Trade show time is ALWAYS a crazy time — and winter trade show time during a global pandemic, well, it’s not recommended for the faint of heart! I’m grateful to have had several years of typical winter trade show travel as preparation. Navigating a delayed flight or lost bag here and there is one thing, but somehow these days the stakes always feel much higher.
For example, Saturday, January 15 found me strolling Atlanta Market as planned, but there was a definite undercurrent of panic in the air about an approaching storm that would cripple the city and all flights out. Apparently there was no way my Sunday flight would not be cancelled, and the phone hold times at Delta was approximately 90 minutes. I still had a long list of booths to visit. So you can imagine I felt I’d hit the lottery when I managed, using my phone in Building 3, to secure the very last seat on very last flight of the day from ATL to CLE, at 10:30 pm! Somehow, unbelievably, I even ended up with a $20 credit.
As much as I didn’t want to get stuck in Atlanta, I am so, so happy that I went. The value of the experience — everyone I talked to, every brand I discovered, to say nothing of the thousands of pictures that will inform & inspire me for months — is so much greater than any discomfort along the way.
So, with that being said, as of this moment I’m still planning to go to NY NOW and Shoppe Object this weekend. We just HAD an enormous storm that upended everything, but that’s all behind us now. NYC or bust!
Somehow, with everything going on, I managed to feature five fabulous makers in January — though I am going to push this week’s, introduced the very last day of January, into my February post, which because it’s February will already be short. So speaking of brevity, I’ll bring them on already. First up is Fine Moments.
As you can see above, these cards are sleek, modern, occasionally humorous, but always very smart. I was thrilled to get to meet Jason and Hae in Atlanta, it was definitely one of those meaningful experiences I referenced above. When I recently spotted one of their “modern cards for modern people” at my local Barnes & Noble, it was immediately clear in that context that these small items pack some major design chops! I snapped the below their very first trade show booth, and I think it looked simply fantastic, their new releases exquisite.
This splendidly named and incredibly clever brand is definitely worth checking out. Megan creates “appropriately inappropriate” cards and gifts that help keep modern messaging on the requisite cutting edge. She also does invitations and custom work, which I can imagine are equally wonderful.
Seeing as Louie season is approaching, I’m so happy to salute last year’s winner of the all-important Card of the Year, under $5 category, which you see below.
This is a San Diego brand, passionate about creating beautiful paper goods to support women, mothers, and families. Katelyn Woollen founded this brand with a mission to spread joy and hope to those who are struggling through miscarriage, infertility, and other pregnancy-related issues. Her paper products are designed with love and care to support and inspire a community to live with joy through the journey.
It is fitting that I close with the big cheese, yes, I’m talking about the one and only Inklings Paperie.
Yes, Lindsay is correct, love IS in the little things, but occasionally it’s about the big things too, such as taking the honors for the Card of the Year, over $5 Louie. The uplifting design you see below keeps on giving after it’s been sent, since the silhouette is actually a vinyl sticker. The shot below that shows the winning design spotted in the wild again, this time at Inklings’ Atlanta High Design booth.
And frankly, it’s just one surprising, delightful trick that Lindsay has up her sleeve.
I took the below shot too at her Atlanta booth — check out her luxe Paintable Art Prints, complete with watercolors, brand new for ’22. They are absolutely incredible in person.
That’s all I got for today folks, if you see me in NYC please say hi!