NY NOW Podcast

The Paper Plane Cocktail Hour: The New NOW!

September 09, 2021 NY NOW Season 1 Episode 52
NY NOW Podcast
The Paper Plane Cocktail Hour: The New NOW!
Show Notes Transcript

This past August, NY NOW occurred IRL once again at Jacob Javits Center, making history as the first trade event held in the space since it was a hospital and vaccination clinic. In this episode, Amy and Sarah recap the four-day event from their perspectives, as well as their favorite discoveries. But the storied show had yet another trick up its sleeve when it announced the formation of SF NOW to take place next April 28 and 29 in San Francisco. This regional show will be co-located with *Noted — but none of this could have happened without our two very special guests today, George White and Patti Stracher-Lee.      

RESOURCES   
| Guest Websites:   
https://upwithpaper.com/

| NY NOW: 
https://nynow.com     

| NY NOW Podcast Page: 
https://nynow.com/podcast     

| NY NOW Digital Market: 
https://nynowdigitalmarket.com    


Amy Loewenberg:

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the paper playing cocktail hour, I am one of your hosts Amy lowenberg relations and partnership development manager at New York now, I treasure the relationships I've established and I relish in the new ones that I make every day, sharing information and introducing our amazing community of retailers, buyers, artists and makers through my spotlight podcast at New York now, and my store tours on Instagram.

Sarah Schwartz:

And I am your host, Sarah, you may know me as the founding editor and editor in chief of stationary trends magazine, my site to paper nerd or possibly my other podcasts that paper fold. I've been covering the stationery and gift industry since 1997. But never did I imagined that I'd one day be covering the market here in the virtual space. No. So throughout 2021 we'll be raising our glasses alongside our pencils as we share stories, compare notes and celebrate three of our all time favorite topics, stationery connection and cocktails. Cheers. So Amy, let's get these cocktails flowing and rehash all things August, New York now, I have to say for months and months and months, I've afford to do it now. I ended up driving and bringing my 15 year old daughter, Veronica, because I didn't want her to miss the very first trade show held in Javits post COVID. It was truly historic. And he was really, really bizarre to look at the show floor and imagine what had been going on there. So recently, at any rate, both of us were dazzled the entire time. And seeing as it wasn't the most visual stimulation that I'd had in a long time. I'll no doubt be processing it all. But first, I have to say Amy hats off to the entire New York now team for putting on what was truly a show to remember.

Amy Loewenberg:

Oh, Sarah, thank you so much. It really was and it was so much fun. It was incredible to have the market and connect with our people again, in real life after such a long time. You know, just stepping foot in our aisles again, felt great. It was like being back home for me after a long trip. You know what I mean? You open the door and you see everything that's familiar and makes you happy. And in this case, it was buyers and makers and not your plants. You know what I mean?

Sarah Schwartz:

It was like Dorothy waking up at the last.

Amy Loewenberg:

Wait, it was all in color. There was this like synergy that just radiated throughout the show. And it was this enormous energy that just connected everybody. And you could tell what I loved is that everybody was smiling under their masks. You know, you have such a long history with New York now and we share a treasured relationship with you. You're a longtime attender. How did it feel for you? Well,

Sarah Schwartz:

I mean, once I was sort of able to put the surreal aspect aside, and it was flippin amazing. I have to say in my personal life, I'm finding that every little detail that disappeared during COVID when it comes back, it's cause for celebration, no matter how minor it is. Yesterday, I found myself experiencing like authentic prolon to joy that my child could rent a locker at our skating rink and the little things I never thought about before and he took for granted. So with that being said and New York now I felt I approached every booth filled with actual products and an actual human being to interact with with a little bit of wonder and a lot more ugly than I have ever had on a show floor. But that being said as much as everything was dazzling to me I did find some favorites on the show floor. Ooh do towel well in gifts and stationery. I really loved golden gems.

Amy Loewenberg:

Oh yeah, I love them.

Sarah Schwartz:

Oh, they are shop golden gems on Instagram all one word. They essentially operate in what I've become calling the maker begun calling or the maker model meaning a maker who creates and wholesales arrange and then also has a retail space. It's it's a modern approach to our business. And this lifestyle ranges equally modern as well as colorful and clever. Just little accessories to put a spring in your step every time you use them. So if a glitter key tag Reading wicked women. Smile every time you see it I say go for it that the product is a little retro but forward thinking and definitely upbeat. It I guess it is just what I was wanting to see. I also again had so much fun judging the best new product awards. Thank you for asking me to. Yeah. And both myself and Veronica fell in love with the accent on design winner kitty cardboard. We don't even have a cat.

Amy Loewenberg:

I do. I totally want one.

Sarah Schwartz:

So kittykardboard. One word. It's got two K's. It's the coolest card. It's the coolest cardboard cat pyramids you have. The founder Rosanna was so cool. I think my teenager wanted to hang out with her without me. Now, how about you, Amy? Were you able to get equally deep into product this time? Or were you completely immersed with buyers?

Amy Loewenberg:

Well, full disclosure, I did not get as immersed with the product as I usually do. I was definitely talking and walking with the buyers connecting with people that I haven't even seen in in, you know, over a year, just getting caught up on stuff. I actually met so many new people who connected with me because of our podcast here and my Instagram that it was just it was so much fun because people were reaching out to me when they arrived at market they were saying hi to me in the aisles and I just found that I was meeting so many new people that I was sharing more information, more of the important market information. But I still really tried to make as many buyer brand connections as possible. But it was definitely able to make some new connections with brands myself and you know, I'm all about, you know, brands that I was all about as well as connecting with some old faves. All right, well, I

Sarah Schwartz:

want to hear I want to hear you spell some names. Oh, sure. Sure, sure. I

Amy Loewenberg:

mean, I loved seeing the GCA villagers, connecting with them. I mean, can we just say it all one more time how much we love for 17 press and belva lead and term cat just my type letterpress paper rehab rustbelt, love and giardia.

Sarah Schwartz:

I will concur with a big Woot woot. I loved the GCA village so much the vibe was great. And what worked out so nicely was that all the ranges really balanced each other out so nicely. Yeah, there was truly something for almost every niche market I can think of. And I really think retail is all about the niche right now. We're so segmented as like a nation right now that nothing has mass appeal in in a way, it frees us up to interact with whoever our client is in a much more direct way. And personally, I'd love it. And I have to say even if this is not a great time to be alive, it's a great time to be covering our community. I think what I so love one of many things that I so love about New York now is that it fosters the smaller makers through elements like gcaa village and also the gift and stationery incubator.

Amy Loewenberg:

Yeah, I totally agree with that. And I agree with your statement about retail, growing and more of a niche space. These days. I really appreciated some of the paper lines and the gift of stationery incubator myself imbued photo files by Beth Bates. That was one line I just I can't believe I haven't seen before and I was just taken with them. I love the imagery and the ability to work for her to work with our own photography, creating a personalized product for ourself. But what really got me was the fact that all greeting card fans like myself, look over the car to see who the designer is. And she's got this usage of positive negative imagery, it means that the back of the card is just as important as the front of the card. It enhances the message on the front for me and my experience and just my connection to the actual card. I just thought it was really smart. And you know what I loved her gift tags too. When you open up the package and flip through them like those little moving flipbooks In my case, I was able to see a running ostrich. I just find her humor to be so captivating.

Sarah Schwartz:

I think I'd love it. I mean, I love that range. And I agree it's totally captivating. And these days, I'm definitely finding that stationery is all about these overlooked elements and people putting attention where once it was just not really thought about and I will spare everyone. You can thank me from yet another envelope lecture. Whereas on a white envelope I'm sorry. So I will just Quietly concur that the back of the card is very important real estate that is finally getting the attention it deserves. Recently, I wanted a client of mine to take a closer look at their own back of the card. So I started taking shots of just the backs of the greeting cards I had in my office. And it ended up being a really, really interesting exercise for me as well. makers really make the most of it in diverse ways. And I guess it's just yet another element for paper people to examine. And I swear at some point, I'm going to start breaking down greeting cards, like a sommelier does a glass of wine.

Amy Loewenberg:

Oh, my gosh, Sarah, I love it. You're genius. You're in card mole. Yay.

Sarah Schwartz:

I love it. I love it.

Amy Loewenberg:

Can we coined the word can we get like stickers and pens made? Like I think we know some people who could do that for us.

Sarah Schwartz:

I know. I just I feel like it's already happening.

Amy Loewenberg:

Well, that being said, Do you think that you could do your top five cards at New York now?

Sarah Schwartz:

Well, that would be a real feat that there was so much special going on there and with the market getting so Nietzsche there are so many great stories to tell. I personally am finding myself most impacted these days by more sort of in your face design. And so I really really enjoyed discovering new ranges. These are all new ranges that I had never seen in person before. So I'm sorry folks, if I have seen you before at another market, just qualified for just sharing

Amy Loewenberg:

the love there. That's what you do you share the love.

Sarah Schwartz:

I love it. And I mean, there was such great new newbies, they're new to me. Yeah. And number one is Ryan Porter, aka candy or, and everyone needs to immediately stop what they're doing and check out shop Ryan porter.com go to their gifting page and look at their treat packs. They're like little cards, little illustrated cards with alphabet bead bracelets on them. I was so enchanted. I went home and ordered one for my friend which is something I never do. So congratulations. Wow. Number two is Belle billet she had been at noted this past year but I never saw her cards in real life and they were just so much more vibrant and magical in real life than they already are on the screen. Number three is the aforementioned golden gems. And number four is goes to fat chick press. I was absolutely smitten with her work if you think that you can't do much with a single egg Ron and a letter press go to at fat chick press on Instagram and your mind will be blown. Finally, coming in at number five we have roses worst case the case and when you need finally coming in and number five we have Rosen drew her Instagram handle is Roseanne rush shop all one word. I think her description is better than anything that I can come up with. I used to make art for Disney. Now I make weird stuff for my small shop. I really fell in love with her offerings like an enamel pin with a sweet Fox actually, he's not really sweet. He's kind of mysterious, too. But he was hugging a needle and an enormous needle I might say add it's just as fascinated. You've been fascinated. So how about you Amy?

Amy Loewenberg:

Let's go to laughing at yourself. Okay, I can definitely list five cards and paper support categories. How about that? Works for me. Cool. And I will say that everybody listening you can connect with these lines directly through the New York now digital market. First, I would share Inklings there confetti postcards, I thought that Lindsay just helped us through like mail a party as she says, You know, I just thought that like having the confetti on the outside of the card creates an excitement immediately when you receive it. And then you're also prepared for the confetti to clean up afterwards. You know, you open that card and somebody shoves confetti in there and you're like, Oh, it's all over my freshly vacuumed drug. Like, Oh, I thought that was brilliant. I thought she was lovely. Our favorite past mention is crystal at kaleidoscope. She has created a very cool place in stationery that's inspired by color and culture and she celebrates discovering passion and purpose through her creativity positivity and sense of humor and individuality. She has a range of products and she even had an exclusive rollout from New York now, which was wonderful. It was this very cool play my song CD puzzle. Oh, yeah, for those of you who might know, I really enjoy doing a challenging puzzle. And so that song that is on my that is queued up in my mind to purchase.

Sarah Schwartz:

Plus crystal is adorable. And she had her mom there, which Oh my God, that's great. Can we please just have a moment to appreciate crystals Mom,

Amy Loewenberg:

I think let's appreciate.

Sarah Schwartz:

interrupt I had I had to talk about.

Amy Loewenberg:

I'm all about the mom factor. Great. Another brand that I'm completely immersed with is 185. This was Robert, who I believe that you met and spoke with he was in the handmade designer maker section. I just I love Roberts deconstructed yet very constructed journals. He's a talented photojournalist and artist and I was just I was so glad that he was able to show his work on a larger platform. I just think they're so unique and so different. And when you find something that you haven't seen before, I appreciate that. I also fell in love with I hope I say their name right kokuyo they were in the gifted stationery section. And I just adore this set of 10 solid color graphic markers that are transparent and they're smooth to draw with their their cram like they were these coloring sticks. And, and since they're water based, you can blend the colors and you can come up with you know, you can like use them like watercolors. I just I hadn't seen anything like them. And I thought they were really unique. They weren't just a bright set of crayons, they wrote very, very differently. And they felt great. And then lastly, I would share the glory days company, I was just really impressed with Amanda, and what she's developed truly out of love. She fills a space in the industry that's light. She has a line of dated goods and support resources for families and caretakers of children with special needs. And it's a beautiful story. And so I encourage everybody to look up everybody who I mentioned and follow them.

Sarah Schwartz:

Absolutely and and i mean seeing heart to me just speaks to the niche Enos of the current marketplace, because wondered, I mean, five years ago, who would have thought you could have a planner for just this tiny segment of the population, but they're like finding their community. They're finding their people, it goes way deeper than just a product is absolutely, absolutely lovely to see.

Amy Loewenberg:

Yeah. And and you know, her community base is growing through her first showing it at at our market. So it was it was a pleasure to have her and I definitely think that she's gonna help us expand in that in that very important category as well. You know what, I know that we can talk about this for hours and as exciting as it was to be back at the Javits and all of its new splendor. I think it would be remiss of us not to address the big news day. Sure. And that is that we announced the launch of SF now an exciting new regional market that extends New York now to the west coast. Well, another Whoo. The event will take place on April 28 and 29th 2022.

Sarah Schwartz:

I absolutely can't wait how exciting that SF now will co locate with noted the greeting card Expo at the Fort Mason center for arts and culture in San Francisco. Personally, I still haven't gotten over the disappointment of notice, which was supposed to take place there and was canceled. So two of our guests today, George white and Patty stacker Lee played vital roles in the formation of SF now

Amy Loewenberg:

to OOB really talented people.

Sarah Schwartz:

Absolutely. First we will have a talk with George who over the years has become one of my all time favorite paper peeps. And I worked with George virtually a lot over COVID we came up with and ran two editions of the noted at noted product awards. It was a treat to finally see him a person at New York now. And now it's a treat to have audience with him here. George has been president and CEO of up with paper the world's leading pop up greeting card company since 2004, leading that company to strong growth and diversification by surrounding himself with a smart, hardworking and dedicated team since 2016. He has also served as general group manager consumer products for the CM pala company adding daily oversight of geo central beautifully beautiful earthly goods and management oversight of REM tech robotics and automation. And aren't metals aren't metals group stamping and coining to his responsibilities. Whoa. George has twice founded and led his own marketing PR and content developing firms and was a VP at Gibson greetings and us playing card company. So George's background is not just a greeting cards, it's been playing cards to me with a slick dealer. He's got a full deck. George is currently also president of the greeting card Association and he also serves as co chair of noted, and has served on the GCA as Executive Committee for more than a decade. Wow. Oh my god, it's obvious why his company is always a treat. Yeah. Amy, why don't you fill us in on the enchanting Patty stacker Lee.

Amy Loewenberg:

Oh, definitely. Well, Patti has enjoyed a wonderful and storied career in the exhibition and event planning business, specializing in stationery gifts and hospitality industries. We know her well from her 30 plus years heading the national stationery show for GLM now emeralds and serving on the GCs board of director and on nearly every committee for that same time period. Throughout her career, it's insane right. Throughout her career, she has either directed or played an integral role in event launches. Most recently, she was show director at Reed exhibitions responsible for the successful debut of unbound at book Expo which expanded the scope of that mature market to indulge a range of stationery and gift products that retail in a bookstore environment. And incidentally, the GCA village had a presence at unbound following the debut of noted in Brooklyn in 2019. That's crazy. It is and you know, we know that she was the esteemed Vice President and show Director of the National stationery show where she guided all aspects of the brand strategy through all departments manage the business portfolio and its growth. And prior to her roles with GLM and Emerald and Reed Patty was the Director of Communications for the greeting card Association, where she headed PR membership development and conference planning.

Sarah Schwartz:

I am so glad to be working with the hatti again. But first, we have George which means we all need to pour ourselves a big virtual drink.

Amy Loewenberg:

Well, I've got my Hawaiian shirt on. So let's get going.

Sarah Schwartz:

Let's go. Welcome, George, we're so happy to have you here. Really happy to be here. Great to see you guys. Good. Good to see you as always. And so really the fact that in 2022, we will have a stationery show in May, when the industry once it is due in no small part to your efforts and energy. Now that it is finally happening, it almost seems unreal to me. So what I'm wondering is for those of us who attended the beautiful inaugural noted in 2019, what will be different? And what will be the same?

George White:

Well, first I appreciate it. We're really excited about bringing noted out to San Francisco in 2022. And really the look and feel should be quite similar to what what we saw in Brooklyn, there'll be two key differences. The first and I think most important is the addition of a curated gift show in SF now, which can be held in conjunction with Noda we're really excited about our partnership with the folks at Emerald to do what they've done at ny now and to take that to San Francisco, it's going to be a great partnership. And then for those who are exhibiting the most important part will be there. It'll be a lot more retailers. As you remember, in Brooklyn, everything looked great. But we didn't have as many retailers as we wanted, frankly, for the GCA. And our members are now much better connected with retailers than we were and SF now is going to tapping into their retailer list which really is second to none in terms of getting the retailers there. And I will do a great job at it. And then my partner in crime, john smith, john smith and I were the were the two raised our hands in the national stationery show went away and said, Hey, we can do this on our own. And everybody else kind of backed up and left just the two of us up front. pulling it together. But one of the things that john likes to talk about is it noted brings the humanity back to trade shows. And then as soon as I say that he's like, No, no, George, we got to banish the term trade show from all discussion about noted which we've tried to do. And we try to talk about boozy there, you know, we talked about noted really is it's all about the greeting card community. And that means the makers as well as the sales reps as well as the retailers. Yep. And bringing them all together in a format that is conducive to business. There's not only the immediate transaction, but it's the long term business that relationships facilitate. And that's what notice is all about. It's just bringing us all together and as result, you know, what note is about is the makers and the community. So everybody's in the same kind of space, we're all about the makers in their product, we're not about the size of the booth, what I call the flash, you know, he's not gonna be blinking lights, these giant things hanging from the ceiling and all that stuff. But everybody's in the same setup. So the exhibition space is the same, the spaces are shallow, which forces makers up to the front of the space, and it forces them to interact with the retailer's, rather than sitting in the back of their booth at trade shows on a phone and not interacting with the retailers, we try to facilitate that the larger space is going to be 10 by 30. So you're not going to see any gigantic spaces, like you see in some other shows. And it's just the sales reps or retailers can focus on what matters, which is on the makers and on their product.

Sarah Schwartz:

I'd love it. I think we need a new word, or a new term for trade show, like something that got someone's got to come up with something smart. You know,

Unknown:

yeah, that's true. Yeah, community event is what we've been calling it and it works for what we're trying to do, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I guess the other thing, I really should mention that the West Coast really does need a greeting card event. I mean, my company up with paper does does a lot of trade shows. And you know, we're in Atlanta, we're in New York, we're in Dallas and Vegas. But there really hasn't been a good show out there on the West Coast for some time. So we're really excited to get there. It's taken a while to get there. And the fact that we got this partnership with Emerald, which also is very interested in areas just for success, we're all

Amy Loewenberg:

just so excited. I was gonna say it's it's just it's it's a really great segue because, you know, yeah, our partnership is extremely important to us and very treasured. And getting back to the west coast is important for everybody. You know, I just want to say I really appreciated the energies that provide the greeting card sector with a mid year buy sell opportunity again. And you know, we are more than elated to have our New York now. GCA partnership continue to gain a larger footprint in this field. And as we've said, like getting back to the west coast is a big deal. I think extending the New York now brand in this way will open some doors for future opportunity for us. And while you were one of the early engineers have noted and to help make it the community effort that it is, I would love for you to share what the vision is for NodeJS future. I had a little bit of insight into this on some of our town hall calls and and so to hear about what you're going to do but but is there any little tiny notes that you can share with us about like what the future holds,

Unknown:

I can certainly do that. And your elation is only taught by my elation. We are so excited to be partnering with with the folks at Emerald because it really does. Like I said, it brings what we needed to take note to another level, which is making sure that the retailers get there. And having a curated gift show along with the curated greeting card show is such it's such a perfect match. Our vision for greeting for node remains the same, we want to be the gathering for greeting card makers, sales reps and retailers. And really to do that we need to move the event around. And I think that's one of the unique things about Noda when we watched it That was our intent. And I think that may have gotten a little lost because we've taken two years all thanks to COVID and done virtual and the virtual was successful. We'll talk about that in a minute. But But what we want to do with note is to make a truly national we are going to move it so the original plan was to go East Coast, West Coast Midwest. And the reason for that and you know, this task better than I doing. Retail generally don't like to travel that far to go to go to any kind of tradeshow and there are bigger retailers, retailers that travel in New York because New York is a great place to visit. But in general, the retailers don't like to travel more than 500 miles for a trade show. And we want to be the national reading card event. And that means that a lot of retailers only get to see us once every three years. That's fine. They can do hybrid the other two years, but we will move it so we will be in San Francisco next year. And then in 2023, we will be somewhere in the Midwest, I hope we will have that we will have that nailed down by the time we're in San Francisco. But we need to have it in a in a community that has you know there's a destination for people to come to, but also a community with to change give us a nice setting like we're going to have at SF now that that Fort Mason center is such it's got such a great vibe. It's so beautiful. Yeah, we don't want to have in this in a big giant Convention Center. It needs to be in a place with a cool Bob. So so that is certainly one note that we will have and you know, we're going to go where they're not other shows. So you won't see noted in Atlanta, for example, and you won't see noted in Las Vegas, and you won't see noted in Dallas, they're already good good trade shows there that a lot of our members attend so that there's not a need there. But for now to do what it does, and at a different time of year, which you and Sarah both mentioned. And you're right. Having an amazing is important. Moving as what we're planning on is going to continue to be a volunteer run show. And that was one of the things I think that was hard in 2019 for people to get their hands around is that the members of the GCA are makers. They're almost all made custom associate suppliers. And as a result, you know, normally we, the makers, I used to go into people like you Amy and you guys and deliver the retailers in an event like New York now, which is great. So we had noted in Brooklyn, we kept telling our members that, you know, this, this is our show, we're going to have to get them the retailer's there ourselves, that's not something that we regularly do. The members do now realize that and the members are actually donating their retailer list to for the good of the cause. And you know, they up with papers always believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, and we're happy to have our retailers come to the event, because the more green cars they carry, overall, the more of our cars they're going to sell.

Amy Loewenberg:

Yeah, it just strengthens the industry, it strengthens all of our businesses and all of our livelihoods. If we can just all kind of work together to help support each other, I think it's I think it's really smart that you are looking at regions that aren't already populated. And I just, I just keep thinking about all the new information and contacts and people and, and just information about about how these different communities and buyers buy and how they have sell or sell. You know, I just I think there's a lot of value there. And to be able to have a venue that you can actually move around is, I mean, I have no doubt that as you do each event, you're going to get stronger and stronger and better and better that that's how we live that that's how we we evolve and work. I can't wait to see what continues to evolve here. I just want to say congratulations and like Whoo, like I support you anything you need. I'm here for you. Well,

Unknown:

I appreciate the other the best support we got the partnership that we're having with with Emerald being able to bring in the retailers that we know your brand SF now is really going to get to drive us to another level, like I mentioned, in terms of other tiny notes about noted, the pitch for me has been incredibly successful. That's something that I actually first experienced ever a top drawer in London. And we kind of have have evolved that into what it is now. And we made it work online, we're going to make it work again in person. So you'll certainly see PACE programs. And I wouldn't be surprised if it noted in 2022. Every single exhibitor there gets to pitch in one way or another. And that pitch will be live. But we're also talking about doing it virtually so that you know the retailers who aren't in the San Francisco area that want to be part of you that can participate. And so they can do that by watching the pitch programs. And one of the other great things we talked about, we had this great conversation with Shonda Greer, who, she's such a great retailer up and she

Amy Loewenberg:

loves shaundra

Unknown:

genres great. And she talked, we were saying, you know, Shawn, would be great. If these retailers you couldn't go could actually get your perspective. So we were we ended up with we're going to get a GoPro we're going to put it on chondrus head, and she's going to walk around the show for the shaundra channel. And so people can can tune in and watch this genre channel, she walks around brilliant. Yes. Things like that, to make it so that people can participate from other from other parts of the world.

Sarah Schwartz:

I think the meat the maker, stuff that you had in the last noted was very effective. And I love the idea that you're going to make it live on with all of the, you know, trade shows, for lack of a better term that moved online, the over this year. I mean, there's just such a massive product and material and to navigate your way through but like sitting with a maker for two minutes while they talk about their line, their mission, their inspirations. It's like so valuable in all that sort of information. It just cuts right to the chase.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And that's what we heard from retailers. They want to know who's behind these makers. And you can get that in two minutes. And that's it. It was hard for a bunch of the makers to understand that they haven't done that kind of thing before they're nervous about one elastic. There's nothing to be nervous about. Just tell us why you why you're here. What got you into greeting cards, and the passion you have for cards and why you're doing what you're doing comes across immediately. And we had so many retailers tell us Oh yeah, that meet the maker, which we thought was a hilarious name, by the way, maker maker was a really great Why stop it even though you're having a live show doesn't make any sense. Let's keep it going and do more hybrid stuff. Absolutely. Yeah,

Amy Loewenberg:

well, let's definitely keep this going. I know that we are all looking forward to seeing and hearing more as more information is able to be shared and more is solidified. But what we do know is that we are having a co located market that's April 28 and 29th

Unknown:

I believe, absolutely. The third Friday, that's a retailer told us they wanted to come they want to come on a Friday on a Thursday and Friday. And and and and we're gonna be there. So you have to mention I have to mention one more thing at its most important people that went to Brooklyn like Sarah may remember the key word for noticed early on was doughnuts. So when

Amy Loewenberg:

I went there, I took a picture of that donut board.

Unknown:

I spent a lot of time finding the best donut shop in Brooklyn, and then I went to San Francisco back in 19 to do my research and found the best donut shop so Bob's donut shop we're gonna have that giant tree of doughnuts that we take around to all the exhibitors before the

Sarah Schwartz:

show have been as curated as the

Amy Loewenberg:

What's your exit? My God, sorry, you're right. I gotta I gotta go back into my gallery and see if I still have that donut board picture to send out. It was great. It was a great. All right, well, then I will say thank you again, but both of us and we know that we will all be talking and sharing great story soon.

Unknown:

I appreciate it. Thanks again for the support both of you guys. Take care.

Amy Loewenberg:

Thanks, George.

Sarah Schwartz:

It's always so great to hear from George. And let's, let's bring on Patti. Let's do it. Hi, Patti. Welcome.

Patti Stracher-Lee:

Hey, Sarah, it's so great to be here. Thank you for having me today.

Sarah Schwartz:

Thank you so much. It's such a pleasure as always. So way back in the late 90s, when I worked at Gibson decorative accessories, and I did the gift circuit twice a year. And I of course, had all the New York shows, but I'd also travel to LA Dallas, Atlanta. And sometimes when I was super lucky to San Francisco. Now my own boss, Phil, a Swede, who I know you very well used to tell me it's not what they say in San Francisco. It's how they say it. And I always found myself completely dazzled by Merchandising, and just the overall approach to design in the city by the bay. I was even hoping I'd see it and noted 2020 also scheduled to be held at Fort Mason, but unfortunately cancelled. So with all that being said, I would love for you to speak to that San Francisco magic from your perspective. And and also to see if you can give any sort of peek as to what is awaiting attendees at both noted NSF now.

Patti Stracher-Lee:

Well, that is an exciting question because it allows me to paint a picture. So I thank you for that. You know what the San Francisco magic is something we really do want to embrace by way of bringing in unique designer maker resources that don't necessarily make their way east. But the big thing to say about what we want to create sort of experientially and in the environment is that it will be on both noted and San Francisco now it boutique, curated environment, it's a much different kind of facility, it's hip, it's a little rough around the edges, if you will, but in a good way. And so it lends itself to creating a vibe that is going to be uniquely San Franciscan, but also very serious in, in terms of its being a business platform for, you know, buyers and sellers to do what they do best, which is network connect and right business.

Sarah Schwartz:

I can't wait, sign me up. Let us go. Okay, so in terms of how well the different sections, they're sort of present themselves, if you can at all, sort of speak to that?

Unknown:

Absolutely. The partnership with noted lends itself to create a very unique point of view in each, you know, each show or each side of the of the building, if you will to one straightforward platform, or event space. But you'll know the difference when you're on one side or the other noted is going to be very much a greeting card centric selection of some of the most exciting and long standing and new makers inside that space. So it is going to be so rich with choice selection, genre, manufacturing techniques, etc. But it's all cards. And on the San Francisco now side, we are bringing a mix of complimentary lifestyle. So one of the main areas will be in the decorative office space decorative home but small items. But then of course, we will introduce children's products and specialty party where and gift wrapping. They'll be men's gifts and tech tools and those kinds of things in our vision for the kind of mix we we want to present and and I would also say that we're going to in both cases, we're going to try to strike a good balance so that we have different design directions presented in one category but not have too much in one category and too few and in the other. We want the buyers to have a lot of choice and range. Right? That sounds

Sarah Schwartz:

really great. I know it sounds amazing. I mean like lifestyle product across categories, and I'm sure there will be a lot there will be a few surprises, I guess.

Unknown:

Well, there always is but we also You know, our we have a sort of a statement that we're working around in our joint vision for what we want this to be. And, and, and it all points to an aesthetic, and a design direction that is sophisticated and clean and stylized, which leaves us a lot of room. Yeah. But it allows us to really control the kind of merchandise it's coming in. We are a unique resource.

Amy Loewenberg:

What's really lovely is is, you know, California has its own vibe, and New York has a vibe. And you know, one is not taking over cannibalizing the other, we're working in conjunction with and really just expanding the opportunity for both our brands and our you know, and our buyers.

Unknown:

Absolutely. It's wonderful, you brought that up, I will say that, you know, San Francisco now is sort of an extension of this phenomenal show called New York. Now, that's been around for a million years. And this is, you know, this is it's a way of extending the brand. But by doing so offering a very unique and distinctive experience so that if a buyer wanted to attend both shows, for instance, there would not be so much crossover, that there'd be redundancy. Our goal is in fact, to minimize that. Well,

Amy Loewenberg:

this is a really great segue for me to jump in. Hi, Patti is so wonderful to talk with you again. Yes, it is. And to talk to you again, I just want to say that I don't think we could have had anybody better or more well suited for this role. We're all very excited to have you here, we are super excited to bring a lifestyle event to the west coast. So let's talk a little bit more about what this new market means to a dedicated community of both the brands and the buyers. I love your feedback from Sarah's question. So let's look at why why is it the West Coast market is an important one. And what do you see is the impact that we get to make what

Unknown:

a great question i to begin with the West Coast is a thriving consumer region of the country and bringing a show to California. At this time in our world, yeah, seems to be answering a very real and significant need from makers and retailers to have an event on the west coast and specifically California is has a wide appeal to allow them to get together and do business. And so there, it seems. We know our timing is right, we know it's answering a need. And I have to say that, that need and that validation been more clear, when I was walking New York now with some of the others on the team. And hearing the feedback from the makers in the New York now show off of which you know, this is a brand extension to to address that side of the country in a substantial way. So I think what we can can be sure of is that the show will have a California point of view, the vibe and the mix will be distinctively California, not 100%. There'll be enough of those resources there to make it very different distinctive experience from other markets around the country, and specifically our New York now, we want to enhance not duplicate,

Amy Loewenberg:

right? I mean, it makes perfect sense. I mean, being over on that side of the country is going to create opportunity for for people who perhaps were not able to either present or to purchase on the east coast. So it just opens us up to a whole new demographic. And also, it allows us to see like new trends and and new entities evolve. What what i what i love that you've shared is that it's not a duplication of New York now it will have its own flavor, it will have its own vibe. And that's, that's super important. You know, it absolutely are a diverse organization. And and we have to we have to honor that no matter where we are, I think.

Unknown:

Absolutely. And I think delivering a regional event to make it convenient for those makers and buyers who have had to cut back or were not able to do anything for the last year and a half because of the pandemic is is a great solution at the right time. Super, super excited about the potential.

Sarah Schwartz:

Absolutely. I have literally been hearing for 20 years the need for a West Coast. stationary events. So I think the time this it's right, and it said the fact that it will feel different and have its own vibe, it just makes it all that much more attractive.

Unknown:

I think so. And you know what greeting cards are such a wonderful, happy product. And the GCA has been an organization near and dear to my heart for a million years. And those customers were customers I worked with many of them for for the rest of my my career and to joint venture with such a thriving organization and a creative. Smart industry is so great for both shows. The greeting card association is truly an important partner of ours at Emerald, whether it's by way of presenting the village in the New York now platform or in this, this partnership, the community is incredibly near and dear to our organization and super important to, you know, sort of a long term view. We're excited about that.

Amy Loewenberg:

Well talking about long term views, we're definitely going to ask you to come back perhaps closer to the onset of the show so that we can actually hear maybe a little bit more, and you can give us a little preview a little little build a little of the excitement if that's okay with you.

Unknown:

Oh, my gosh, I think there'll be great. There's so much that we're in the early stages right now. It's I'm speaking more in generalities and sort of a philosophical vision. But I'd love to get out there and tell our story to this wonderful audience later, you know, earlier early next year.

Sarah Schwartz:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you've just started planning and are just, you know, right now you just have more of a rough sketch, we would love to hear from you, when it's really taking shape, and you're starting to kind of is starting to emerge, what we can expect. It's going to be absolutely.

Amy Loewenberg:

So hey, Patti, before we let you go, is there any way that you could maybe zero in a little bit more on that visual image of this new, amazing community event that we have? In front of us?

Unknown:

Absolutely. Let me paint a picture for you and start by saying that one of our key objectives was to come up with a package for makers and brands to to to utilize to make it super easy and turnkey. That's one of the things we know is makes a big difference when when companies are making a choice. So we're employing this beautiful art wall system. uniformly across the show. It's white, the walls are 12 feet tall. We've got gorgeous trust lighting. So it'll feel more gallery like Then, shall I say a trade show, if you will. fully customizable, and exhibitors and makers can do different things with within their space. So we are so excited about this unique gallery vibe we're creating, it's going to be sophisticated, it's going to be soft, it's going to be high energy, it's going to be beautiful.

Sarah Schwartz:

It sounds great. Okay. Thank you so much, Patti, for coming by. It is such a treat to see you. And I can't wait to see you at the show.

Amy Loewenberg:

I can't wait to see you there either. Super excited. Thank you so much. We'll talk to you say me. Okay.

Sarah Schwartz:

This is such an exciting time for SF now the GCA and the whole stationary community, it's going to be really exciting to see everything come into focus.

Amy Loewenberg:

Absolutely. We want to take this opportunity to thank both George and Patty for visiting with us today and sharing all of this exciting news with more to come.

Sarah Schwartz:

And don't forget to post Instagram pics of your paper plane using the hashtags, the paper plane podcast and paper playing cocktail hour. Amy, where can our listeners find you in the meantime,

Amy Loewenberg:

you can connect with me on Instagram and LinkedIn or email me at work. I always want to highlight our amazing community on my spotlight podcasts and to feature on my Instagram store tours. I'm always available to help connect you to new and needed resources and answer any of your New York male market or digital market or soon to be SF market SF now market questions. I'm Sarah Why don't you share with us how we can connect with you.

Sarah Schwartz:

Probably the best way to connect with me as at the papernow.com you can see more fabulous stationery coverage check out my podcast the paper fold and access stationery trends, the industry's award winning design driven trade quarterly as well. It's always a pleasure to learn more about makers and spotlight their work whether it is in publication blog or podcast forum. If you want to connect, I'd love to hear from you.

Amy Loewenberg:

So please don't hesitate to reach out to either of us with comments questions, feedback suggestions for guests or just to say hi and introduce yourself. And don't forget New York now is now an online 365 sourcing and connection platform. Make sure to sign up and sign in and definitely connect with both Sarah and I when you do. Thank you so much. Cheers. You're