Friday, May 28th, 2010

Back from the NSS Show!


Your Rhodia Driver, Stephanie “Biffybeans” Smith in the Rhodia section of the Exaclair booth.

Well folks, I made it back in one piece from my visit to the National Stationery Show last Tuesday. It was my first time attending a trade show of that magnitude which meant there was an awful lot for me to take in in a very short period of time.

Inside the Exaclair booth, they had all of the new products from each of their lines such as the dotPads, Le Carre, Rhodia Academic Year planners, new blank Webbies, (Version 3.0) blank Quo Vadis Habanas in 90g, Clairefontaine Graf-it pads, Roadbooks, Staplebound Basics, Twinbooks…  I was like a kid in the candy store! I fully intended on taking lots of pictures but there were always customers in the booth and I didn’t want to get in their way.

It was great to see Karen, Christine & Cecilia again, to meet members of the sales team AND my sister blogger Leah Hoffman from the Quo Vadis Blog, but one of the most interesting things happened literally minutes before we were about to leave for dinner. As I saw a pair of people enter the booth, Karen told me and Leah that there was someone she wanted us to meet – it was Steve Leveen, the CEO and co-founder of Levenger. I’ve always liked Levenger for selling high quality items that spoke to both the reader & writer in me, and I find it interesting how the company got its start – Steve and his wife Lori selling halogen reading lamps out of their den….  For many years they maintained a line of products designed and sold under their own brand name, and it is only fairly recently that they have responded to customer requests to carry quality products from outside their line. As you may know, Rhodia and Clairefontaine are newcomers to the Levenger catalog and it was well, pretty darn cool to talk to Steve about what people liked about Rhodia products and what they might like to see in the future. He seems to have a firm grasp on social networking and how it is a viable outlet to help determine a customer’s needs through product reviews, blogs, and specialty forums like the Fountain Pen Network.

Knowing that there is much competition in the stationery field- with product constantly being sourced for the highest possible profit margin over quality and reputation, I truly applaud the numerous specialty vendors such as Levenger, JournalingArts, Writer’s Bloc, Pendemonium, Goulet Pens, Pear Tree Pens, Swisher Pens, Art Brown, etc., etc., who sell quality products to encourage  a simple yet timeless passion to survive…. putting pen to paper.

To my friends in the US, have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

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