NSS recap :: part 6…showtime!

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, wholesale at 11:42 pm by meant to be sent

after months of planing and being up til about 3 am almost every night, things were finallllllly falling into place. was i still frantic? yep… pure madness…for sure. but, coming together? DEFINITELY! so lets get this show on the road! :)

so it was the night before leaving for the show (err morning of) at 4 am when i finally went to bed. our flight was supposed to be at 11 am on friday, but didn’t quite go that way…

i had gotten REALLY sick earlier that week with some kind of flu/stomach bug that knocked me on my butt for a good day and a half (which i reallllly couldn’t afford to lose!) and slowed me down bigtime the rest of the week… so being up til 4am the day of our flight out did not exactly help…

i woke up to get ready for the flight feeling HORRIBLE. i felt really queezy and was visibly shaking for about 45 minutes. i had kept pushing thinking i was ok. nope. so i made the executive decision to change our flight and went back to bed.

i couldn’t believe i did that or that i felt the way i did, but i knew i could not get on a plane. no way. normally i would just push thru, but i guess i knew i had pushed enough and i would still get there… just a few hours later.

soooo we changed our flight, got a couple more hours of sleep and woke up feeling better…at least enough to get it together and go. whew.

now onto the next minor issue… i had scheduled the labor guys to set up my walls on friday afternoon. of course with the flight change, we were not going to be there for it.

(tip: the union people will set up if you are not there, but you have to specify union supervision, as opposed to you supervising)

thing was, i said i would be supervising the union guys in my request for labor, months earlier. so i wasn’t sure they would do anything without me there. so i called from the airport to let them know that we had to change our flight and that i wanted them to supervise and still put the walls up so that they would be ready to go when we got there.

um. yea…no.

i called several different numbers from the contact list i had…no answer. at. all. anywhere. so i left a message that apparently didn’t matter, which we found out later.

so we finally got to our hotel until about 7pm and you have to be at javits by 5 pm to get in for set up…so we just took the night to rest up and grab some food.

ok total side note, but i have to share this…while out grabbing a bite we found the biggest salad bar i have ever seen! huge right?! this is in one of those teeny tiny little convenience stores that are all over the city. whoa.

and regarding the hotel…we managed to find one that was pretty glam, yet for the same price as most of the others (lobby below) although it was a bit misleading because the glam look pretty much ended at the elevator doors. lol…but the rooms were actually huge and just fine…they just did NOT go with the vibe of the rest of the place. still nice, though not quite what we thought. also, it said it was 4 blocks from javits…not so much. it was 4 AVENUE blocks, which are the looooong blocks plus about 3 more street blocks over.

ok back to the show…

so while i had gotten everything wrapped up as much as possible before leaving for NY, there were still things to be done once we got to the hotel…like packaging my imprintables! which, fyi, were not in my hands until we checked in because of a printing issue causing a last minute reprint and overnight shipping to the hotel! yikes! same with my final color palettes for the books, which i found out on the way to NY that they would be coming in a separate shipment on SATURDAY because they didn’t make it in the box sent for friday delivery! sheesh. what next!?

after getting those packaged up, we called it a night, got some sleep and woke up feeling a lot better. saturday in the late morning we made our way over to javits to start setting up….hoping…PRAYING…that the walls were up. NOPE.

we walked in to a pile-o-stuff in the middle of the booth. the good news? everything that i shipped actually made it to my booth, despite my fear that the boxes wouldn’t get sorted in time or worse, go missing completely. woohoo! small victories are key :)

below :: checking in at javits

finding the booth space…with nothing up

the picture above definitely sparked a moment of panic, but i managed to pull it together, found the labor desk and was able to get a great labor guy to help us put it all together!

my boyfriend jon and andre the labor guy putting down the floor tiles (which ended up being the PERFECT color!!!)

below :: the cabinet i designed — it turned out great and looked just like my sketch :D

below :: the flooring is done and walls unpacked and leaned up against the frame ready to be installed! (such a relief to see the walls turned out just right!) p.s. see that strip of white foam board? jon had the brilliant idea to use them as baseboard! what a fab idea!! and it worked great…(see finished booth below)

the walls up and cabinet in place along with the mess of other stuff to be put up, including the shelves jon is working on!

next step was to get the lights up!

below :: lights attached…oddly enough, the booth looks darker with more lights! not the case at all..it was actually really bright! so strange!

speaking of lighting…though i thought i did not need one, i added a big, bright spotlight (called a parcan) at the last minute. once i was on site and saw the lighting in person and that lots of booths around me were using one, i was worried my booth might look too dark if i didn’t.

{ tip: this was an almost $600 game-time decision (ouch!)…it is way cheaper if you request it before the show. }

i’m still on the fence about if i reallllly needed it or not, but it definitely didn’t hurt (well, except my budget and that it was really hot if you stood right under it!!)

now, time to take a break to drop off my press kits! there they are on the rack in the press room!

and now…time to get my samples stuck to the walls!

i designed the booth to highlight each of the four books i was launching at the show…so there were two frames on each of the side walls, one for each book, and a cabinet and table to hold the books and boxed imprintables, which were also attached to the wall just above the cabinet/below the logo.

though i had a pretty good idea of how i wanted to layout the samples on the panels, it was completely eyeballed! i just didn’t have time to layout a plan before hand, but it worked out fine.

{ tip: eyeballing the layout worked pretty well, but it’s a good idea to layout your panels at home and snap a picture and/or make a map of it to use as a guide }

below :: me (looking soooo sleepy!!!) putting up the perfectly preppy collection!

annndd….the preppy panel is done!

on to the rest of the panels!

somewhere between the completely classic and very vintage panels, i had a surprise visit from one of my friends that happened to be in NYC at the same time! she squeezed in some time to come by and check out the booth…a super fun surprise and much needed break! thanks denise :D

after my little break, i finished the walls, added some baseboard (such a fun, unplanned detail!) and tidied up the booth before leaving for the night.

below :: the booth, all shinny and ready for the big show! (check out the baseboard!)

the next morning we made our way over to javits for the first day of the show! i was finally feeling better, definitely nervous and even more excited. i had no idea what to expect, but couldn’t wait to see how the booth and new collection were received, after all that work.

below :: the booth all set up ready for buyers!!

some detail shots of the booth and albums

the 2100 aisle where i lived for the show (as you can see this is the “low ceiling area”)

and finally me with my collection…

so there it is! whew. i did it!!! and i couldn’t be happier with the outcome. my booth and new line were really well received, i got a bunch of great contacts, met lots of new friends and caught up with some old ones…and am going to be in some amazing shops! (the only thing i wish is that i had better pictures! i was stuck with my iphone and regular ol camera. definitely time to invest in a good one! :)

i am so excited about the whole experience and now working on filling orders from the show! so keep an eye out for my collection that will be in stores later this summer…hopefully one near you! and stay tuned for my new site (coming soon!) with the whole collection and a list of retailers!

and don’t worry…there’s still more!

next up :: part 7…the inside scoop



  1. Dina said,

    Your displays look fantastic!

    • meant to be sent said,

      thank you so much dina and alison!! :D

  2. What a creative and inviting booth. Nice work!

  3. Desirae said,

    I’m thinking about doing a local wedding show in January but I have no idea how to make the walls! Would you mind sharing what yours are made of?

    • meant to be sent said,

      sure, they are made of foam core :)

  4. Loop and Lil said,

    Did you just affix the foam core to the pipes? Your booth is beautiful!

    • meant to be sent said,

      thanks so much! yes, the walls are attached to the poles with zip ties.

  5. […] show was awesome. a total whirlwind and an amazingly-exciting (and stressful!) experience that i learned […]

  6. Erin said,

    Your booth was one of my favorites of NSS. What company did you work with for your walls?

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