Walking the National Stationery Show (NSS) with Leanna Lin's Wonderland

If you have been in our Wholesale Tuneup Series, you will remember today's blog guest OR if you're in the LA chapter you might have been in her shop for one of our roundtables. #ahasmember and shop owner Leanna Lin recently went to the National Stationery Show (NSS) as a vendor and gives her perspective on what she saw at this prestigious paper-focused trade show!

Q: Please, introduce yourself. Tell us about what you do and how long you've been doing it.
Hello! I’m Leanna from Leanna Lin’s Wonderland. I own and curate a gift shop and art gallery in Eagle Rock of Northeast LA and have just reached my 6 year anniversary.
 

Q: What is the National Stationery Show and how did you participate this year?
The National Stationery Show is a trade only show for stationery and some gifts that happens once a year in May. There are big and indie companies that show the latest collections. I went as a buyer for my shop for the first time.

Q: As you walked the show floor, what was the atmosphere like? How is it different for buyers than exhibitors?
Very professional and clean and well organized. I’m not sure how it would be different for buyers than exhibitors, since I wasn’t exhibiting.

Q: Did you have a specific goal in mind? Something in particular you wanted to see and/or do while you were there?
I went looking for new vendors, mainly focusing on smaller companies and also to connect with vendors that I already work with, big and small. Also to see the trend in the stationery market.

Q: What did you enjoy most about the show?
I personally love stationery, so getting to connect with the owners and sales reps and seeing the latest collection was valuable! I got to even see things launch here before the LA Gift Show in July!

Q: What trends did you notice among exhibitors at the show this year? 
Typography and word play. Also, people going back to the good old fashion part of stationery like using journals, writing letters and decorating them with stickers, and using agendas.

Q: What booth(s) were the most memorable to you? Why?
Lark+Raven because of their pop graphics. Genuine Haha and The Little Red Door also stood out. They shared a booth and it made a big impact. Both of them looked different than the rest of the vendors. But honestly, there were so many great vendors and I’m excited to assort some new ones to the shop.

Q: You carry a lot of independent designers and makers, how do you go about finding new ones at this show?
I looked at every booth and grabbed catalogs of any company that I like. I even snapped photos of the owners in their booths, so I can remember who was the face behind the company. Personality is also important. I only work with companies that are nice and professional.

Oh hi there! You never know who you will run into at NSS-- like fellow #ahasmember Tiffany of Shifting Status Kuo.

Oh hi there! You never know who you will run into at NSS-- like fellow #ahasmember Tiffany of Shifting Status Kuo.

Q: How did exhibitors make it easy for you to decide if you wanted to put in an order?
No one was pushy. Everyone was professional. Almost everyone offered a show special and would extend it for a week or so. It was very easy to write up an order at the show.

Q: What's been the follow up like? Did you decide to make most of your orders at the show?
I’ve been getting emails with follow ups. I will be assorting carefully with my team and doing my orders for Fall.

Q: Anything else you'd like to share about your experience?
This is a great show. They even have an APP where you can scan the companies badges and write notes and mark your favorites, etc. I didn’t do that, but next time I may do so!

Q: Where can people find you?
Leanna Lin’s Wonderland
5024 Eagle Rock Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90041
www.LeannaLinsWonderland.com

 

Looking for more about NSS? You might enjoy these articles:
WHAT NSS IS LIKE FOR MAKERS
PAPER CAMP: THE 411 ON RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL STATIONERY BIZ

Also, if you like Leanna's perspective, she shares more wholesale and shop knowledge here:
MEET THE SHOP: LEANNA LIN'S WONDERLAND IN EAGLE ROCK
INSIDE LOOK INTO THE LA GIFT SHOW WITH LEANNA LIN