NSS 2013: a newbie's guide

well! it's may, and that means the national stationery show is coming! sadly, i can't go this year because i'm just a few weeks away from having a baby (wait, that's not sad! i can't wait to get this baby out of me meet this little guy :) so i couldn't swing the trip to NYC, but never fear -- i've got a special correspondent heading to the show in my place, so you'll still see all the good stuff. and, to get you really excited, i've got a few posts lined up over the next few weeks with previews of what you'll see in a few of my favorite designers' booths at the show.

so, to kick off all the NSS mayhem, here's what to expect if you're heading to the big show for the first time. i originally published this post last may, but knew it needed a rejuvenation. (catch all my NSS 2012 coverage here.) without further ado, here's what to expect if you're a newbie at NSS 2013.

let me start out by saying that as a first-timer national stationery show, i was SO excited to check out the trade show floor. i knew it would be filled with aisles and aisles of amazing paper, but i had no idea it would take me so long to get through everything! ha.

between taking pictures and chatting with designers and scoping out the pretty cards, i definitely moved slower than anticipated. a day and a half at the show is not enough, people -- it's that good.

even walking into the javitz convention center was thrilling! NSS happens at the same time as surtex and ICFF, so the place is packed with design-y people and there's an air of excitement and anticipation. or maybe that was just me ;)

once inside the show, there are literally acres of booths all full of the latest & greatest in stationery, gifts and beyond. wall full of ribbon? got it. beautifully decorated backdrops? sure, why not. gorgeous paper at every turn? yep, as far as the eye can see.

above: mr boddington's studio booth with amazing paper flowers | smock wrapping paper | linoleum block prints from left field cards | all the ribbon you could ever need from ampelco ribbon company

the best plan of attack i have is this: take note beforehand of the booths you HAVE to see. aim for those first, but prepare to be completely sidetracked a zillion times before finishing that list. wear comfy shoes. give yourself time for adequate perusal of each booth, including friendly chats with the designers and stationers because everyone is so welcoming and kind -- plus, you'll discover unexpected new treasures on every shelf if you look closely. bring snacks for sustenance. come back a second day (or third;) to fill in the gaps or revisit the booths you didn't see enough. collect business cards and press kits. then go home and rest your feet.

below: bunting & turquoise walls in the pistachio press booth | pretty paper decorations throughout the show | chalkboard walls & pretty cards from ecojot

grace bonney from design*sponge wrote something about the convention center being like a casino: no windows, no clocks, just a cavern of never-ending walkways. ha! so accurate. although... i didn't mind being trapped in this one, not one bit.

is it your first time at the show this year? i can't wait to hear what you think -- i have a feeling you'll love it.

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