Stationery Designs

Whether you’re seeking the perfect paper, the ultimate invitation, an amazing calligrapher, or some of the best stationery & gifts the industry has to offer — including subscription boxes  — you’re at the right place!

You’ll also find trade publications and resources galore for stationery designers looking to expand their industry expertise and reach.

Whatever the role you play, click through to learn a bit more and connect directly with these fabulous resources — or feel free to reach out to me directly at sarah@thepaperchronicles.com with questions of all kinds. I’m happy to help point you in the right direction.

#1: Spreading Good Juju Ink

Welcome to the Paper Fold! Today Ryan and Juliana Kissick of San Francisco’s own Good Juju Ink join me. I am in just in awe of all they have been doing since going into quarantine in San Francisco with their 1-year-old daughter. First, in mid-March, as the world seemed to be falling apart, Ryan helped countless other small business owners by creating an amazingly concise, invaluable guide for navigating these times, hereafter to only be referred to as The Document. It’s […]

#2: The New Abnormal

Please welcome  Robert Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers (IMC) to The Paper Fold. Bob, as he prefers, is widely recognized as one of the home furnishings industry’s most Innovative leaders — he founded and built IMC into an exhibition space powerhouse with more than 20 million square feet of world-class B2B exhibition space. Its campuses include both AmericasMart Atlanta and World Market Center Las Vegas, markets vital to the stationery and gift industries. When coronavirus halted everything, IMC surveyed 180,000 […]

#3: Slouching Through Bethlehem

Watching card and gift shops successfully navigate their small brands first through a pandemic, and then civil unrest, has been unexpectedly heartening. While huge names in retail are closing their doors forever, small makers are emerging, if not unscathed, then at least relatively intact. And few have been more inspiring to me personally to witness in real time than Shayna Norwood of Steel Petal Press. Those entering its Logan Square doors in Chicago don’t realize, but Steel Petal Press was […]

#4: The GCA does not stand for “George Cancels Activities”

You may know George White as president and COO of Up With Paper and UWP Luxe — these are fantastic, award-winning houses of pop-up cards renowned for their complex engineering and beautiful rendered artwork. But the reason I invited George here is because he is also president of The Greeting Card Association, and to say that organization has had a crazy year is a huge understatement. The GCA was to hold the second edition of Noted: the greeting card expo in […]

#5: Now Is Not the Time to Be Silent

I can’t take credit for the phrase, “Paper peeps are the best peeps,” but this check-in with my dear friend Karla Ebrahimi reminded me of its inherent truth. Karla is the face behind Sky of Blue Cards, a Menlo Park, California, house of stationery offering an exquisite array of letterpress cards as well as the magnificent LetterBox subscription box. Watching the increasing intensity with which Karla responded first to the California wildfires in 2018, then COVID-19 starting this past Spring, […]

#6: Paper Found Me

As you’ve hopefully heard, there’s a huge can’t-miss industry event this week, courtesy of the Greeting Card Association. Noted: A Focus on Diversity is Thursday, July 16. During it, nine Black makers will “pitch” their greeting card line to a pitch panel comprised of top retailers and, hopefully, you. The pitch panel features Vanessa Raptopoulos, Awesome Brooklyn; Chandra Greer, Greer Chicago; Kristina Burkey, Calliope Paperie; and Kyle Williams, Paper Source — as well as any retailer or sales rep wanting […]

#7: Crane Takes Back its Narrative

We’ve all had a few stomach-dropping moments these past months — something was cancelled, someone was cancelled, or maybe you got some bad news that left you gasping for breath. For me personally, this happened one morning in late April when I logged onto Facebook to see myself tagged in a friend’s post about Crane Stationery closing permanently. Had I been wearing pearls, I would have been clutching at them, for Crane is not just an American stationery brand, it is […]

#8: I Dream of NY NOW

Earlier this week, NY NOW announced plans to create a single stationery destination within its famed market. This reimagined stationery collection will be part of a re-branded Gift + Stationery section and, as a result, the National Stationery Show brand will be retired. So as that news sinks in, and as we all prepare for an August with no NY NOW, I have the distinct pleasure of hosting a longtime exhibitor, Joni Lewis, the super-creative mind behind Visual Treats Design […]

Rifle Paper Co.

#9: You Just Have To Work a New Hustle

If you play any sort of role in stationery, no visit to AmericasMart or Dallas Market Center is complete without a visit to the Dan Richards showroom there.  There you’ll find top brands like Rifle Paper Co. alongside quirkier indie ranges like Sapling Press, all irresistibly merchandised to perfection. For small makers, it’s a dream come true to be selected for one of Dan Collier’s showrooms or to be carried in one of his retail venues, Archer Paper Goods and […]

#10: Stationery at NY NOW: The Next Chapter

National Stationery Show (NSS) first opened its doors in 1945, and although we didn’t know at the time, its February 2020 edition was its final run. On July 27, Emerald announced that the National Stationery Show brand was being retired, and my social media feeds were almost instantaneously filled with fond reminiscences and, let’s be honest, no small amount of angst. Undoubtedly, we are all dealing with cancellations and disappointments on several levels, but this one really hurt. I myself […]

S2, #1: A Palm Beach Expat in London

International travel may be off the table for now, but for the first episode of our new season, Jason Arbuckle of J. Falkner swings by America from London to chat! J. Falkner may be the only range I’ve come across that so closely associates itself with a city: in this case, colorful, sunny Palm Beach. Receiving one of these cards is the card equivalent of catching up with a dear friend over cocktails in some glamorous locale. The brand is […]

S2, #2: A Stationery Scavenger Hunt

Today’s a first for TPF, namely, I’m dropping this episode in conjunction with a product drop — but this is no ordinary product. In fact, it’s more of a special project. It’s a collaboration, but it’s not like the ones where you see one brand with a little x between them and whoever they’ve partnered with. Like those, it’s limited edition, but unlike those, it brings nine different makers from all over the place together to submit stellar card designs […]

S2, #3: When One Store Closes, A Window Opens

Closing a store is incredibly painful, but my guest today, Liz Scott, is here to share that that difficult decision may just be a badge of honor in disguise. Liz was the proud proprietress of the paper & gift shop Lovely Somethings in Bath, Ohio, for several years before closing its doors at the end of 2019. But, her industry story doesn’t end there. Freed from a costly lease, she reimagined and reconfigured her business into the Troop Lovely Somethings […]

S2, #4: Meeting An Old Friend For the First Time

Every once in a while, a card maker comes along who strikes a cultural chord at exactly the moment it needs to be struck. If I’m lucky enough to spot the range early on, sitting back and watching the world fall in love with it is truly a wonder to behold. I saw this when Emily McDowell and her magnificent empathy cards came on the scene several years back. And now, although 2020 has completely sucked, it’s not a complete […]

S2, #5: I Just Write Down My Life & They Give Me $$

While you may not immediately recognize the name of my guest today — Leslie Moak Murray — you’ve likely laughed at her cartoons. Leslie is the creator of Murray’s Law, and over the past several decades, her award-winning and prolific body of work has appeared on cards, napkins, note pads, paper plates, newspapers, books — really, anywhere cartoons and jokes can be placed.  Leslie’s zany humor has repeatedly struck our cultural funny bone in precisely the right spot, as evidenced by the rather impressive […]

S2, #6: Don’t Think It’s the End of the World … It Isn’t

Most retailers have had a difficult 2020, but for Suzanne Loesch, owner of Mockingbird Paperie in Ithaca, New York, her summer of 2019 featured a terrifying, headline-grabbing troll attack that plunged her life and business into a waking nightmare. It all began when a customer took a photograph of a few of Suzanne’s greeting card offerings, a series of Sapling Press letterpress cards designed to play on political humor. The customer posted the image along with her store’s information on […]

S2, #7: Each Year Is Another Victory

For every Mary Engelbreit or Anna Bond, there are hundreds of smaller makers who are not only sustaining themselves by staying small, but wearing it as a badge of honor — no household name required. Joanna Alberti of PhiloSophie’s got a huge boost early in her career, in 2005, when she was named one of Business Week’s Top Five Entrepreneurs Under 25. That same year, she and her cards literally put themselves on the industry map with their catwalk debut at […]

S2, #8: Everything Has Changed … The Love & Passion Remains

If you’re anything like me,  most of your visual stimulation these days is limited to your house, your neighborhood and whatever it is you’re looking at on various screens. Hopefully Instagram figures in there somewhere, but if you are not following @amy.atnynow, the riveting feed of Amy Loewenberg, Relations & Partnership Development Manager for NY NOW, you are not doing this platform correctly! You never know what fantastic shop in and around New York City and its environs that Amy […]

S2, #9: A Next-Level Dunder-Mifflin

If you create any conceivable item using paper, and are not yet taking advantage of Parse & Parcel, you’re not accessing the “super power of print design.” For years now, Jill DiNicolantonio has worked with clients to elevate creations from acceptable to awesome at Millcraft, a paper merchant not unlike Dunder Mifflin — except instead of being in Scranton, it’s in Cleveland. Drawing on those experiences, she’s distilled her expertise into several exquisite tools to serve as design wing men […]

S2, #10: You Are the Secret Sauce

Stationery is filled with makers who have taken a risk and started their own brands. Catherine Hildner launched Kitty Meow Boutique with the idea that every glam offering she puts out into the world, be it card, coaster or pencil, should make others feel special. Divided into witty and sweet offerings, the look is posh and the vibe is smart in every sense of the word. Unlike most makers, Catherine also sees her brand as a catalyst to help others […]

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