Loudhouse Creative Picked Up by Paper Source

Francesca Fuges was in the process of launching her business Loudhouse Creative when she came to Paper Camp.

 She knew she wanted to sell wholesale and exhibit at the National Stationery Show the following year but she needed help developing her product line, building her sales tools and preparing for the show.

 In her scholarship application for Paper Camp, Francesca set her sights high sharing that Paper Source was one of her dream stores that she hoped to work with one day.

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Strategic Follow-Up Lands Woodsy Foxman in Her Dream Store

Meet Ariel of Woodsy Foxman. She's one of our Paper Camp alums!


Ariel's dream store was located too far away for her to connect in person, so she wrote a handwritten, personalized note and sent a few extra samples since she didn't a physical catalog.

She followed up a week later via email and the buyer wrote back gushing about the samples and placed an order right away.

It took Ariel three touch points (snail mail, email and connecting on social media) to get the sale and now the store re-orders month.

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How Do I Know if a Store is a Good Fit for my Products?

You’ve probably heard me say this on Proof to Product and in previous emails, but I’m a firm believer that relationships are they key to running and building a successful business.

Everyone from our team, to our customers, to our colleagues, to our vendors plays a significant role in our personal growth as well as the development of our company. Your relationships with wholesale buyers, are no exception.

But how do you find the right stores?

How do you connect on a personal level with the buyer?

How do you know if a store is a good fit for what you sell?

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Chez Gagné Expands to Over 300 SKUS and Diversifies Product Categories

When Alex Gagné from Chez Gagné came to Paper Camp, she had been in business for just under 2 years and had created a collection of 80 greeting cards.

She knew that wholesale was her end game, so she soaked up a ton of info at Paper Camp; then went home and put what she learned into action sourcing new products, reaching out to buyers and streamlining her processes.

Within one year of coming to Paper Camp, Alex’s hard work and hustle landed her products in more than 500 stores, including Paper Source.

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Tradeshow Booth Inspiration: Parrott Design Studio

Parrott Design's booth consisted of an 80sq ft in-line booth under the low ceilings at Javits. Sarah and her team designed and built the booth in Rhode Island than drove into NY via a U-haul van, saving significantly on shipping costs . The hard walls were built from 1/4" plywood with 2x3s for the frame. She has used the same 6 clip on lights from Ikea for two years, and did not use a parcan. The jute rug was literally pulled up from a room at her house (easy, convenient and free!). The rug was durable and a neutral shade that hid dirt well yet cleaned easily. Her signs and booth numbers were made from wood and cut with a CNC Router at a local shop. They sanded and spray painted the sign and hung with small nails and glue dots. Shelves were made out of wood and L-brackets purchased at Home Depot. She reused them the following year and spray painted them for a different look. Sarah purchased a vintage credenza from Craigslist and 2 chairs from Overstock.com - both pieces are now being used at her studio everyday. This was Sarah's second year exhibiting at the National Stationery Show. I love that blue accent wall!

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Katie Hunt, 40 Under 40 Honoree

We have exciting news!

Our very own Katie Hunt, Founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp, has been selected as one the first-ever Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 honorees.

Katie, along with the other 39 honorees, were selected based on leadership qualities, creativity, innovative thinking and commitment to the industry by representatives of Gift Shop, Stationery Trends, Museums & More, the Gift & Home Trade Association (GHTA) and GHTA’s Young Gift Executives Program (YGE).

Katie is honored to be chosen as one of the stationery industry’s top 40 professionals under the age of 40, and would like to extend Congratulations to all the TSBC alums, speakers and friends that also made the list!

Below is the full list of honorees that were chosen as well as a snippet of Katie’s amazing accomplishments. Congrats Katie!

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Tradeshow Booth Inspiration: Anemone Letterpress

Anemone Letterpress had a 80 sq ft in-line booth under the low ceilings for their fourth year exhibiting at NSS. They built framed hard wood walls, using plywood and laminate on the plywood on the rear wall for color. Their booth was lit with 6 halogen spot lights - similar to Skanda lights - that they sourced on eBay. Carpet tiles were from FLOR and their signage was cut vinyl created by a guy local to them in Los Angeles. For past shows Carrie and Wally had affixed their cards direction to the booth walls, but for this show they added trim for shelving to display cards. All furniture was purchased at Ikea and will be reused for future shows. They used Showtime Express to ship their crate to NY, and it is now stored in Showtime's warehouse. One way shipping cost about $750 and storage for a year is roughly the same. Carrie recommends communicating with tradeshow unions via email so you have everything in writing.

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Booth Brainstorm: Good Lighting

Excellent lighting is critical to your trade show booth. You want your booth to be inviting and display your products in the best possible way. And, lighting is a big component of this. As you’re weighing your lighting options, keep in mind the reasons behind why you want to have great lighting in your trade show booth.

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E. Frances Paper Proves Tradeshows Aren’t the Only Way to Launch a Wholesale Line

In the paper industry, many brands look to the National Stationery Show to serve as their wholesale debut. It’s a great place to meet buyers, get feedback on your products and build relationships with press, reps and other designers. It's where I launched my wholesale line in 2009.

However, this isn't the only way to launch your wholesale brand.

Many thriving businesses are introducing their product line to buyers outside of shows and doing it successfully. A great example of this is Paper Camp Alum, E. Frances Paper.

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Tradeshow Booth Inspiration: Golden Fox Goods

First time exhibitors, Golden Fox Goods' had a 80 sq ft, corner booth under the low ceiling at Javits. Missy and Grant initially wanted to use foam core walls but opted for hard walls built by a local carpeter to ensure they could easily and safely hang their art prints. They lucked out and were directly under an overhead light, they also utilized clip-on desk lamps with high-wattage LEDs. Shelving and tables were purchased at Ikea. They used vinyl flooring from a local store in Los Angeles. It was cushy and easy to lay over the concrete. Vinyl was cut by Dave at EGI Vinyl. Grant warns to order vinyl early and order extra in case you make a mistake. They built an (extremely) large crate that they shipped via Showtime which was by far their cheapest option. They shipped early to the GES storage warehouse and were hit with a $300 holding fee. Next time they will ship directly to the show. Grant and Missy recommend allowing 2 full days for set-up, particularly if you're installing your own walls.

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Booth Brainstorm: Walls

When you’re planning your tradeshow booth, start with your walls. The type of walls you choose to use will have a domino effect on other decisions you make for your booth. For example, your walls will determine how you display your products, whether you use shelves, how you hang your signs and what lights you use. Plus, your walls set the stage for the overall aesthetic of your booth.

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Tradeshow Booth Inspiration: Iron Curtain Press

Iron Curtain Press returned for their second year at the National Stationery Show, exhibiting in a 80sq ft corner booth located in the low ceiling area of Javits. Rosanna and Joel built their hard walls and reused clip-on lights they purchased last year from Ikea with bright LED light bulbs. Their woodgrain foam floor tiles were purchased from foamtiles.com. Vinyl signage was used for their logo and booth numbers, which they affixed themselves. Display shelves were made out of wood purchased at Home Depot and attached to the walls using carriage bolts and wing nuts. The carriage bolts, while pricey looked really nice and the wingnuts allowed them to attach the shelves without using any tools. ICP shipped a pallet via Airways Freight, costing $425 each way from LA to Javits and back again. Rosanna warns that crates and pallets will get roughed up during transit and delivery so pack it with great care.

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Packaging Your Products without Breaking the Bank

Can we talk about product packaging for a minute? You want your products to look unique and stand out from the crowd, but you don’t have to break the bank to do it.

There are so many packaging options available, and it’s important to know when to follow the crowd and use standard packaging and when to get creative and do your own thing.

Ultimately, your product packaging must make it easy for the end customer to understand what your product is and how they can use it. And, from a business standpoint, you want to ensure that your packaging looks great, is scaleable and doesn’t cut into your profit margins. Here’s where to focus.

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Tradeshow Booth Inspiration: Shana Frase

Veteran exhibitor, Shana Frase worked with a cabinet maker to build her 10x10 custom booth. Shana used clip-on lights and chose to add a Parcan this year to ensure strong lighting which enhanced product photography. Shana says it was a tough decision to rent the parcan but she's glad she did. "I am now team parCAN (& team robbing banks ;))" Her flooring is two layers - very inexpensive floor tiles with navy carpet squares on top. Shana recommends ordering more carpet tiles than you need so that everything matches if you move to a larger booth. Her company name was hand painted, framed and displayed on a gallery wall. She also used custom vinyl on the outside wall. Her table and chairs were purchased for a previous NY GIft show and reused. She shipped everything on a pallet but would have preferred to use a crate. The booth is now stored in New Jersey with Showtime. Shana's biggest piece of advice is show up early for set-up. If you finish early you can enjoy the city & rest, but thinks always come up.

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Wholesaling: Top Tips for Building Your Catalog

A common mistake I see new exhibitors (and even some veterans) make revolves around how they measure the success of their trade shows.

One would assume that calculating your return on investment would require a simple formula comparing how much was spent to exhibit versus the revenue earned while at the show. However, I’d argue that this method is short sighted and doesn’t take into consideration several less tangible, non-immediate benefits that exhibiting at a trade show can bring.

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CRM Tools for Creatives

Emailing prospects.

Following up with retailers after a show.

Tracking who you’ve sent catalogs and samples to in an organized fashion.

These are all good business practices that shouldn’t find you scrounging through old business cards or digging into your inbox. With the right customer relationship management tool, you can do all of these things (and so much more). And many of our favorites have added benefits too.

Here, we have a short review of some of the CRMs used by Paper Camp alumni, and resources we’ve found to really help you have positive client communications and relationships.

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Booth Brainstorm: Signage

The sign you hang in your tradeshow booth is your “address” for the show. It’s how people find you and it’s up to you to make sure that you’re easy to find!

How much does it cost?

  • Is it easy to transport?

  • Is it easy to install?

  • Can I reuse it?

  • Does it match my brand aesthetic?

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular signage options and their pro’s and con’s to help you as you make the best decisions for your business.

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How to Time Product Releases?

Creating new products and tinkering with new design ideas is why many of you went into business. It’s the draw of the creative process. You love to brainstorm, create and then create some more. And it keeps your business exciting and alive—for you and for your bank account.

Releasing these new products is your ticket to business growth. It sets you apart from the competition and shows retailers that you’re serious about your business and your product line. But it’s important to realize that timing is a major factor with new releases, particularly when you’re selling wholesale.

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