I'm a graphic designer / stationery-maker in Brooklyn, NY. My studio is my lovely apartment that I share with my husband, Mr. B & our French Pointer, Sophia.
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    My booth. How I loved thee...

    It started as a Pinterest board with loads of ideas. My head was swimming; I could do this! I could do that! What would I wear???

    Then reality of cost & labor set in. Oh boy, did I simplify things. I wanted to have a beautiful but simple booth. Easy to execute, using as many props and decorations that I already had or could make as possible. Our apartment and our storage unit are full to the brim so I felt that I had plenty of options to chose from.

    To bring the vision together, I laid it all out in Illustrator. Ta-da! Here's the vector version...

    and here's what it actually looked like:

    Here's how I did it:

    Decision 1: hire Manny Stone to put up my walls.

    Javits is cray-cray about fireproofing and your booth walls are a big part of that. If you use curtains instead of walls, they have to be fireproofed. If you use paper, it has to be fireproofed. If you use foamcore, guess what? It has to be fireproofed. Do I want to do that myself? Umm...no. Plus, hiring Manny Stone meant that when I show up on set up day, the walls are already up for me. Hell. Yes.

    One down side: color foam core was twice the cost of white. But I don't like to display my cards on white because I think they get lost. My style uses lots of white space. So...

    Decision 2: use navy fireproof paper to set off my cards.

    Ok, not fire PROOF paper, but fire retardant. No. I didn't test it. There is a great shop here in NYC called The Set Shop. It's exactly what it sounds like - all kinds of stuff for the theater sets, photo shoots, etc. They have fire retardant paper by the roll & they cut it to the size you want. Mine was 4ft tall & hung 18inches from the top of the wall. It could easily have been centered on the wall, but I liked the look of it a little higher on the wall. 

    Decision 3: Signage.

    I thought at first I'd use vinyl for all my booth signs - my logo, my booth number & my social media handles. It seemed easy & a proven booth decoration. But my mock-up felt a little flat & I really wanted my logo to stand out. Enter Pinpoint Creative Studio. I got a fabulous laser cut of my logo in wood. I did go with vinyl for my booth numbers & social media icons. Thank you A City Sticker for saving my behind on that one. My original vendor, who is great & I hope to work with at some point, had a personal matter to attend to & couldn't fill my order. Nancy swooped in to save the day.

    Decision 4: Displaying my cards

    I'm making this all seem very linear, but displaying my cards was something I started thinking about almost before the walls. I really wanted shelves or maybe a ledge to put them on, but I heard such conflicting reports about using either of those that I decided to tape the cards to the wall. That way they stayed on the wall, didn't get legs & walk off & more importantly stayed next to their skus. I had heard so many previous exhibitors talk about the different ways they'd done this I was cross eyed. So! I picked something clean-looking that I was pretty sure I wouldn't screw up & did it. 

    Interesting to note if you are thinking of doing a wholesale show - I bought a laser level. I was sure it would be THE BEST tool in my tool box, especially since I was hanging my cards on the wall. Everything needed to be level! I used it for hanging my sign & that was pretty much it. Because the navy paper wasn't 100% adhered to the foam core, it didn't suction to the wall very well & kept falling off. So, I used my trusty & very handy yard stick. That along with a pencil and 3M double sided tape were the best tools in my kit.

    Decision 5: I need help

    There is no way I could have done this by myself. THANK YOU to Laura Shafferman & Aynsley Connell who SAVED me by generously spending MANY HOURS helping me. I needed extra hands but I also needed the support. The day before set up I was running a fever, despite the fact that I had purposefully not worked late, ate well & taken care of myself leading up to the show. Sometimes shit happens. Thanks to Laura & Aynsley for being indispensable. Oh! And a huge thank you to Chad & Jackie Carter from Love Jac & their mini van. We should plan on car pooling to the show again, y'all!

    Also on my help roster was one of my besties, Sara, my sister-in-law, Libby, my other good friend Sara of S2 Stationery & Design, my totally awesome co-Ranger's season ticket holder friend Beth & my dad who just happened to be in town during the show. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!! Thanks for the support, the bathroom breaks & your time. I'm getting teary! 

    Take down.

    How many times have you planned for something for a long period of time, executed it & realized that the event FLEW by? Like a wedding or a conference or major event at work? So. Much. Planning!!! And then POOF! It's all in the past. Yeah, that's what this felt like. Especially since it took 3 days to put the booth up & all of 5 minutes to take it down. Seriously. The show was over at 1 & by 1:30 the booth looked like this:

    To get everything back to Brooklyn, I ordered an SUV from UberXL. Our driver was awesome. He packed the car. We got in & were Brooklyn bound in no time. Best $70 I spent! It made me so happy I would have paid more.

    A few things are for certain - showing up & having my walls done for me was magical. I also immediately got booth envy & wished I'd done a million things differently. All of those decisions would have the been opposite of my goal, though, to have a clean, easy-to-execute & streamlined booth. If you want some serious eye candy, check out the NSS wrap ups on Oh So Beautiful Paper. There are 14 posts! It gives me ideas on what & why I might change things for another show.

    Fortunately I have loads of time to think about that!

    Sophia loves product photography days & always offers to help...or pose. She's not camera shy. At all.

    Look at that face! So photogenic :) 

    Well, I did it. I went to the National Stationery Show. Easily the most common question I was asked from Sunday to Wednesday was: How's the show going for you?

    Hmmm...good question! Difficult to say since it was my first one & I wasn't sure how it should be going. So, the answer was different on different days, but overwhelmingly, I would say, the show went really well in all aspects. 

    First off, my booth went off pretty much without a hitch. It looked exactly as planned. The only wrinkle - don't put up your paper when the humidity is 100% outside, but really there was nothing to be done about that & I think it was fine. I'm just being picky. More on that whole process later.

    Second, I had a lot of retailers that I sent mailers to before the show come by my booth. Yay!!!! One of them even recognized my name & logo from the mailer & exclaimed how much she liked my postcard as she walked in. 

    Third, my main objective was to make quality connections, to network. I met some amazing retailers & some fabulous new stationery friends in other exhibitors. Success! I am optimistic that this is the beginning of wonderful things!

    Now, the hard work starts. Time to cultivate those relationships! Time to follow up, time to make the product I sold, time to push out new designs. I have idea for new cards & updates for old ones. NSS was a feast for the senses 100%. It was exhausting...holy smokes. It was exhausting. But! Also exhilarating & energizing.


    Hi KBDS Fans! Welcome to the new home of the K. Batty Blog! 

    I love Blogger. It is a great platform for blogging. But, it's time to harness the power of my SEO plus simplfy the number of user names & passwords I need to keep up with. So, we moved. Here. To my newly updated website. I've had a blog on this URL for a while. But, as my current readers know, I didn't use it. I didn't love it. But now...it's so pretty!!!!!!

    So! Stay tuned! The National Stationery Show is ON this weekend & this week. Set up is half way done. Selling starts Sunday. Watch for updates on social media! (Profile links in the side bar!)

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