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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 

Striking black Fitzroy invitations with vintage floral prints

Sara and Richard created a jaw-dropping customization of our Fitzroy invitation design for their December wedding in Palos Verdes. The couple worked with Melody at Urbanic to customize the design, which included a full flood of digitally printed black ink and bits of our anemone vintage print pattern. After we digitally printed the invitations and insert cards, we added tawny matte foil stamping in our Plaza calligraphy font. The vintage anemone print pattern was included on the envelope liners as well, tying the entire set together. Pretty gorgeous, huh?

Stunning black invitations with tawny foil + bold florals from Smock Stunning black invitations with tawny foil + bold florals from Smock Stunning black invitations with tawny foil + bold florals from Smock

letterpress ink: black |  foil color: tawny matte | digital printing: CMYK process | font: smock plaza | paper: 1-ply white | size: S-8 + S-5 | envelope liners: anemone vintage print | customization #25300 | Urbanic Paper Boutique

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!

Oceanic Odin Offset additions!

Celia at Urbanic came to us for these “day of” pieces for a September wedding. Our Odin design was a perfect fit, especially when designed using the right cartouche and blend of our ocean and peacock inks. Carrying the design over to the table numbers and place cards was a great way to make the motifs stand out at the reception.

inks: peacock + ocean | fonts: cecilia + social | paper: 1-ply white | printing: offset | program with cartouche | program size: #10

modern colorful offset wedding reception pieces

DIY Project – Make your own Pinwheels with Smock’s Eco-Gift Wrap!

Couldn’t make it to the Summer Social at Urbanic? Dying to make your own bundle of fabulous Smock pinwheels? Here’s the how-to!

No great pinwheel is complete without our eco gift wrap – it’s double-sided, so you’ll get bold & beautiful patterns no matter which way you decide to create your masterpiece. Our gift wrap is sustainably printed on 100% post-consumer recycled, FSC-certified paper, so it’s not just pretty, but it’s eco-friendly, too! We’re diggin’ the Sorbet, Pollen and Anchor gift wraps – so perfect for summertime. Pick out your favorite patterns & get crafting today!

Photography – The Why We Love

Smock + Urbanic – Summer Social, part 2

As promised, more photos from the Summer Social! The talented husband-and-wife duo over at The Why We Love provided us with some amazing images of the event. We teamed up with Bash Please, who helped set up the scene with some gorgeous decor, Sweet Lucie’s, who provided incredible organic ice cream, and Mrs. Lilien, who poured delicious lemonade cocktails throughout the night. Attendees included some stylish L.A. bloggers, letterpress lovers, summer enthusiasts, some sweet kids & some kids at heart. We had so much fun getting to chat with everyone who stopped by – it turned out to be one great party!  Even more fabulous photos from the event can be found over on 100 Layer cake – check it out! By the end of the night, attendees made over 275 Smock pinwheels out of our cheery eco gift wrap! A big thanks to Audrey at Urbanic for hosting – we had a blast!

Smock + Urbanic – Summer Social, part 1

Lindsy and I are back from our whirlwind adventure to California, and we are so excited to share photos from our trip! We had the opportunity to visit with a bunch of our amazing dealers, and even had the pleasure of teaming up with Urbanic for a kickin’ summer social. Complete with DIY pinwheels (made from swatches of our favorite eco gift wrap), delicious lemonade cocktails, and the best (organic!) ice cream ever – this was one awesome celebration of summer. Here are some photos of the set-up – stay tuned for part 2!

Smock + Urbanic Present a Summer Social

At long last, we’re so excited to tell you about the upcoming Summer Social that we’re hosting with Urbanic on June 9th in Venice, CA. Special friends Bash, Please, Mrs. Lilien, 100 Layer Cake, and photographers The Why We Love will be there and Sweet Lucie’s is sure to steal the show with their amazing gourmet ice cream. We’ll be crafting, sipping lemonade, mingling and celebrating summer with sundresses and good company. Hope to see you there!

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