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Shopping the show: tips from Urbanic for a successful trip to the National Stationery Show!

Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a seasoned Stationery Show vet, we know you’ll appreciate these 10 helpful tips from Audrey Woollen, owner of Urbanic Paper Boutique in Venice, California. Audrey travels cross-country for the show, and her shop always features an amazing mix of carefully curated paper goods.

Audrey Woollen of Urbanic Paper Boutique

MAP OUT A PLAN: The NSS walking map is a great tool to use prior to the show. When I start receiving booth invitations, I add the booth numbers of the lines I am interested in visiting and keep tabs on the booths per aisle as destinations. I’ve learned from experience that it’s easy to accidentally miss a booth (especially the smaller ones) if I’m not intentional about finding them. I save the lines that are more comprehensive for me to write until my last day — since they take a lot of time, I try to really hone in and focus without distractions. 

Urbanic Paper Boutique

PLANNING TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME SHOW ATTENDEES: When you arrive, walk the show first to take it all in — and keep track of the booths you want to make sure to visit. After you’ve done a walk-through, it’s always a good idea to start in the middle of the show and work your way to both ends. This will prevent you from getting caught up in the traffic cluster of the end aisles during those peak show hours and will help kick off your show pace at a more even level that you may need as a first timer. 

Inside Urbanic Paper Boutique

GET ORGANIZED: I always come to the show with a notebook divided up by the months that I’m ordering for. That way I can mix up the product assortment, and keep track of what is coming in and when. This also helps budget out each month for our cost of goods and evens out the flow of entering and receiving.

As for show buying,  I write all of my orders as I go from booth to booth and comb through all of them by month a few days after the show. This is where the real work comes in: moving around delivery dates, referencing catalogs, and editing where needed.

Since I travel across the country for the show, I try not to take too many catalogs home from the booths. I request that they be sent out to me and only take the ones I feel that I’ll need to reference right away or lines that I’m considering writing but have not committed to yet.

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THINK AHEAD: I’m always on the lookout for product themes that go well together for promotional content. I’m always thinking ahead for store newsletters, features and merchandising concepts while I’m doing my buying.

Product displays at Urbanic Paper Boutique

FIND INSPIRATION: I let the booth displays, product trends and the pulse of the amazing NYC shops and restaurants fill my creative cup to overflowing with new inspiration for Urbanic. I take it all in and let this consolidated creative energy inspire and recharge me for store windows, line collaborations, special events and everything in between.

My phone back up charger is my #1 necessity at the show  (…besides food and water, of course!). I take photos of everything, which helps me document the inspiration and the goods we have coming in. It also makes for great social media content during the show and after.

Inside Urbanic Paper Boutique in Venice, California

STOP FOR A SNACK: There is a little deli called Frame just up the street from the Javits on 33rd Street. This is an amazing little place to stock up on good healthy snacks for the day or even a great place to hop out if you want to get some fresh air and an amazing salad. Keep in mind it’s not open on Sundays though — I forget every time!   

Whether you’re heading to show or following the action on Instagram, be sure to follow along with Audrey’s 68.4k followers on Instagram and see her snaps @urbanic! You can also see updates and new product sneak peeks on our account @smockpaper!  

all photos provided by Urbanic 

Smock travels to Virginia!

Recently we sent Kyle, our lead client coordinator, and Mariel, our lead graphic designer, down to Virginia for a trunk show with our friends at The Dandelion Patch in Vienna, Virginia. Here’s a look at their beautiful shop before guests started arriving for the event!

The Dandelion Patch in Vienna, Virginia  The Dandelion Patch in Vienna, Virginia Displays at The Dandelion Patch ,ViennaThe Dandelion Patch in Vienna, Virginia

While they were in town for the event, Kyle and Mariel stopped in to see some of our other Smock dealers — including The Dandelion Patch in Georgetown! We spotted a few cute Smock customizations in their window display.

The Dandelion Patch in Georgetown

During their stop in Georgetown, Kyle and Mariel also paid a visit to our friends at Hitched. Specializing in both gowns and stationery, Hitched had some darling displays featuring their favorite Smock and Bella Figura invitations. And how cute is that window installation!?

Hitched Bridal Salon in Washington, DCHitched Bridal Salon in Washington, DC Hitched Bridal Salon in Washington, DC

Our team also popped into Just Paper & Tea, another stationery shop in the Georgetown neighborhood.

Just Paper & Tea in Georgetown

During their trip, Kyle and Mariel made time to see Toni at The Write Image, too. Toni’s home studio boasts many albums, including every Smock album and several from Bella Figura!

The Write Image

Our team also got a peek inside the Preppy Pink Pony’s brand new location in Mclean! They’re still getting settled in, but here’s a look at their colorful new counter display.

Smock visits the Preppy Pink Pony in Mclean Virginia The Preppy Pink Pony

Many thanks to our Smock dealers who made time to see our team!

Amy Graham Stigler’s Monograham Paper Boutique Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary!

We’re sending lots of happy birthday wishes to Monograham Paper & Gifts as the shop turns two today! Monograham is a carefully curated paper and gift boutique owned by Smock’s Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler, and located in the heart of historic downtown Delafield, Wisconsin. The shop offers a lovely selection of stationery and letterpress cards, soaps, perfume, jewelry, books, frames, and more from many small independent businesses. Amy sources both local and national artisans to offer an inspired, eclectic mix of handcrafted goods. Here’s a peek inside Amy’s beautiful stationery boutique!

Letterpress card designer Amy Graham Stigler, creative director of Smock and owner of Monograham Paper, poses in her Delafield, WI paper boutique

Amy Graham Stigler, Creative Director of Smock, owns Monograham Paper & Gifts, a curated stationery & gift boutique in Delafield, WI

Check out the design studio of Smock's Creative Director, Amy Graham Stigler

Monograham Paper & Gifts is a stationery & gift shop in Delafield Wisconsin

Today we’re celebrating from afar, but we hear there’s a party going on in Delafield! Here are a few photos from last year’s celebration — doesn’t the festive decor make you wish you were there!? If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by today for Monograham’s two year anniversary celebration!

Monograham Paper celebrates their 2 year anniversary today!

Smock Store Spotlight: Shindig Paperie

Trisha Logan, a paper and textile obsessed designer, and owner of Shindig Paperie in Fayetteville, Arkansas is joining us today with a spectacular spotlight on her charming storefront. We love the way she incorporates Smock products throughout the shop — the pops of bright colors contrast beautifully next to crisp, clean whites.

Behind the scenes of Shindig Paperie. My background is in textile and apparel design, but I’ve worked as the art director and designer for a large gift and paper line for 9 years. I saw so much beautiful product at trade shows and in my trend research. In addition, I’m very attached and connected to my quaint college town, Fayetteville. Eventually, over many late night conversations with my good friend Brooke, a former shop owner and sales rep, we decided to open a shop to bring some of these fabulous lines to our eclectic little downtown district.  No similar concepts for a store existed in the area, and many local brides were frustrated by the lack of great paper here. Most chose to go online for unique invitations despite the surging trend and movement toward “buying local”. We had been in love with Smock for a long time and knew it would be the first line we wanted to get for the shop.

Stationery Love. My favorite part has to be discovering new lines, bringing them to town, then seeing people go crazy for them at the store, on Instagram, and on Facebook. I also love helping people add unique, personal touches to their weddings and special occasions. I’ve always gone a little nuts with my own parties and this way I get to do it more often! The most challenging part is definitely trying to juggle the different roles of being a small business owner, art director for another company, mother, and wife. It gets a little crazy. Thankfully I have a great business partner in Brooke and an understanding, supportive family.

Supporting local + green businesses. We make an effort to carry as many green lines as possible; I would say they make up about 70% of the store. We also try to carry as many local and regional lines and artists as possible. In addition, we donate pretty regularly to various fundraising efforts in our area, through both design work and product. We’re also in the process of starting a monthly group focused on writing letters and cards to area residents going through rough times. Must-see stops in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I love my town, and one reason is the locally-owned retail renaissance of recent years. We have a great relationship with a lot of stores in our downtown neighborhood, and they truly are some of favorite places to shop: the Mustache, Savoir-Faire, Mae’s Heirloom’s, Riffraff and Good Things, just to name a few. If you happen to live near (or visit!) Fayetteville, be sure you stop in and explore Shindig Paperie. Thanks so much Trisha (and Brooke!) for letting us get a peek inside your beautiful shop!

Join Smock and Salutations for a Trunk Show Event!

We’re heading South! Join us at Salutations for our next trunk show event — we’ll be in Durham on Thursday, March 21st for their grand opening celebration, and we’ll also be in Charlotte the night before for a trunk show! Take advantage of show specials and meet with a few of our design experts to create the invitations of your dreams. Visit Salutations for more information and to RSVP!

Take advantage of trunk show specials and save on letterpress wedding invitations from Smock

Smock + Urbanic present Summer Social 2012!

It’s time to kick off summer in style, so we’re teaming up with Urbanic Paper again this year for another fabulous Summer Social! We’ll be in Venice on Thursday, June 14th for a night of summer fun – join us to make a postcard (and send it!) and enjoy popcorn & snowcones. RSVP by June 12th to make sure you’re counted in for this year’s summer social – don’t wait, this is one shindig you don’t want to miss!

Smock + Urbanic are teaming up to bring you another summer social!

The 2012 Smock Design Contest: Letterpress Plaques for the Honorees

Our first Smock Design Contest for 2012 was a huge success — we were so excited to recognize the beautiful work that our amazing retailers have sent us over the past few months! Today we are thrilled to share the stunning plaques that the 10 winners of our design contest received — they were created by our talented in-house designer Lindsy Aragona and letterpress printed in Moss and Butter inks on our 2-ply white bamboo paper for a fresh look. The plaques feature elements from our ever-popular Dawson design, and Kelle McCarter hand calligraphed the names of all the winning store names onto the plaques in her Bescal style for a beautiful finishing touch.

Congratulations to all of the stores that were selected as honorees! The next Smock Design Contest will take place later this year – don’t miss it!

The winners of the 2012 Smock design contest received these letterpress printed signs to display in their shops

Smock + The Wedding Company at the InterContinental Wedding Showcase in Hong Kong

We are always amazed at the gorgeous letterpress invitations we get to print for Smock retailer The Wedding Company, but it’s not very often that we get to see an actual event that they put on. The Wedding Company is a full service wedding planning boutique based in Hong Kong, and recently they put on an incredible bridal showcase, complete with romantic décor, elaborate cakes, gorgeous tables and a sweet candy buffet. They even had time to put together an incredible Smock display, and created paper flowers and pinwheels with our double-sided, eco friendly gift wrap for the occasion! We were blown away by the end result — take a look!

At a recent luxury wedding showcase, the Wedding Company in Hong Kong put on a wonderful display and included an entire booth dedicated to Smock!

The Wedding Company in Hong Kong put on a bridal event with gorgeous displays, including an elegant Smock Display

The Wedding Company in Hong Kong put on a bridal event with gorgeous displays, including an elegant Smock Display

Smock Store Spotlight: Urban Coast

Today we’re highlighting Urban Coast, one of our fabulous Smock retailers! Based in Belleair Bluffs, Florida, Urban Coast specializes in custom letterpress wedding invitations and event design. Owner Soosie Lazenby was kind enough to give us a behind the scenes scoop on this fabulous paperie.

Soosie Lazenby, owner of Smock dealer Urban Coast

Tell us about yourself & the shop. What was the inspiration behind Urban Coast?
I had a very blessed 20 year career in sports and entertainment marketing. I worked for companies such as IMG and Adidas, and served as the Sports Commissioner for the State of Massachusetts, an appointment by Governor Mitt Romney as the Chair of the Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports, and then built my own company which I later sold. A geographical move made me ponder what was next. I decided to create a business that represented all the things I loved about my prior career and the challenges I faced in planning prestigious events. Thus, I founded URBANcoast: marrying the creative side of events and developing a model that provides a one stop shopping experience for clients. URBANcoast offers custom invitation designs, and represents the best in stationery, personalized gifts and accessories, and tabletop decor.

What do you love most about what you do?
Designing a one-of-a-kind look for clients that conveys the style and experience of their event. I also love getting to know our clients – it is such a personal process that takes place over an extended period of time. It creates a special opportunity to form a bond that goes beyond their wedding and carries over into other momentous occasions in their life.

Any predictions for 2012 weddings? What do you think will be popular this year? We are seeing a huge surge in letterpress. History always repeats itself. Additionally, fonts are taking center stage.  This is why Smock and Bella Figura [Smock’s sister company] do so well for us. Having your design libraries allows our clients to create a unique look that represents their personality.

What’s the hottest color palette out there right now? Taupe — this color somehow makes its way into a majority of our designs.

An elegant chandelier hangs in the Urban coast Shop

A view of Urban Coast, a Smock retailer in Belleair Bluffs, Florida

What charities does your store support? We support a number of local charities, but the one we champion most is the Morton Plant Mease Foundation. Morton Plant is one of the top 50 hospitals in the country and we are fortunate to have the care they offer in our backyard. We have raised almost 100K and named a hospital suite on the new Women & Children’s floor after my father who has been on staff there for over 40 years, in addition to three other physicians who have made a profound impact on the lives of many in our community. (more…)

Design Contest Winner: Be Lucky in Love with these Offset Save the Dates

Cori at Social Graces in Nashville, Tennessee sent us this adorable Odin customization!  These offset printed save the dates are both personalized and creative, and were printed in a very cool color palette of our sea mist + grass inks. When we asked Cori what inspired this design she told us that the bride was drawn to the fun font style and whimsical frame, and loved how these elements balanced the striped background.  The wedding reception will be on her family’s horse farm, so the couple thought it would be appropriate to include a horseshoe.  Here at Smock, we believe these save the dates are lucky!  Common legend is that keeping the ends of a horseshoe point up keeps all of the good luck in. Congrats to the lucky bride and groom, and bravo to Social Graces for such an inspired design!

inks: sea mist + grass | fonts: mack + louise | paper: 1-ply white bamboo  | printing: offset | size: s6

This save the date set from Social Graces was an honoree in the 1st Smock Design Contest for 2012

This design won an honorable mention in our Smock design competition for the first half of 2012. This twice-a-year competition recognizes outstanding and inspired designs submitted by our beloved dealers.

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