Reports on shows, trends, and more
New York Stationery Show Report
Eco-friendly products were
by Ellie Joos (June 2, 2008)
The handwriting was on the wall, or rather on the paper, at the New York Stationery show: Eco, Environmental, Green products
were the big story at this show. From Elephant Poo paper, greeting
cards, and journals (that's right, paper made from elephant poo (www.poopoopaper.com)
to paper made from used, shredded cotton clothing (www.archpaper.net),
and paper made from calcium carbonate CaCO3, the main constituent of
the number of new, earth-friendly products increased significantly
since last year's show.
Many card and paper lines were proudly featuring their recycled
paper lines, often printed with non-toxic soy inks. In addition,
shades of green, natural tones, and print and pattern motifs
taken from nature were also important. Plantable cards, gift tags,
bags that bloom (www.giftsthatbloom.com),
wine "neckers," and paper products with flower seeds
embedded in them (www.greenfieldpaper.com)
also increased in number, including the new Meant to Bee line
from Cast Paper Art with flower seeds meant to attract honey bees to
combat Colony Collapse Disorder. Peridot Paper (www.peridotpaper.com),
exhibiting for the first time, launched their Gone Green packaging
kits and are proud to employ the services of the Association for
As for overall trends, taking a cue from fashion colors, pretty
bright colors – purples, yellow, pink, and blue, as well as
chocolate brown with blue and pink – were strong. For Christmas,
blue continues as an accent with red and green. Bold, artsy designs,
strong retro influenced motifs, flowers, and geometric-inspired
graphics looked fresh.
Great Arrow Graphics demonstrated the silkscreen process that
makes their gorgeous bold card line so unique (www.greatarrow.com).
From Fresh Frances, a great line of holiday cards, notebooks, and
gift tags in quirky, 50's and vintage inspired designs (www.freshfrances.com).
(This line made me think of last year's hit show Mad Men, about an
advertising agency on Madison Avenue in the early 60's.)
Glitter appeared as an embellishment in a number of card lines,
with fewer handmade-looking cards as in previous years. Bird and owl
motifs were prominent as were silhouette designs. Goosey Press,
exhibiting for the first time, uses vintage silhouettes featuring
Mother Goose motifs for cards and gift wrap (www.gooseypress.com).
Chocolate-wrapped messages and pet motifs are continuing, as are new
organizing products, including the well designed line from Dotmine
Group created by two busy women (www.timemine.com).
A number of first time exhibitors launched new gift items, as
stationery stores diversify their inventory. Baby products were
unique from several exhibitors. Twinkle Kids had an adorable line of
infant onesies designed with twins in mind, featuring pairs of
motifs on each onesie, such as salt and pepper, and chick and egg (www.twinkle-kids.com).
Urban Tots, another first timer, and started by a former Gap
designer, had great bold fruit and animal motifs on 100% organic
cotton fabrics (www.sweetspotte.com).
Knowing where products are from has also become important, given
some of the problems with Chinese products lately, and Kinderware™
featured really cute infant toys and sweaters made in Bolivia and
Peru and following Fair Trade guidelines (www.kinderwareonline.com).
Gift wrap and packaging products were also making
"green" statements, especially when it comes to recycling.
The Gift Bag Factory's line of bags are so beautifully designed that
they would be impossible to throw away. Each design is approached as
an original piece of artwork (www.thegiftbagfactory.com).
The Friendship Gift Bag™ has a completely unique approach with
gift bags for kids that they decorate and are passed on. The key is
to register the bag online and then follow its journey from one gift
giver to the next (www.friendshipgiftbag.com).
This line was created by a product development manager turned mom
who observed her child's attraction for the online Webkins
community. The Oblong BoxTote, winning Best New Product from
a first-time exhibitor, is a sturdy, laminated-paper,
water-resistant tote in striking and eye-catching patterns that is
packaged flat and opens up and snaps into shape (www.oblong.kr).
Several other new items caught my eye: For a new way to display
photo cards, The Card Stand™ is a mailable easel for any size
photo card (www.thecardstand.com).
Wallpops, brightly colored dots, stripes, and flowers and Zoo-Wallogy,
barnyard and zoo animals in vintage fabric printed motifs, from
Brewster Home Fashions, are peel-and-stick and moveable for instant
wall decorating (www.wall-pops.com).
BYOBliss, another newcomer to the show, introduced Wedded
Bliss, The First Ten, a keepsake journal that documents
important life events through the first ten years of marriage, in a
very elegant book with matching slipcover (www.byobliss.com).
On the days I visited the show, the aisles seemed busy and the
companies I chatted with, especially the newcomers with unique
products, reported doing better than expected business. With the
growing awareness for earth friendly products, I left the show
feeling more optimistic about the challenges ahead and the ability
of companies small and large to make a significant difference.
(Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates,
a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's
reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the
right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
More News From The Stationery Show.
Gifts & Decorative Accessories reported, "A number
of vendors told [G&DA] that they had come to the show without
high expectations because of the current economic climate, but were
extremely pleased with the business they were doing. And some that
had not shown here in a while – like Colorbok, Mrs. Grossman’s
and Flavia – returned to the show with great results."
Fancy That! won the Best New Product award in the paper
craft/scrapbooking division for its decorative packing tape.
Mrs. Grossman's had a good show, in part because of POUF! (Pat
Off Unwanted Fur), a line of playing-card-size adhesive sheets that
remove pet hair and fuzz from clothes, upholstery and car seats.
Andrea Grossman got the idea for POUF! many years ago
explaining, "My dogs have always come to work with me, and I
was constantly covered in dog hair. I started using some of our
stickers to remove the hairs from my clothes and discovered they
worked like a charm. POUF! looks like a little work of art
– but it's a work of art that works."
Mrs. Grossman's, which encourages employees to bring their
well-behaved dogs to work, will donate a portion of POUF!'s
proceeds to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
To read additional reports on the show, visit www.scrapbookretailermagazine.com
and click on Editor Beth Mauro's blog.