08/30/2013

growing

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, paper goodies, shopping, wholesale tagged , , , , , at 1:47 pm by meant to be sent

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oh, hello!

just checking in here! is it seriously the end of august?! sheesh. time just keeps flying by and posts (i mean to write) keep piling up. (like, remember that stationery show in NY. yea. that was 3 months ago. i’ll post about it someday!) but it’s all for good reason…lots of growth in the past few months. which is super awesome and tough all at the same time.

we are literally buried in boxes of new inventory (somewhere in the neighborhood of 60+ boxes at the moment in a-not-so-big-space) so things have been busy around here, filling orders from said stationery show and getting my perpetually-almost-done shop ready to launch.

oh, the shop.

you know, the one i’ve been talking about for, oh…EVER.

i just keep reminding myself that it’s all going to be sooo worth it to have a shop that is super custom to fill with all the new goodies, that works the way i want it to and to have all my products under one virtual roof. it. will. be. awesome. ahh. i feel better just thinking about it all being streamlined and integrated with some awesome organizational tools for shipping, inventory, taxes (ewwww), marketing and more. but that’s just all the  behind-the-scenes stuff that’ll make my life easier! :)

but the stuff that will make it superfun to shop at the new mtbs…all the shiny new goodies and a super-clean design…not to mention an online customizing tool (phase 2) that will make it really fun to shop for invitations and photo cards so you can see a preview of what your order will look like — even before i do! (um side note, this part has actually been in the works on paper/in my head since ohh, 2009?! omg.)

we’re going to be launching in phases  — the main shop with all the new goodies first and then add on the customizer and some other functionality updates in the next phase. can’t. wait. (<—understatement!)

i’ve also got a fun “studio” makeover plan brewing that definitely calls for a blog post (or three). right now everything is in complete disarray as things grow and inventory piles in box after box. (i’ve resorted to begging my printers to keep some stuff for me. yea.) so it’s high-time to get creative with this limited space, ikea-style and see how that goes.

one part i do know about this “studio” plan is there will be something like this in front of my work table (ehem read: dining room table that we never eat at!). there’s a perfect nook for it, and i’ve already got it mapped out what will go where — i am definitely thinking of something like this for all my greetings and note card inventory…seems like a nice visual system for sure! (totally check out the whole blog post for a look at the swoon-worthy hello! lucky studio). and then envelopes will be stacked neatly in their boxes with an envelope stuck to the front for easy color searching.

gift wrap sheets will be stored flat on wide shelves, and all my packaging and shipping stuff will be within easy reach (hopefully on a super-wide shelf integrated into the shelving system at about table height. perfect for easy order picking and packing in one spot.) ooo and would LOVE to have this integrated in this area too…how handy for printing packing slips and shipping labels!? seriously genius.

if you want to check out some really dreamy spaces, i’ve collected lots of fun studio and organizational inspiration on pinterest. love.

i’ll be sure to share as i DIY my organizational disaster into a hopefully super-streamlined inventory system and workspace. and also will keep you posted on the shop progress. promise. and be sure follow along on instagram for all the latest snaps of new products and goodies heading out the door!

in the meantime i’m going to try to get some posts up highlighting some of the fun new products and all the new shops that have been added. i hope there’s one nearby and you’ll stop in to have a peek at all the new stuff!

anywho, that’s the scoop for now! stay tuned for more soon!

xo
robyn

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06/30/2013

the big ta-do™

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , at 6:08 pm by meant to be sent

thebigtado

oh, hello! just another quick post to introduce one of my fave new products that launched at nss last month…

leading up to nss i was virtually swimming around in endless to-do lists. i’m not the most structured person on the planet, but i still think it can be super overwhelming if there’s no structure and just epic lists everywhere.

that’s where this shiny new product comes in…

enter: the big ta-do™! it’s an oversized list pad with 52 sheets, one for each (work) week of the year, sectioned into manageable mini-lists. the end result might still be a long list, but filling out action items for each day makes it all seem a bit more doable. and, each day is perforated so you can tear off that mini list to keep handy on the go, or keep it all together for an overview of your work-week! (better pics coming soon… above: an iphone snap at nss)

and, there’s nothing better than a superluxe notepad sitting on your desk to inspire you to get ‘er done. so we made big ta-do™  kind of a big deal :) with 52,  7 x 14″ perforated cover weight pages wrapped in one of four fun colors (aqua, raspberry, papaya or lime juice) and finished with shiny gold edges. *swoooooooon*

these lovelies will be available in tons of new stores around the country in just a couple weeks and in the shiny new mtbs shop when that’s done, too!

let me know if you are interested in pre-ordering to get your hands on one hot off the press or if you have a retail store and are interested in carrying these in your shop!

xo
robyn

06/29/2013

it’s been waaaayy too long!

Posted in business, meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show tagged , , , , , , at 4:24 pm by meant to be sent

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a big hello! and whoa. it’s been FORever! i’m still here and a super busy bee (hence the looong silence!). soooo much has happened in the past few months! i have lots of fun new stuff to share in the coming weeks!

for now a few quick things…

first. the mtbs brand got a little makeover!!! SO excited about it… it’s so me and (i think) the perfect evolution of my brand.

the updated logo incorporates a version of my “happy arrow” design (that i’ve been having so much fun using in a few new products too!)…it seemed like a perfect fit and the “mark” that my brand has been missing. i thought it was such a fun way to incorporate more of my full color palette into the logo, too! and it complements the candy stripes pattern i use as an accent graphic and in lots of products too!

oh, and the update also involves the touch of glam i’d always planned to incorporate — shiny gold of course! ahhhh. just right. all these little details add up to the “casual luxury” aesthetic behind my designs and the perfect look for mtbs. i hope you love it!

me and my shiny new brand went back to nss this year too, with over 100 new paper goodies and a shiny new booth design in tow! (we built it this year so lots more to come on that!) it was tons of work but the show was AMAZING. insane as always (especially the prep leading up to it topped off by a house fire the week before the show! we had to move out for over a month!!! :/ ) but, it all worked out and the show went better than i could have hoped for —  tons of awesome new stores added (updated list coming soon!), some super amazing new connections made and maybe the best part…catching up with old friends.

now, here i am (in nearly the middle of summer(??) seriously. where has the time gone?!) busy filling nss and wedding orders, working out details of some exciting new things (!) and definitely trying to take take in the summer while it lasts!

that’s the quick update for now! but the whole new line will be available in my new shop — which yes, is STILL in the works. *sigh* BUT is getting very close and am hoping for a launch still this summer.*fingers and toes crossed*!

BUT, you can still check out the paper goodies catalog and let me know if you’d like to order something! or if you have a retail store and would like to carry mtbs in your shop, drop me a line!

ok, that’s all for now! but stay tuned for lots more updates and an nss recap too!

xo
robyn

04/01/2013

20/13 peacock invitation sale!!

Posted in wedding invites tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:47 pm by meant to be sent

decadent peacock feather invitation

sooo we usually do this in january but…. well, it’s never too late for a SALE! so here it is! the decadent peacock feather invitation suite, our most popular luxe design, is on sale now thru april 10*!

20% off of orders of 250+*

OR

13% off orders under 250*

even better? the sale is on ALL of the peacock accessories too! save the dates, menus, place cards, escort cards, table numbers, seating charts, programs, thank yous and more!

email for pricing details and to place an order

*minimum order of $500. book by april 10 and pay in full for your order to receive the special discounted rate. discount level is applied per item/quantity ordered, not total of all pieces.valid on decadent peacock suite orders only. discount does not apply to assembly cost if that option is selected.

02/09/2013

meet the style library designs :: tee time

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by meant to be sent

tee-time-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the tee time design.

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the tee time design was created for a preppy pair with country club style. they swoon over fun colors and sweet details. and since they met at a company golf outing…naturally he got down on one knee on the green.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

meet the style library designs :: cabana chic

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:31 pm by meant to be sent

cabana-chic-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the cabana chic design.

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the cabana chic design was created for a the couple with sophisticated, seaside style. their taste is impeccable, but they’ve got their casual side too. in fact, they’re the perfect mix of casual and luxury…and certainly don’t mind getting sand between their toes.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

meet the style library designs :: gramercy park

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:38 pm by meant to be sent

gramercy-suite

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the gramercy park design.

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the gramercy park design was created for a preppy pair with modern style. they love pattern, but want something classic, yet with modern sensibilities. oh, and they’re not afraid of color! they love to take strolls in their quaint downtown and wouldn’t miss a round of golf at their posh country club. you can bet they’ve got a super chic event planned.

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about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching soon!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not one nearby :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

01/23/2013

nss prep school :: booth details

Posted in NSS national stationery show tagged , , , , , , , , at 9:15 pm by meant to be sent

more trade show talk today…i’m trying super hard to catch up with some nss detail posts, so here’s one i’ve been meaning to do for a loooonnngg time (pretty much since after nss 2011!).

so without further ado…

this goes along with a post you may have seen last week with a fun infographic about something not so fun — budgets. the infographic made it more fun, but now it’s time to get serious. well, not really. but we’ll at least talk specifics and get into a bit more detail about costs and options for saving money etc. first lets, talk about the booth… (and please excuse the not so great iphone pics!)

meant to be sent nss booth

your booth is pretty much your storefront for the 4 days you’re doing a tradeshow like NSS. your booth should represent your brand and be designed to showcase your line. it’s not so important whether you use curtains or foam or hard walls as it is that the space is well constructed and styled to reflect your brand and line…and is of course cohesive with everything else from your show mailer to your website…

……………………walls……………………

depending on your budget and style, there are lots of options for the walls of your booth…let’s start with the most basic…

CURTAINS: these actually come with your booth (yay for that!) but they are not anything particularly special…they may work for you if you have a more earthy or vintage brand since they’re a neutral color and what i believe is a cotton of some kind. (maybe?) most people don’t use the provided curtains, but that doesn’t mean curtains are not a viable option…. you can certainly bring your own curtains that are a perfect reflection of your brand — maybe in a bold color, silk finish or zigzag pattern…whatever goes with your look.

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above : the curtains and sign that come with the booth.

budget wise, curtains are the least expensive option. the cost is pretty much whatever curtains cost….so, like anything, you can go economical and grab some from a store like ikea or you can splurge at store like restoration hardware! it just depends on your budget and the look your brand calls for.

FOAM WALLS: these are probably the most popular type of booth walls at the show, especially for smaller companies and first-timers. why? they look great (like real walls!) and are fairly inexpensive, again, depending on the look you’re after, budget and booth size you have. one thing that’s for sure is that these go up right in front of the existing curtains and are typically zip-tied to the pole frame. but there’s a variety of ways to go about getting foam walls…

  1. DIY: if you just want plain (white or solid color) walls, and are the DIY type, you’re in luck! because you can by your own large sheets of foam board at an art supply or set design shop or other similar stores and have it delivered to javits (buy local and save on freight!)… just make sure they’re flame retardant! a SUPER important show rule.
  2. HIRE OUT: if you’re not the DIY type, you can use an exhibit company for your walls (and lots of other stuff!). they can do them in white or even pms colors so you can match your branding…they are more expensive than the other options mentioned here, but include installation and provide peace of mind knowing that it’s all set when you arrive at your booth. several exhibitors go this route.
  3. SORT OF DIY: somewhere between DIY and using an exhibit company to do it for you, is the option to source your own foam walls and hire union guys to help you set them up (or set up yourself). this is what i did my first year…i used foam walls but wanted an all-over printed pattern. despite originally planning to go with option 2 above where it was all set up when i got there, it was not in my budget given the wall printing i needed. so i found my own source to order printed foam walls from (they even flame proofed for me) and had them shipped direct to javits. the cost was less, but somewhat close to doing the plain, installed, solid colored walls mentioned above. BUT, i got the look i wanted for my brand. it was perfect! though, not really re-usable. so while foam is great and fairly cheap for a really pulled together look, it doesn’t get you further than one show.

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above: my printed foam walls and carpet, mid set-up.

HARD WALLS: ahhh, the “real” walls :) these are the most pricey OR most time consuming option depending on how you go about it. hard walls are typically made with a base of plywood or other hard material (maybe even actual drywall for some of the huge companies??)…and then painted or finished in another way (people get super creative!) so the cost varies widely. but this option gives you the opportunity to really do some unique finishes. (adrienne from dingbat press is AMAZING at this! check out her blog to see her booth form the last couple years and more planning info!) and also are more durable so these are typically reusable for future shows. here are some ways to go about it…

  1. HIRE OUT: using an exhibit company to do hardwalls for you is going to cost you…more than having them do foam walls for sure, however, the price can vary depending on many factors. there is an option (a somewhat strange concept) to RENT your hardwall booth. basically, the exhibit company will create the booth from your design, but you don’t really own it. and also therefore do not have to worry about storing or shipping or installation of said booth. you just show up and it’s set up for you! (like the installed foam walls above). but in this case you would contact the exhibit company prior to the next show and discuss using the booth again and modifications you might need to make, if any. an easy-breezy-peace-of-mind option, but a pricey one.
  2. DIY: again, if you are the DIY type, you can create an entire booth at home and use a freight company to ship it to the show. or drive it there yourself! driving there is the (possibly) cheaper option but depends of course where you are driving from vs the cost of flying + freight…and parking in NYC…but, this point spills over into travel, so more on that in a bit!but if you price out the materials at the hardware store needed to DIY, you’ll quickly start to see the savings for creating your own hardwall booth. HUGE savings. so much so, we’re talking possibly less than foam (installed walls option)! BUT, enter lots of hard work, mega planning (and carpentry skills!) and freight cost. however, with great planning you could use this fabulous creation year after year! yay MORE savings! plus, going this route you can still request union help to set up/tear down and pack up your booth to take back home OR, choose to store the booth in a warehouse near the convention center. this is a good option if you want to use the same exact booth year after year and only plan on doing shows in that area. BUT, it does make it difficult to modify it if needed, since it’s not in your possession or being stored with a company that can modify it for you. but LOTS of people do this.

……………………furniture + fixtures……………………

like the walls, there are lots of ways to go about this, and all depends on the look and budget you have. but one thing is for sure — every booth seems to have furniture of some kind…whether a seating area with couches or a counter area or even just a chair or two. (psst…chairs are key —you’re likely going to want something. even just to sneak a quick rest — it’s a looooonnng day of standing and buyers appreciate the break too when they’re in your booth!) here are some options to consider…

  1. USE YOUR OWN: lots of people bring things they may already own, or will invest in pieces they can see reusing at future shows or in their home or studio. doing this is an awesome way to save some cash in the long run (and get some fun new stuff for your house!) especially if you are planning to ship freight anyway.
  2. BUY IT: an alternative to using existing pieces is to purchase new items (of course), but consider having them shipped directly to your booth. you can also ship stuff to most hotels (check with yours to make sure). but, don’t forget you have to get said items to javits from your hotel. that’ll be tricky if they’re bulky like a chair or table! then, you’ll of course need to ship them back home or store them with your booth if you go that route. or, depending on the items, some people just leave them behind if it’s not worth the cost of return shipping (or they’ll sell items to passers by at the end of the show!)
  3. RENT IT: another route is to rent furniture…a great way to get some unique pieces without breaking the bank! while there are tons of things available through exhibit companies, don’t forget about local event companies too! it’s NYC after all so there are TONS of neat places with really unique stuff if you are looking to go a different route.i loved renting and will likely do it again. especially for things like ghost chairs (just $15 each to rent!) that are a pretty penny to purchase…and when i first exhibited i was not psyched about the idea of shipping larger items back and forth. i don’t know why but it just scared me :) i think just because it required a pallet or crate and i just thought whoa. was just another thing that i’d not done before and was my way of eliminating one unknown. but this year, i will likely take the plunge and go with a freight shipment. stay tuned :)

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above: the ghost chairs i rented

……………………fixtures……………………

fixtures are completely based on your products and how large your line is.

  1. BUY IT: lots of exhibitors will buy their own shelves or cabinets and reuse year after year. this may be what i do this year, at least in part. ikea is an awesome place for this. their products are pretty durable, inexpensive and usually pretty lightweight (makes for cheaper shipping!) in particular the picture ledge shelves and billy bookcases and expedit shelving units are popular items…as are many others! again, depends on your look, but there are lots of basic items there that you can finish or modify to fit what you need (again, check out adrienne’s booth!) there’s even an ikea delivery service in the NYC area! people use it for last minute/emergency items or just as a way to skip the chaos and shipping. a great way to save is to go in with a group at the show and split the fee for delivery.
  2. RENT IT: another route is renting fixtures and display units. either existing pieces or, you can even design something yourself and have it built! (see below) yep, a custom designed piece that you can rent! crazy! that was the route i went my first year…i launched a collection of wedding albums and a small line of boxed imprintable invitations and wanted a piece that would showcase the albums. so i used my walls to display pieces from each of the four collections and the cabinet i designed (below) to hold the actual books and boxed invitations. this worked out really well for me. and though it was pricey, it was the centerpiece of my booth and really helped to highlight my collection and gave buyers a comfortable spot to peruse the heavy albums. plus it was the main fixture/furniture in my booth, so i felt ok to splurge on it :) and i can reuse if i want and don’t have to worry about storing/shipping because it’s owned by the exhibit company. win win!

below: snaps of the cabinet i designed and had built by manny stone

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above: my cabinet in the aisle before making it into the booth, and a bit of dingbat’s booth with hard walls in the background :) she silverleafed the walls! so neat.

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……………………lighting, flooring and signage…………………...

once you’ve got your walls and furniture set, it’s all about the finishing (but super important) touches. things like lighting, flooring and signage. the reason i say they’re finishing touches is because while they’re important decisions they didn’t seem AS monumental as the walls and furniture decisions. maybe just me though! :)

……………………lighting……………………

there are tons of ways to go here too. initially, one might think that a huge convention center would provide enough overhead lighting. not true! you really want your work to shine (no pun intended!) and the best way to do that is to make sure it is properly and adequately lit…not just so people can see it, but so that it photographs well too! especially for when bloggers and other members of the press come by and want to take some snaps!

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above: a peek at the clip-on lights

  1. BUY IT: an easy, effective and inexpensive option is to use clip-on lights. mine were from home depot and were $10 each. much, much cheaper than going through an exhibit company and there are similar options at stores like ikea, lowes, target and wherever else sells these kind of lamps! but like everything else, depends on what you’re looking for! also, consider a chandelier, tabletop or floor lamps to highlight products if those work with your booth design. a note: chandeliers may require approval to be hung or will need to be installed by the union workers if it needs to actually hang from the convention center ceiling. (something i had to eliminate last show due to the huge installation fee. sigh.)
  2. RENT IT: alternatively, you can rent lighting from an exhibit company who works with javits and the union to complete installation. or can request lighting directly from javits…they can provide you with a parcan — a big spotlight — that is hung in the rafters and positioned to highlight your booth. they are on the pricey side but give off great light. i added one at the last minute (on site at the show) and it cost much more (somewhere around $400 instead of about $300!!) than if i had ordered early. lesson=learned!

ELECTRICITY & INSTALLATION: this is a separate fee and a must for having any lighting  in your booth (other than a parcan). and this fee is pretty minimal in the grand scheme of things.  just make sure to bring some extension cords and a power strip to plug your lights into along with any electronics you may have (cell phone, laptop etc).

……………………flooring……………………

another item that has a lot of possibilites is flooring. carpet, or wood or masonite or??? the sky’s the limit. one big thing to consider though…COMFORT! it is a loooonnggg day of standing and buyers definitely appreciate stepping into a cushy booth floor! :)

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above: jon and our union guy working on the carpet tiles.

  1. BUY IT: again, this is an area that you can easily buy and repurpose for future shows. even if you end up changing booth sizes it might be possible to add on to your existing flooring if that product is still available. this is the route i went with. i bought interlocking carpet tiles from an online store and had them shipped directly to my booth. (i ordered sample swatches first to pick a color) and after the show, i packed them up and shipped them home. easy breezy and not a huge package to deal with.
  2. RENT IT: yes, you can even rent flooring! an exhibit company is probably your best bet here. they’ll provide you with options for carpet or laminate flooring and install and remove for you. of course, this is then an ongoing cost but is not TOO bad.

whatever flooring you go with, consider adding padding of some kind underneath. some carpet tiles are available in various grades — think economy, standard, premium — but you can still add extra padding. if you do, your floor will be raised a bit but it’s worth the comfort!

……………………signage……………………

signage is so SUPER important! it’s how buyers know who you are and which booth they’re in and which products they’re looking at. you can help too by making sure all your work is grouped / displayed / organized in a way that makes sense and is clearly labeled (with product name and/or item number if applicable). so it’s as easy as possible for buyers to order your awesome stuff!

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above: my walls with signage and booth number printed on the walls (lighting actually was much brighter than this pic shows!)

my signage was part of my printed walls, which made things really easy with nothing extra to worry about there. (except sticking my designs all nice and straight on the walls!) a super important part of signage is to make sure you include your booth number and make sure it’s very visible! it’s like your “address” for the show and how buyers find you. so make it crystal clear!

there are of course tons of ways to go about creating signage for your booth but sooo much depends on your branding regarding materials used and what it looks like. dimensional signs made of acrylic, metal, wood etc are great options and look super professional. as do decals, which can be adhered right onto the walls (foam or hard walls) and are fairly economical. printed/mounted foam board signs or words stenciled onto your (hard) walls work well too. if using curtains, you’ll most likely need to create separate signage that you’ll hang from the poles in front of your curtains. 

……………………RECAP……………………

well, that about does it for the booth details! let’s recap…

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WALLS

  • curtains
    they come with your booth but bring your own to coordinate with your brand. cost: $200-250. (based on ikea curtains)
  • foam walls
    DIY with foam board from an art store or flame retardant boards from set shop ($300-400). does not include labor or shipping. if buying regular, non flame retardant foam board make sure to buy flame retardant spray and keep the empty bottles and certificate as proof in case anybody asks during setup!
    – installed foam board walls white ($1000) or in pantone color ($1800). these are early bird rates!! price goes up after a certain date!
    printed foam walls $1400 + freight from mega print. they’re in new hampshire so not TOO far from the show. though i got hit with extra freight charge for delivery to a “tradeshow zone”. something to keep in mind!
    – union labor cost for setup $200-300 (based on 1 person for 1 hour on weekday or weekend day at the higher end)
  • hard walls
    DIY painted plywood walls starting at $200-300 (cost of plywood) + hardware + freight
    – use an exhibit company…(price varies) peace of mind and convenience but lots more than DIY

FURNITURE

  • use your own pieces (FREE!) + freight
  • buy new ones! sky’s the limit, but use ikea or target for inexpensive pieces you can reuse or discard if shipping back isn’t worth it
  • rent it! either from an exhibit company or local NYC prop houses or event companies.
    – in my booth i rented. ghost chairs + table ($350 total, including delivery and pickup. table was too much in my opinion but was convenient!)
    -rent from manny stoneprops for today or ruth fischl to name a few.

LIGHTING

  • BUY/DIY get ’em yourself and save! you can install lighting in your own booth if you have a booth under 100sqft and 6 or fewer lights. BUT check the manual because this seems to be unclear from year to year!
    – clipon lights: $60 for six.
    – buy from home depot, target, lowes, ikea etc.
  • RENT clip on lights: from an exhibit company: $99 each, installed. (this is the early bird rate. price goes up from there!)
  • RENT from javits: parcan spotlight, approx $300 (pre-show pricing)

FIXTURES

  • DIY: buy picture ledges, shelves, bookcases and cabinets from stores like ikea or target. cost varies. toss after or ship back to reuse each year.
  • RENT from exhibit company or prop houses listed above. (my custom cabinet: $600 + tax)

FLOORING

  • carpet
    DIY: buy interlocking carpet tiles ($350) at coco mats and more.  or FLOR which is super popular too. both reusable!
    – RENT from an exhibit company…similar pricing to above, but pay each year.

SIGNAGE

  • PRINT ON WALLS included in printed foam price above
  • DIY jut the cost of materials if you have access to a large format printer or a way to create decals!
  • OUTSOURCE there are lots of places for dimensional signs, decals, etc…. even etsy!

well, that does it for the booth details! hope you find this helpful and will use this as a starting point for your own booth prep research.

want more? for tons more candid info and real show experiences, be sure to sign up for tradeshow bootcamp! you’ve probably seen me rave about it before….that’s because it’s a must going into your first show! (or your second or third or….) i’m a HUGE fan and highly recommend it. :)

happy planning!
xo

01/12/2013

nss prep school :: budgeting

Posted in NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , at 12:30 am by meant to be sent

hello all! it’s approaching that time of year again…time to prep for a major paper-palooza….at NSS of course! so i’m picking back up on my NSS series from last year (oops! i promise to try and post tons more!) and i thought it’d be great to pick up with a post on budgeting.

this is a somewhat tricky topic because it all depends on the individual. BUT. there seems to be an overall budget range that i fell into and have heard many other first-time and repeat exhibitor friends say they landed on as well.

i thought since we’re all creative types, it might be fun to look at a visual representation of a basic budget….enter, the nss by the numbers infographic! i had a lot of fun putting this together and was a great refresher on budgeting for my own planning purposes for this year’s show!

this is of course in no way affiliated with nss and is just a basic budget based on my own show expenses. so, take what you will from it and hopefully it will help you to see about how much to expect to spend in some general categories.

nss_infographic

the infographic is divided into these categories:

  • booth costs: booth fee, walls, electric, lighting, furniture, flooring, fixtures, general supplies (office type stuff, like pens, scissors, stapler, xacto knife, ruler etc., along with every kind of adhesive under the sun for quick booth repairs if needed)
  • marketing: preshow mailer, catalog, press kits, order forms, line sheet, giveaway, business cards
  • travel + shipping: your travel / airfare / cabs, shipping (freight and/or shipped boxes)
  • lodging: hotel / apartment, food

one thing the infogrpahic does not include is cost of actual products. this is SO different from person to person, so there’s no good way to put a number to it. so that will need to be figured separately — and should be anyway, since it is likely not part of the SHOW cost as much as part of the cost of goods you’ll (hopefully) sell!

that being said, producing products for the show CAN be a big cost, so definitely consider it in your overall budget! especially if you are producing invitation albums with all new designs, or doing cards with specialty printing like letterpress or foil. because, you’ll want to be able to represent the actual finished product, and with letterpress for example there’s really no quickie way  to fake it til you make it…so, you will likely have to do a full run pre-show . which can really add up when running several new designs.

however, if your products are flat printed, digital is a great way to run samples of your work for minimal cost just for the show and then do a full offset (or larger digital) run after you gauge interest at the show. either way, plan to drop some cash on product production!

some other things to consider are: parking (at the airport or in the city if you drive), entertainment (there are lots of fun things to see and do in NYC along with events and parties during the show!), also, consider the many opportunities to enter awards shows and other competitions during the show — some are even FREE!!!

there will inevitably be some unexpected costs and things you may have to add on-site or ship last minute (which always costs more than doing ahead of time!) but in general, this should be a pretty good guide to how much you can expect to spend to exhibit at NSS in an 8×10 booth with foam walls and hang out in NYC for 6 days.

i hope you find this helpful! another post coming up soon with a bit more detail budgeting and more specific costs!

01/11/2013

happy new year + an update

Posted in NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , at 11:20 pm by meant to be sent

Image

oh, hello! sorry i’ve been a little quiet over here! the end of the year was crazy!! and have been spending the beginning of 2013 wrapping up a few projects and planning and organizing for the year ahead.

but wanted to pop in to wish every one a big huge super HAPPY new year! i hope your holidays were amazing and that your year is off to a great start!

i thought about doing a year-in-review post like i’ve done the last couple years, but instead i thought it’d be fun to focus on the NEW year and what’s next! it IS after all a shiny new year! :)

so what’s new? well, one of the big things i’m working on is planning for my return to the national stationery show in nyc in may! and i’m SO excited to go back!!! i took last year off from exhibiting but did a virtual booth to mix things up a bit and allow me to focus on a whole new line of paper goodness….appropriately called paper goodies! i’m so excited about it!!! it’s been a big project thats been in development since last spring/summer!! i cannot wait to launch it at NSS this year! eeeek!!

also in development, my brand new shop! where you’ll find allll the paper goodies and all sorts of other new stuff! including the line of wedding invitations i launched at nss in 2011!

and, another exciting announcement coming next week…just can’t share quite yet! so check back in sooooooon!!!

also, one of my goals for this year is to blog more, so i am super hoping i can stick to that and get my new blog design launched too. nothing like a new space to inspire new posts!!

in the meantime, if you’d like to be the first to hear about the shop launch, you can sign up for the shop announcement email and get a fun surprise deal after the launch!

xo
robyn

12/07/2012

shiny and new

Posted in holiday shopping, meant to be sent tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:38 pm by meant to be sent

just a few fun snaps of some of our shiny new holiday items and iphone cases!

checkout the new gift tags and holiday cards with shiny gold foil accents and our festive gift wrap sheets! and our new iphone cases are available for iphone 4 and 5!

get ’em all in our popup shop!

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11/26/2012

just a few of my favorite things…

Posted in fashion, fave things, favorite things, shopping tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:53 pm by meant to be sent

’tis the season for shopping and gift giving (and receiving!!)…here are some faves that i’ve stumbled on in all the holiday shoping madness (and may or may not be hoping to find in my stocking or under the tree this year) :)

happy shopping!

images:
1. coin purse  /  2. iphone case  /  3.  gloves  /  4. personalized notepad  /
5. keyring  /  6. ballet flats  /  7. sparkly belt  /  8. sunglasses

11/23/2012

GIVEAWAY!

Posted in giveaway, meant to be sent, special event tagged , , , , , at 4:05 pm by meant to be sent

not only are we having a great sale on our iphone cases, but there’s an awesome GIVEAWAY in the works too! you can win any one of our 25 new iphone case designs!! head on over to my friend amanda’s awesome new blog Realistically Domestic and enter to win! good luck!!

xo
mtbs

10/18/2012

new shop :: sign up for deals + steals

Posted in meant to be sent tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:59 am by meant to be sent

holy moly it’s been forever since i’ve posted!! so sorry for the quiet around here… but, i promise it’s all for good reason! i’ve been working super hard on tons of new products to fill up the shiny new shop that is nearing completion!!!!

there are SO many fun new products that i can barely contain my excitement! including the new line of paper goodies launching this fall! (eeeeee!) there’ll be notepads, notebooks, note card sets and a HOLIDAY line (!!) with gift wrap, gift tags and greeting cards and photo cards you can customize! it’s full of sweet treats for your paper cravings all in delicious new designs!!

hmmm what else. OH. also making a debut, will be some sweet accessories! iphone and ipad cases (double eeeeee!!!) and some treats for your home and office, too!

you don’t want to miss all that’s new, so be sure to check out our launch page and sign up to be the first to know about the grand opening and get a special deal!

share with all your pals and help me get the word out too! :)

xo
robyn

07/18/2012

yay hooray! my shiny new site is LIVE!!!

Posted in branding, business, meant to be sent tagged , , , , at 3:04 pm by meant to be sent

yay hooray!! it’s been a looooonng time coming, but it’s finally here!!! the shiny new meant to be sent website is live!

i am so beyond excited to announce the new site and can’t wait to hear what you all think of it!

the site is the result of a pretty epic design collaboration that started well over a year ago. (YES. a YEAR.) that’s when i realized that, as a designer, it’s pretty hard to design for yourself. so after much searching for the perfect partners, i finally enlisted the help of some fab designers to help bring my vision to life!

and some pretty big thank yous are in order…

first things first…
mtbs got a complete overhaul, so it started with branding. i had a LOT of ideas of what i wanted for my new look and kendra from hi design helped me sort it all out. we worked closely together to come up with the new design…it turned out that two heads were better than one and our collaboration was the perfect look. she also brought my pattern ideas to life and put together an amazing color and font palette. i can’t thank kendra enough for her patience, ideas and general awesomeness. major xo :D

then came the site…
once i had the general look nailed down, i collaborated with lauren at aeolidia on the site design. lauren was equally awesome and i loved working with her! she took my zillion ideas and plans and molded them into something amazing. and, was so patient! her willingness to collaborate made it so fun to bounce things back and forth until we came up with a look that was just right. huge thanks to lauren and aeolidia for all their help and guidance in this huge project!! thank you! thank you! thank you!!!

soooo…
what took a year?! good question :) i wrapped up working with those fab girls quite a while ago, but launching a new site is a TON of work. i had all sorts of delays on my end and still had a few pages to design…then, the more time that passed the more my brand evolved as did the site design. so some tweaks here and refinement there and a TON of work in to styling the content areas to make it all flow in a cohesive but unique structure…and…then there was the photography debacle of 2011. it took forever to find just the right photographer and stylist (more on this in another post!!) enter caroline & evan photography and lauren from every last detail…these girls ROCK. they were just the combo i was looking for and the last piece of the puzzle…and then…

there was the coding. oh my the coding…i have a basic understanding of coding, but um..yea, no. i stay out of that! that was alllll joseph from the producer studio. and he did an amazing job. i can’t thank him enough for all his hard work, patience and insight. seriously awesome work!

and…

tada! the new meant to be sent
so what’s shiny and new? everything!! the new site is a cozy new home for my designs with a focus on custom work. it’s alllll about the pretty pictures…of course there’s details and info and all that, but it’s really a place to show the work.

be sure and check out our readymade (style library and signature) and custom wedding + party invitations…and if you’re a retailer, be sure to check out our wholesale section! we’ve also got a list of stores where you can buy the new style library designs (with more coming soon!) and tons of details about ordering custom designs.

that’s not all…our new online shop is just around the corner, launching later this summer! it’ll be packed with all of the style library and signature collection designs along with a whole new line of paper goodies — notebooks, notepads, cards, giftwrap and more! i cannot wait to share it with you!

be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop and be the first to hear about all the deals and steals and when the new shop is open!

have a look around! i hope you love it!
xo
robyn

06/10/2012

meet the style library designs :: yacht club

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:56 pm by meant to be sent

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the yacht club design.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

ahoy mate! with a love for all things nautical and a life full of adventures,
a wedding aboard a yacht was a must for this couple. their their style is
simple, but full of personality, so mixed typography and simple graphics
are the perfect combo to pull this look together.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching this week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/29/2012

meet the style library designs :: park avenue

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by meant to be sent

next up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the park avenue design.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

the park avenue design was created for a preppy pair with park avenue style. they’re not afraid of color, or mixing stripes and polkadots for that matter! and are likely to be found weekending in the hamptons and jcrew is surely their favorite shopping spot.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

about the style library…
at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern, simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your personal style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching this week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/27/2012

meet the style library designs!

Posted in style library collection, wedding invites, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:08 pm by meant to be sent

long long overdue, but better late than never :)  …a new series highlighting each and every one of the style library collection designs!

first up, from the perfectly preppy collection — the row house design.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

the row house design was inspired by the chic parties that i imagine take place in the quaint row houses in new york’s upper east side. a silhouette is the focus of the design…it’s paired with crisp barbershop stripes and bold colors…making row house a perfect invitation suite for a couple with a uniquely modern, super-polished yet fun style.

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

at mtbs, we are all about color, pattern and simplicity and something for every style and budget. so this, and all of our designs can be customized with colors and fonts and printing to fit with your style. then, dress it up even more! add envelope liners, bellybands and backing layers to mix and match pattern and color to create a one of a kind look!

each of these designs (and more!) will be available in our online shop (launching this summer!!) and are already in stores nation wide! check out our list of stores on our website (launching next week!) to find a retailer near you! or contact us directly if there’s not a retailer near you :)

if you’re a retailer interested in carrying our line, please contact us and let us know which albums or products you are interested in!

awesome photos by caroline & evan photography / styled by every last detail

05/20/2012

NSS 2012

Posted in meant to be sent, NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:26 pm by meant to be sent

it’s that time of year again…time for the biggest paper party around — the national stationery show! the party’s in NYC but this year, we’re doing something a little different…a VIRTUAL BOOTH! (a little preview of the site above!) we couldn’t make it to the show this year, but we  have a ton of fun things in the works and still wanted a way to for retailers, press, reps and the like to be able to see what we’re up to! the result: a virtual booth you can check out right from your computer!!

we’re working on a whole new line of paper goodies — sweet treats for your paper cravings — that includes notebooks, notepads, matchbook notes, giftwrap sheets + tags, and flat and folded notecards and greeting cards! the booth is just a preview of the new goodies that are shipping this fall, but you can pre-order now to be the first to carry these in your shop!

we’re really sad to miss the big show, but super excited about all that’s shiny and new at mtbs and hope you’ll check out our virtual booth! you need a password, so if you didn’t get our mailer and are a retailer, member of the press or rep, contact us to get the secret password!

also, launching in just a few days…the brand new meanttobesent.com!

stay tuned…so much going on around here! :D

xo
robyn

03/06/2012

make a list, check it twice

Posted in business, NSS national stationery show, wholesale tagged , , , , , at 9:31 pm by meant to be sent

with three months to go until NSS 2012, it’s time to kick off my prep post series…and what better place to start than with a list?! being organized and on top of things is super important to maintaining any kind of sanity while getting ready to exhibit. especially if it’s your first time.

for me, it’s more organized chaos, but the lists are the glue that helps me hold it all together :) i’ll make all sorts of lists throughout the process, but this first one is one of the most important. why? it holds all of the major to-do items according to GLM’s timeline and due dates associated with them. meeting these dates (if using their services — which some you have no choice but to use them!) will save you money in the long-run. missing a date will either cost you more money and/or cause you to lose out on that service. the second list is my OWN basic show plan. a general list of things to do to help keep me focused and on track.

so…..you guessed it…

tip #1 :: make a list! or borrow mine :) either way, do your very best to stay organized and hold yourself to the lists as best you can throughout the process. it is by no means a perfect science, so adjustments will be made as needed, but, there are some things that are set in stone, so keep those top of mind!

NOTE :: the lists below only includes things that apply to my booth, so if you’re getting ready to exhibit, be sure to read through the setup manual thoroughly to make sure you have all the dates and info you need! (plus, sometimes they update them so keep an eye on the NSS site!)

click on the images to enlarge them!

 

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