From Twee to Woke

I first became enchanted with Brittany Paige earlier this year, in February of 2020, on the very first morning of the first day of NY NOW. In fact, her tote was one of the first shots I snapped while judging Best New Product. Nodding along as I read it, I knew this was a booth I could not miss.

Later, when I visited her booth, we chatted in between customers. I stood around laughing at her work for a while, taking snapshots. (I may have even texted an image of a card bearing male genitalia to my husband to wish him a good morning.) I was completely enamoured with her work, but someone in the chaos of the ensuing year I never followed up.

Meanwhile, right after I got back from NYC, I received an interview request from Rachel Kramer Bussel, who was freelancing an article for Glamour on stickers. When we chatted, I talked about the enormous resurgence I had just seen at market, and she told me about all the little communities springing up of hard-core sticker lovers and collectors. That was music to my ears, we had a nice chat — and when I hung up, I promptly forgot all about it, since a few weeks later we went into quarantine.

Then, months later, on December 2, I heard from Rachel again! “Hi Sarah,” she wrote, “I know it’s been almost a year since we spoke for my Glamour article on stickers. Well, good news, it’s finally running very soon, likely in the next two weeks. I’m wrapping up final edits and adding a little about how the pandemic has affected sticker collecting/interest in stickers, and wanted to see if you have any thoughts on that. If so, I can give you a call today or tomorrow.”

Of course I had thoughts, plenty of them, and soon enough we were chatting again and I was in full geek mode over all the sticker makers I could think of to illustrate what I saw happening in the category — Little Goat Paper, Kwohtations … and Brittany Paige.

At any rate, Rachel visited Brittany’s site then and there, and lo and behold, it struck just the chord she was seeking. Before I knew it, the article was out, and Brittany’s work was front & center for all the world to see!

If you haven’t read it yet, check it out! First off, Rachel is a really talented writer. Reading the article, I was reminded of the (very) old journalist saying, “She writes so well I need to stick my quill back in the goose.”

At any rate, it really stinks that it took a pandemic for stationery to get some really thoughtful consumer press (as it has been getting here and elsewhere these days), but that’s where we are. I am so impressed with how Rachel worked my ramblings into her article: “The tonal shift from twee to woke is one Schwartz, who edits Stationery Trends, is embracing. ‘It really gives me hope,’ she says. ‘To go from a puffy sticker of a butterfly to ‘100% That Bitch’ is quite a journey.'”

Speaking of which, the excitement over the article finally reconnected me with Brittany, who is unsurprisingly having a phenomenal holiday season. If you are on the prowl for last-minute gifts, you are going to find lots of somethings you can’t pass up here. Choose from pouches, enamel pins, cards, and oh! Did I mention stickers?

Start your shop here!