Stationery Trends

Fall 2020

Stationery Trends Magazine

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S TAT I O N E R Y T R E N D S . C O M 31 31 29 Tradi onal Dealer Albums plus over 1500 web-exclusive products Personalized Dealer Website Amazing Customer Service Super Fast Turnaround Foil-Pressed Cards • Die-Cut Shapes Paper Upgrade Op ons and much more! 800.476.4723 • [email protected] DEALER.PRINTSWELL.COM BECOME A PRINTSWELL DEALER TODAY! Hm Holidas fr th In response, the GCA hosted a pitch panel event, Noted: A Focus on Diversity, on July 16. During the event, nine Black makers, picked at random, "pitched" their lines to a panel of top retailers, with the participation fee waived. The panel featured Vanessa Raptopoulos, Awesome Brooklyn; Chandra Greer, GREER Chicago; Kristina Burkey, Calliope Paperie; and Kyle Williams, Paper Source — and about 100 retailers and sales reps. "I found just the acknowledgment that the industry needs to ensure barriers are lowered for Black designers to be a huge first step," explained Chandra Greer, GREER Chicago. "As a Black person I've been ignored or dismissed at trade shows, perhaps because the vendor didn't think my shops could carry and sell their lines, so I believe there can be restrictive race-based assumptions within the industry. For those who attended, listening to the stories of the Black designers, reviewing their work and understanding that they bring a unique perspective that could broaden the appeal of a retailer's overall product mix was extremely valuable." The event was assembled against a backdrop of industry players urgently seeking Black-owned ranges. I began receiving a lot of queries for recommendations in early June, and realizing that I was part of the problem, I started assembling a list of makers to feature throughout this issue. Meanwhile, White knew expedience was a must. "We had a successful model with the Noted Pitch Program," he recalled. "In talking about social justice, and the role our industry and association can play, we all thought action was more important than words. We very quickly got sponsors and a strong panel. The only real challenge was (that) the GCA is a volunteer organization, and we all have businesses to run, but several of us thought this was important enough that we wanted to get it done, and we did. I need to give a shout out to John Smyth of A. Smyth Co; he was the primary driver of this, and would not rest until we made it happen." THE PITCHER'S MOUND All the pitchers unanimously related positive experiences. Andrea Williams of Paisley Paper defines herself as an "awkward Black girl," a phrase coined by Issa Rae, and her graphic range is inspired by, among other things, 1950s Blue Note Jazz record albums. She sees her audience as "someone who is self aware and willing to talk about their struggles honestly but is also strong and stubborn sometimes." For Williams, the highlight was meeting the other pitchers on the practice call. "It was great to place the faces with the amazing work," she described. "I really wish I could have heard the other pitches, mainly just to see the work and get tips on pitching better. I've gotten a few orders (which) I really had no expectation (of). I was just happy to be able to show and promote my line; everything else was a bonus." Amy Slaughter of Aims Moon Paperie designs cards, stickers and pens "as tools for self reflection and organization for women who want to stay connected to themselves, become confident in self-expression and organize their responsibilities in a simple, beautiful and empowering way." For Slaughter, her identity as a Black woman anchors her work. "It's behind my creativity. I have so many examples of unapologetic Black women I aspire to be; their 'Her-Stories' have been enough to believe that I possess that same greatness simply because I'm a Black woman. My audience is any woman that loves pretty paper goods, to self-reflect and stay organized." Circle 415

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