This was our first year attending the National Stationery Show aka NSS! As paper and design enthusiasts it's been a dream of ours to attend this huge show of all stationery and paper goods from around the world. It is held annually in May in New York City.(Fun Fact: New York is our favorite city!)
Day 1: When we got in on Saturday we wanted to have a free day enjoying our favorite things about New York...the food, the views, and walking everywhere. Our first stop was this amazing rooftop bar in Chelsea where we were staying for the week, called Rare View Rooftop. It had gorgeous views, and I loved the atmosphere and music. Then we decided to walk down to The High Line and get a slice of our favorite pizza at Artichoke Basille's Pizza. (It's a MUST if you're in NY!)
Day 2: Sunday was the first day of NSS so as the newbies we were, we decided to just go in with fresh eyes and walk around the whole show. Looking at all the beautifully designed booths, stopping when something caught our eye, and meeting so many of the brands we sell here in our shop! The best part was getting to meet the owners of our favorite stationery companies in person and also make new connections with brands from around the country. Being able to see products in person really amplified the buying experience and allowed us to see how things would fit within the shop.
Day 3: Monday it decided to rain on us...but it was probably my favorite of the week. We attended two panels that morning including a talk on small business strategies and another amazing experience called "Boss Ladies" where we got to hear questions and answers from several leading women in the stationery industry. That was one of the most insightful and helpful parts of the trip and gave us great reflection on how to come back from NY feeling inspired and hopeful for the future of Prickly Pear Paper.
Day 4: After a morning of brunch and organizing all the business cards, catalogs, and swag we got from the past two days at the show, we went back for one last look and did a few orders from some of the new brands we met throughout the week! We also got to chat and hangout with one of our favorites, Christina from Wildhart Paper, who shares our obsession with cacti everything!
Day 5: Our last day in the city we decided to skip the show and do some things we had never done in NY before. We went to the Central Park Zoo and explored all the animals living right in the middle of the city, including insanely beautiful snow leopards and my favorite animal, red pandas. We walked Central Park for a while, which we both love, and also found a new favorite spot within the city called Greenacre Park. It's a blooming, peaceful oasis that is the most serene spot in the city to have a quick lunch or just sit, read, and relax.
Our trip was a great experience as new business owners. We got to meet and hear from leaders in the stationery industry, discover new brands, attend our first trade show, and do it all within our favorite city in the world. We will be back next year for more adventures and new discoveries. Until next time!