Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gifts & Dec!

For any stationery (or gift biz) insiders, you've surely heard of, and probably subscribe to Gifts & Decorative Accessories Magazine or "Gifts and Dec" to those in the know. It's a wonderful trade magazine, and always provides me with loads of insight and great examples of what's hot in the industry right now. I think its SUPER important to "keep up with joneses" so to speak and pay attention to the trends as well as what all of your competitors are up to.

We were lucky enough to meet the lovely editors of Gifts & Dec at NSS and they've included us in a fab roundup they did of loads of cool new companies and products from the show. I was thrilled to see the lovely Cat Seto included, as well as some other faves. For anyone who did not get to attend NSS, but would like a taste, def check this article out!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I love New York City...I really do. The big apple, the city that never sleeps, its really all true. But there is something that I've noticed recenlty and it makes me hoppin' mad on almost a daily basis.

There's been much talk about whether or not New Yorkers are rude, and for the most part, I don't think they are...except for in one very specific area: the subway.

Finding a seat on subway during rush hour is akin to snagging front row seats at a Radiohead concert. It's hot out now, and I'm tired too at 6pm when I'm commuting home with all of you other chumps, but if I see a pregnant woman or an older woman standing, I give up my seat! Immediately! It's not even a thought.

I can't tell you how infuriating it is to me that, almost on a daily basis, I see rows of virile, athletic, strapping young men comfortably seated while sweet grandmas or women with child are left standing. It makes me SO mad! Today I stood next to someone's grandma as, count them, 6 guys in the immediate vicinity confortably sat there listening to their ipods or reading their papers.

I was contemplating saying out loud to none of them in particular, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU ALL REALLY THAT LAME!?," but of course I said nothing. I'm really not an old fashioned girl for the most part, but come on people...right is right.

Yay for Interns

I don't have any interns, but man would I like some.

I came across this article recently that discusses the fact that interns are not just for big boomin' companies anymore. I know a few friends with smaller companies who have honed in on the whole intern scene this summer, and yes you can color me jealous.

I think sometimes, as smaller companies, we tend to forget about, or even think that we're not able to take advantage of, the same sort of resources that other larger, more established companies do...and that's just plain ole wrong.

I did not get it together in time to snap myself up a great summer college intern, but I'm definitely going to go for it next summer. I guess this is a good reminder that we should all try to take a look around every once in awhile and take note of all of the great resources we each have at our fingertips.

p.s. if there are any college kids left in NYC with nothin to do, email me!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Paper Bride & Paper Mama Rocked it Out at the National Stationery Show

The Stationery Show is over and done with and all in all, I'd say it was pretty darn fab! There were a few more exciting moments, but mostly: we made lots more money, met lots more great people (like Joy from Oh Joy! who is just adorable and oh so sweet), picked up some great new reps and made some great new friends. Best of all, I found some wedding invitations! My friend, the marvelously talented Cat from Cat Seto, is doing them for us and they are going to be de-vine!

I would have loved more time to look around more and meet some more people, but I felt like everytime I left my booth, something major would go down and then I wouldn't want to leave again. Luckily I had my aunt kim, whose my partner in crime, to help out and we really made a fab team. We also had the sweetest and most wonderful neighbors (Myklo Designs and Somerset Manor Designs who I really look forward to staying in touch with).

Thankfully, this year Javits did away with the "circus tent" that they had us all under last year, and I was MUCH happier being in the main hall. The show was a lot smaller and I heard from a lot of people that it was really not such a great show for them. I guess for me, we had nowhere to go but up, so a year really made a big difference.

See everyone at NSS 2007!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

National Stationery Show Mayhem

I have two days of the National Stationery Show under my belt and so far, so VERY good. The difference in this year's show vs. last year is really phenomenal for me. (Here is a pic of my booth during set-up in case anyone is wondering what the heck these booths look like. I'll update with final booth pics later on).

It's all really brought home the idea that its super duper important to stay on people's radar. Last year, I was the new kid in town and this year I have a bigger line, a bigger booth and some major press which all helps to contribute to our visibility.

Without getting into major specifics (I'll try to do a detailed rundown later on) here are some highlights:
*On my first day I made $500 more than I did the entire show last year
*Met a fab editor from Modern Bride who I did not get to meet at the Top 25 Trendsetter awards dinner last week.
*Wrote an order of some of our new goodies for Rock Star Wedding planner Mindy Weiss
*Have a great opportunity to get our products into a major department store
*Met a ton of great reps who all seem to be ready to engage in a battle royale for our lines.
*Met someone who could be instrumental (and has expressed interest) in setting up a licensing deal with a MA-AH-JOR chain of retail stores.

My fave stationery show story thus far, (and yet ANOTHER example of how important it is to go for it in business and in life) happened on day one. I was standing in my booth chatting with a rep who really did not interest me at all. As my eyes are glazing over, I notice out of the corner of my eye that I see the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings duck in, grab an info card and duck out. I felt like I was in the middle of a Seinfeld episode. Did I seriously just miss an opportunity to talk to one of the most important women in the bridal industry for some chump?! I had to take matters into my own hands. At that moment, biz partner happened to walk back to the booth. I grabbed our catalog, grabbed a biz card and high-tailed it up the aisle to track her down! I found her a couple of booths up and waited patiently for her to emerge and then I pounced. I introduced myself and apologized for not getting a chance to chat with her. I gave her our catalog and biz card and best of all she said "I really love your stuff!" I mentioned that I would be happy to get samples over to them of whatever they need. Of course, after returning to my booth and slowing my heart rate down to a reasonable beat, I decided that Monday morning I'm going to send over a beautiful package of ALL of our products (sample request or not) along with a fab handwritten note. I was super duper proud of myself that I did not let this opportunity slip through my hands and encouraged, again, by the power of actually going after what you want and getting it!

I hope the show is super spectacular for all of my other blog friends who might be there and can't wait to do a full rehash when everything is over and my energy stores have been rejuvinated.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Paper Bride: Modern Bride Top 25 Trendsetter

With all of my talk about success and "going for it," its lots of fun to talk about some of my own!

Modern Bride (see pic) chose me as one of the top 25 trendsetters of 2006 in the wedding industry (GULP) and the issue just hit the stands. I'm on page 292 and am pretty blown away to be included amongst so many other insanely talented people. A few of my faves:

*Lisa Hoffman of CeCi New York is charming and lovely and has the most, hands down, gorgeous invitations i've yet to lay my eyes on. She is marvelously creative and innovative in her designs and approach and her work is just stunning.

*Cakeman Raven has THE best red velvet cake I've ever tasted (and I've tasted quite a bit of it).

*Bliss Video Productions which is owned by a sweet and saucy lady named Kristin*--they did Molly Shannon's wedding and their work is really fresh and interesting in a sea of b-o-r-i-n-g.

Anyway, Wowza. I went to the awards dinner last night at the Ritz Carlton and was so excited to be included in such a group. On a sidenote, yesterday was, to the day, the one year anniversary of my company. After such an amazingly exciting year one, I can't wait to see what happens in year two!

Friday, May 12, 2006


My friend Leigh (who is, by the way, an amazing dog painter for any of your canine loving folk: Noisy Dog Studio. Leigh has been featured in Domino mag and a whole host of other publications if you can't take my word for it) sent me this fantastic little summary about success and making things happen in your own life. It's a perfect wrap up of everything I've been thinking about lately and trying to convey to you guys. Clearly Jack Canfield can say this all a lot better than I can:
Are You Confusing Your Brain?
How to Program Your Mind to Attract What You Want
by Jack Canfield, America's Success Coach

We all aspire to be, do and have great things. Yet most of us simply
aren't creating the results we want. We don't have enough money,
romance, success or joy in our lives. But what we need to understand is
that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out
of ourselves. We all have genius.
We just need to learn how to apply it.

Decide What You Want
In order to get what you want, you must first decide what you want. Most
people really foul up at this crucial first step because they simply
can't see how it's possible to get what they want -- so they don't even
let themselves want it.

Don't sabotage yourself that way!

What scientists now know about how the brain works is that you must
first decide WHAT you want, before your brain can figure out HOW to get
it. Once you lock-in your desires, your mind and the universe can step

Are you ready to get started?

Be Willing to Dream Big Dreams
As soon as you commit to a big dream and really go after it, your
subconscious creative mind will come up with big ideas to make it
happen. You'll start attracting the people, resources, and
opportunities you need into your life to make your dream come true. Big
dreams not only inspire you, they compel others to want to play big,

(All proceeds from my affiliate links go to the Craft
Emergency Relief Fund.)

Set Goals That Will Stretch You
Another value in giving yourself permission to go after the big dreams
is that big dreams require you to grow in order to achieve them. In
fact, in the long run, that is the greatest benefit you will receive
from pursuing your dreams -- not so much the outer trappings of
fulfilling the dream (an expensive car, impressive house, loads of
money and philanthropic opportunities), but who you become in the

As I've seen many times over, the outer symbols of success, can all be
easily lost. Houses burn down, companies go bankrupt, relationships end
in divorce, cars get old, bodies age and fame wanes, but who you are,
what you have learned and the new skills you have developed never go
away. These are the true prizes of success. Motivational philosopher,
Jim Rohn advises that "You should set a goal big enough that in the
process of achieving it, you become someone worth becoming."

Service to Others
Something else you'll discover is that when your dreams include service
to others -- accomplishing something that contributes to others -- it
also accelerates the accomplishment of that goal. People want to be
part of something that contributes and makes a difference.

Turn Your Dreams into Goals and Objectives
Once you are clear about what you want, you must turn each item into a
measurable objective. By measurable, I mean measurable in space and
time -- how much and by when. For instance, if you were to tell me that
you wanted more money, I might pull out a dollar and give it to you, but
you would probably protest, saying "No, I meant a lot more money -- like
$20,000!" Well, how am I supposed to know unless you tell me? Similarly,
your boss, your friends, your spouse, your brain -- God, the Universe --
can't figure out what you want unless you tell them specifically what it
is. What do you want -- exactly -- and when do you want it by?

Write Your Goals Down
Write your goals down in detail, and read your list of goals every day.
This will keep your subconscious mind focused on what you want. For an
even more powerful approach, close your eyes and focus on each goal and
ask yourself, "What is one thing I could do today to move toward the
achievement of this goal?" Write down your answers and take those

To help your reticular activating system begin finding YOUR wants in
unexpected places, take time now to decide what you want and start

Remember, don't hold back!

© 2006 Jack Canfield

I'm lovin' me some Jack right about now.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

When You are your business

I've always been afraid of a business model built around me as the commodity (i.e. I am a facialist or I am a personal organizer), because it seems to me that even if I was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is only so much money to be made--and I want the opportunity to make endless amounts of cash. On the flipside, there are definitely some peeps out there that have made a pretty great go of this (i.e Martha Stewart), so it can't be all bad either.

Startup Journal has a really interesting article on tackling this issue in which they discuss a popular NYC fitness trainer and how she has come up with some creative ideas to build her brand and expand it beyond just her.

This whole discussion really brought home for me that coming up with creative solutions and ideas is the key to expanding your business to the next level. Before I launched Paper Bride and Paper Mama I thought my focus was strictly going to be stationery stores. Well, stationery stores were a great place to start, but as it turned out, bridal shops, gift shops, spa shops and now baby and kids store want to sell our products too. This development has pushed me even further to start contacting accounts that a year or so ago I would have thought would never be interested in carrying our line. So, my long winded attempt at passing along some friendly advice is: challenge yourself from the get go to come up with new ideas/new gameplans/new focus for your business. Just when you think you are being super creative, make yourself push it one step further. Contact one totally long shot account or customer a week--what do you have to lose?

Monday, May 08, 2006

What's your ideal scene?

My cousin Meri introduced me to the concept of writing out an ideal scene about five years ago. The idea is basically that you imagine, in detail, a scene in your life that you would like to manifest--either now or in the future. I used to think it was kind of corny and reluctantly agreed to do it several times before really understanding its value.

Several years later, I'm a really strong believer in putting certain energies out into the universe--i.e. if you want to be successful in your business, talk about being successful, think about being successful, imagine yourself as successful and act as if you are already as successful as you want to be. Amazingly, soon enough you are, indeed, successful. This sounds pretty basic, I know, but as someone who grew up thinking that discussing a certain subject or outcome that you wished for would "jinx" it and ensure it would never happen, its pretty revolutionary for me.

In thinking back on my life, at the times I was most successful and experienced the most marked changes and achievements, I was doing this all along without knowing it.

I'm now a believer. If you want to check out a fantabulous book that actually managed to put me on this course, you should read Wayne Dyer's You'll See It When You Believe It.

In the meantime, write out your own ideal scene.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Do you need a Time Map?

The "disorganized but wants to be moreso" part of me loves this idea of a time map and the realistic, cynical side of me guesses that I will spend 2 hours making one up and then never look at it again.

(via Lifehacker)