Yep you read that right a week at NSS2016. This past week has been a life changing experience in ways I cannot begin to explain but I will do my best. First let me just preface that this experience is something that a few or more will not understand so if things seem too simple in my explanation, this is for them to see how big of a deal this is. Now I am not one to always say look at me, but "holy shit look at me I did it"! Why am I saying this, well it's simple, I decided to jump and fly. My life has been pretty good overall but it also has been hit with some pretty heavy stuff. That heavy stuff stopped me from moving forward and chasing my dreams. So this is my week where I literally packed my bags and went after those dreams like a crazy lady.
The National Stationery Show isn't your little neighborhood market, no ma'am. This is where the big dogs come to and decide what is going in to their store. Yes their store! Stores range from cute little small businesses all the way to big box stores. This is 100% wholesale and straight up business. The show has been around 70 years and the people involved are deeply rooted in the love of paper. I mean who doesn't love paper?
On Thursday, I got up and walked to the Javits Center and checked out my space. Seeing your name ready to go was pretty awesome. I laid out my floors and allowed Manny Stone to come in and put up my booth walls. Once that was done, my eyes watered when I realized I am really doing this. I mean really and truly putting myself out there. That afternoon until the night I put up my product tags and started putting up my line. At 9pm they tell you its time to wrap it up. So off to bed I go.
Friday, I got up early, grabbed my big huge honkin' coffee and started putting up the rest of my product. If you know me, I put on my music and danced as I hung each product. Yeah, I am that girl. Then at 3pm, my little partner in crime arrived! Granted most things were done but other details were needing to be finished and damn, she took over and helped me get things done. We schlepped through the rain to grab baskets and containers to fill the space and hide our junk. As well as wine. Come on you would grab a bottle or two if you were us. Once we were done we celebrated! Then Saturday before the show we played a little. It was the perfect reward.
We walked to the 9/11 memorial and trust me its a must see. I was in awe and in tears. My heart broke reliving those moments and honestly, I needed to pay my respects to those we lost. We all do honestly. Then we tracked to Ellis Island looked around and decided the boat ride wait for 1.5hrs was not for us. HA! But taking the wrong subway was an 1.5 hrs mistake so we should of stayed-just sayin'. Then it was to Time Square which is one thing everyone who visits wants to do right?
Holy crap I was so nervous. The day started fast and it was such a whirlwind. I have done so many little pop-up shows that this was a different level. You are talking to buyers with serious buying power and its pretty damn awesome. The game at that moment totally changed of what I was doing. I realized that I am really going after what I want. We ended the day with sales and contacts that I wanted.
This was the day. It was a steady stream of people coming in and out of your booth, the biggest day of sales for a majority of us showing. Oh did I mention the amazing people who were next to my booth? They were awesome! They have an energy that made our slow times more exciting. Their sense of humor was right in line with me as well as being slightly offensive...LOVE THEM!
It was a tad slower. No worries, had still a good day. That night we hit the Oh So Beautiful Paper Party with our friends, 417press and That Sky Blue. LOVE THEM SO MUCH! Met awesome letterpress people like Czar Press and Gilah Press which felt like I knew them forever.
The last day, I am by myself in my booth and this was officially the slowest day, yet still was amazing. I started feeling a little sad knowing this journey was ending. I loved how I felt this week and how it was connecting with others who really understood my journey. I know that the real work starts when I get back but when there is crazy energy that is inspiring you to push harder, kick more ass than before you don't want it to stop. I am beyond grateful that my girls from Tradeshow Paper Camp helped me break down. 1 hour to break down after days of putting up, so hard to explain how crazy that is.
I am back now filling orders, getting my ducks in a row and taking the necessary steps in making this work for the teenager. At the end of the day, this may be my big dream but it is mainly his future. Knowing that one day he will have a way to generate income and live a life without any financial stress makes this experience even more rewarding.