I first became familiar with — and enamored of — Fawn Paper several years back, when Owner + Designer’s Caroline Ruiz’ sweet cards and prints starting popping into my in-box as submissions to Stationery Trends.
Fawn Paper was born in a tiny six-floor Manhattan walk-up in 2013, and from the start, the earth-friendly collection was distinguished by Caroline’s engaging, approachable painting and hand-lettering.
Like so many of the ranges I love, her passions run through work organically and authentically. Looking through her designs, it’s not a big shocker that Caroline is a fledgling house plant aficinado with a passion for dogs and dog rescue.
Caroline is a 3-time National Stationery Show veteran — and credits the Show for helping to build her business to what it is today. I caught up with her to find out more about her range and inspirations.
Q. I would love to hear about your NSS experiences in 2013 and 2014.
A. In 2013, my first year at NSS, I had a booth located in the back, and used walls my now-husband built for me in his garage. I did tons of googling and research to figure out how to make the best of the show, and it went pretty well. It was so exciting to be around so many great people in the industry, and having people really respond to my work!
In 2014 I had a better, more centralized location, and had another great show. Both years I had an 8×10 booth.
Q. How was this past February’s NSS for you? A. This year’s NSS seemed like a bit of a turning point for me. Prior to the show, I attended Tradeshow Bootcamp’s Paper Camp, which I had wanted to attend for years. I went into this year’s Show with even more confidence, and the hard work paid off. The booth really came together. I rented foam core walls with one custom printed panel, and shipped the rest of my display to NY prior to the show. It turned out to be a really great show.
Q. What did you think of the February date and the co-location with NY NOW? A. The colocation with NY NOW certainly seemed to be a plus.
Q. Thinking back to your NSS experiences, what were the most valuable connections you made? A. I not only met other amazing designers, but got to meet shop owners who are just wonderful people. I was very happy to see existing customers, meet some of my wishlist retailers, and to visit with a big box retailer I’ve been so lucky to partner with over the past couple years. I also met a retailer from my hometown for the first time, which was fun!
Q. What are your favorite memories, on and off the show floor, from past shows? A. The setup with my amazing family and husband, and the connections I made. Nothing beats working with kind, good people … and there are lots of them in this industry!
Q. What were your most successful releases at #NSS2019? A. My most successful releases were some of the new dog cards — Oodles of Thanks, Round of Appaws, New Digs, and Dog Condolences — and a couple more witty cards — Royal Bitch, and Let’s Boink. Following the show, the Garden Tool Sets have become some of our bestsellers.
Q. What are some of the bestsellers that you have introduced at NSS? A. Still my number one bestseller is the Sweet Ass birthday card. That card was picked up by a great store after NSS whose customers continue to express interest in it … which I am so very grateful for!
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share with TPC readers about #NSS19, or your thoughts on the show generally? A. NSS is a wonderful show that has been so great for Fawn! I wouldn’t have made so many incredible connections if it hadn’t been for it.
Thank you so much Caroline for sitting down with me. And have you made your plans to return to the inaugural August #NSS2019 yet? RSVP here!