Every year at this time of year, our team packs up and heads to the Big Apple for two big seasonal trade shows, where we seek out the latest, greatest, and cutest in stationery and gifts to bring home. Last week we visited NY NOW and Shoppe Object, two fabulous gift shows where some of our favorite brands display their newest creations.
To keep things fresh, we try to do something a little different each time we attend the shows. This time, Jean brought along a TRAVELER'S Notebook to document the trip. Follow along on our journey below!
Saturday, August 12
We departed for NYC on Saturday and spent the day in the city. The shows had not yet begun, so we had all day to wander. Our first destination was Flushing, where we stopped at the New York Food Court for lunch and an extra adorable bear ice cream.
Near the food court, we also visited TESO-X, a newly opened store full of claw machines and figurines, and Eglance Bookstore, a destination we discovered on our last trip, with art supplies, stationery, and Chinese books. Then it was off to Yoseka, where we stamped our notebook with their TRAVELER'S COMPANY Partner Shop Stamp and picked up some stationery. Bibble and Sip was our next stop, possibly the cutest bakery in NYC. We each chose a pastry: a hazelnut llama, a milk tea fluffy cloud, a yuzu bamboo cup, and a matcha soup dumpling with an actual pipette of sugar syrup. They were delicious, and so filling that we didn't want dinner!
In February, when we polled our customers for activity ideas, several suggested a Broadway show. As much as we wanted to, we couldn't fit it into our schedule. This time, however, we planned ahead and scored some tickets to The Play that Goes Wrong. If you like funny plays, we couldn't stop laughing and highly recommend! (Our notes have been blurred to hide spoilers).
Sunday, August 13
As usual, we spent our first day at Shoppe Object. What a fun time seeing all the booths and collecting signatures!
Since we couldn't order any Maileg mice at February's show, we went all out this time around.
After mouse mania, we met our new Leuchtturm1917 contact, Joe, who will be coming to the shop on December 1 to personalize notebooks. Looking ahead, we also stocked up on holiday cards at E. Frances and found some gorgeous new pins at Trovelore. We thought this blue dragon pin was perfect for the upcoming Year of the Dragon.
At Sweet Bella's booth, we found ourselves in a sticky situation: how to choose between all the marvelous tapes? We sampled glow in the dark and reflective tapes, giant sticky note dispensers, and several MT washi tapes designed to be written on with pencil, ballpoint, gel pen, fountain pen, highlighter, or whatever else you like to use. We think you'll love what's on the way to the shop!
After a rewarding yet exhausting day, we went for a family-style dinner at Royal Seafood, topped off with mango crepe cake and mango juice sago and pomelo from Mango Mango.
Monday, August 14
Some of the brands we've carried the longest are at NY NOW. We didn't visit as many booths on Monday, but the ones we did go to were huge and heaped full of great stationery, books, and gifts.
We got to try some lovely notebooks, many of which will be making an appearance at the shop soon. From left to right:
- Maruman Septcouleur: cheery, colorful, and lightweight, with fountain pen friendly paper. What's not to love? Great for notetaking, and strong enough to toss into a school bag.
- Takeo Paper Dressco: lightly textured laid paper that's thin but works well with just about any pen, or even light watercolor paint. A wonderful sketchbook or journal.
- OROM literature notebooks: these elegant notebooks featuring literary classics are filled with, believe it or not, Tomoe River paper. Write your next novel in one of these!
Some more things that made us squeak with joy:
- Midori embroidered bookmark charms
- Bendy pencils!
- Seeing all the new wrapping paper and notebook designs at Giftsland
After NY NOW, we opted for familiar and comforting foods: piping hot bowls of Korean tofu soup at So Kong Dong, and Jenny's favorite ice cream from Francy's. We returned early to our hotel to review what we'd seen so far and prepare for the final day of shows.
Tuesday, August 15
The last day of shows is when we tie up loose ends, visit anyone we missed, and look for new booths. We went to both NY NOW and Shoppe Object on Tuesday, stopping for lunch in Chinatown in between.
If we only had a brain between us by this point in the trip! At least we were alert enough to notice this capsule machine and the cute pens at BCmini, and the collection of pretty stickers at Suatelier. Unfortunately, we couldn't take the capsule machine home, but we've got our eyes on it!
Lunch at Big Wong, and some quick pastries at Bake Culture. We were charmed by their croissant shaped chairs and baguette benches.
After lunch, we headed across town to Shoppe Object for one last look.
We ordered as many letter sets and books of wrapping paper as we could fit in the shop from Pepin, topped up on writing tools from Hightide, and said hello to Hobonichi (ordered early this month and on its way). Finally, we stopped by the TRAVELER'S COMPANY booth to wish them well. We have some exciting TRAVELER'S news on the way, so watch your inbox these next few weeks for a special newsletter!
For our last meal in the city, Victor found a new restaurant called Izakaya Nana. Its walkways were decorated to look like traditional Japanese streets, and it had themed private rooms, including a One Piece room. As we waited in the lobby, Victor played a clone of an old-school arcade game, while the rest of us watched others try their luck at the claw machines. We had sushi, omelette rice, grilled fish, and more. Quite the experience!
We've shared most of our favorites in larger photos above, but if you're at the shop, stop by our TRAVELER'S COMPANY table. The notebook we filled during the trip will be displayed there, and you'll be able to flip through a handwritten version of our show highlights, with some bonus items.
After the Shows
The trip back home extends well past midnight. We take turns driving, and stop for breaks along the way. One by one, Yulan and Jean are dropped off, while Victor and Jenny continue toward home. In the dark, soft night, we prepare for sleep—and for adventures ahead.
Packages have started arriving the day we return. Slowly at first, but more each day until we're buried beneath a mountain of Maileg mice. The shop is already full! Where will these new goodies go? Thankfully, Victor and Yulan are here with their saws and tape measures and drills. New shelves, more space. For each new treasure, a fitting place. The shop is open, and we're happy to say...
Welcome to The Paper Mouse!