from Egg Press and is available at Noteworthy Paper & Press;).
We had so much fun pulling prints with Kyle Durrie and Moveable Type. I have major press envy of her little Showcard press. Here’s a few pics of her visit to Missoula.
Moveable Type Comes to Noteworthy*!
A 1982 Chevy step van that houses a nomadic printing press? A fine art printer inspired by road trips and swimming in creeks? Count us in. Kyle Durrie, the mastermind behind Moveable Type, is visiting Noteworthy* on Friday, April 13 from 4-7. Stop by to witness the splendor of a full letterpress studio fit into a very rad vehicle. Kyle will be doing live letterpress demos! See freshly cast type and ornaments from Dale Guild Type Foundry in action.
Kyle devised the Moveable Type project while on a band road trip in 2010. She used Kickstarter.com to crowdsource funding of the truck and its conversion into a fully functioning studio for her covetable 1873 Golding Official tabletop platten press. Now she’s taking her press on a cross-country road trip that includes us!
Noteworthy* is especially proud to host this event because we believe the art of letterpress belongs anywhere and everywhere. Noteworthy* brings letterpress to Montana and Kyle’s Moveable Type Project brings it across the country. Can’t make it Friday? … You can always stop in to visit our stationary stationery press housed in the Noteworthy* shop.
Noteworthy Letterpress: local green
This was our second year printing the invitations to the Cool Green Home Wrap Party. The annual contest and party orchestrated by the Montana Radio Company, gives contestants a chance to win over $115,000 in sustainable home products. This is just one example of how the MRC goes out of their way to support and grow local business while being an environmentally responsible member of the community. And they top it off by choosing a sustainable printing method for the event. The invitations were printed on chemical-free, 100% reclaimed cotton paper with recycled envelopes right here in missoula so very little energy and waste went into their production. For more information on the Cool Green Home mission go to www.coolgreenhomemissoula.com.