It’s the end of July and another month has flown by. It’s been a busy summer here at These Are Things. We have been so busy that I’m now more than a little behind on writing about our experience at the National Stationery Show. (Oops!)
Today, I’m excited to share the next installment in our NSS 2014 recap series. Read on for a full tour of our booth, along with a peek at some new pieces that will launch later this year.
As I mentioned earlier, we upgraded to a 10’ x 20’ inline booth. Our goal with this expanded space was to design a gallery-inspired display that showcased our expanded range of wall art and stationery. We also wanted establish a clear walking path through the space.
The solution was a more complex floor plan than last year’s design. By playing with the shape of the booth, we were able to split the space into clearly defined zones. This added complexity definitely made the construction process more challenging, but we found that the end result was well worth the extra effort. (I’ll share more details about our design, construction, transportation, and assembly process in a future post.)
Similar to last year’s booth design, we built a small wall facing the aisle. We used the space to highlight one of our favorite new items: a new style of custom map prints.
Two flags hang from either side of the booth to increase visibility from down the aisle. This is one of my favorite details!
Here’s a closer look at those new custom maps. They’ll be in the shop this fall along with an expanded range of personalized map options. (I was going to say summer, but let’s be real. With how quickly this year is going, summer will be over before we know it.)
This custom built feature wall showcases all of our new greeting cards.
Narrow floating shelves are built directly into the wall and seamlessly transition into our main gallery wall.
Gallery-inspired title cards display pricing and other relevant information.
Our gallery wall features some of our favorite bestsellers as well as a bunch of new work. We’re playing with a few new formats, including fancy wall scrolls. They’re one of those projects that have been on the to-do list for a few years, so it’s exciting to see them finally coming to life.
A low, gallery style bench added seating and helped direct the flow of traffic within the booth.
You can see more of our new wall scrolls and continental maps here. We had so many new things that it was impossible to show them all one one wall, even a big wall like this one.
On the right side of the booth, we carved out space for a 4-foot long counter. The idea was to create a separate “checkout” area to finish the experience. The flow of traffic through the booth naturally ends up here, where buyers can help themselves to a postcard or stop for a quick chat.
This arrangement worked perfectly, making us accessible to our visitors without awkwardly hovering in the corner of the booth. I could easily get up to help a buyer while Omar stayed at the counter to take orders with our fancy iPad-powered point of sale system. Of all the improvements we made at this year’s show, the counter was one of the most functional.
Behind the counter, our original Modern World Map hangs proudly. This custom gold leaf frame matches the slat wall. (Of course!)
For our giveaway item, we wanted to do something inexpensive and fun. When we stumbled across this vintage coin operated vending machine at a flea market earlier this year, we thought it would be the perfect addition to our booth.
We filled it up with 1” pinback buttons. It worked about 50% of the time, adding a little gambling-style thrill to each turn of the handle. Along with the vending machine, we displayed some simple takeaways: postcards, business cards, and stickers.
Dropping in a coin is half the fun of a vending machine, right?
And here’s some of the buttons you could get from the machine. There were a bunch of different designs, including a few rare cat heads. We’re thinking about offering some pin sets in the shop eventually. Who doesn’t love pins?
Next, I’ll show you how we built this beast by hand, stuffed it in a U-Haul van, and reassembled it in a significantly smaller space than expected. It’s always an adventure in the Javits Center!