February 10, 2016

Sourced Collective Trunk Show

We've been so honored to add more retailers to our list of stockists for our products. 

On Saturday, January 30th we did a trunk show for a new stockist in Laguna Beach, California Sourced Collective. Owner and Curator Michelle Mercado has an amazing eye for picking some talented artistans! 


Check out this recap video! So grateful to be surrounded by such beauty and talent. :) 

In the meantime, I've been working on tons of new designs for the upcoming National Stationery Show in New York City! Cannot believe it'll be our fourth year exhibiting! Cray.

August 12, 2015

Third Time is a Charm - NSS 2015 Recap

Finished Booth the Night Before NSS Opens
Ahhh...#NSS2015 memories. As I noted in my last post, starting in April it was full steam ahead with NSS preparation. I wish I could say it was plenty of time, but it will probably never feel like it! However, I have to say, that I felt much more aligned with my vision this year than the previous two years.

2015 marked our third year exhibiting at the Show. And I absolutely loved how our booth came out! I had been planning a striped wall for well over 6 months. I felt almost obsessed with it and all of the different ways we could attempt it (paint, water color, wallpaper, etc.). Then one day I found this post: http://www.design-vagabond.com/2012/03/mt-wall-tape.html

WASHI TAPE! YES! I am a washi tape hoarder so this just sounded amazing to me.  We got the extra large size in black by MT Tape. It went on super straight since I made a last second decision to use two people to lay the washi tape down while it was on the floor. Perfect!

Coming from California, I had always used someone else to help with walls. But this year I decided to invest in my own hard walls. 

We hired a local carpenter to build our wall pieces so that we could assemble them without any major tools (strictly prohibited by GES).

Instagram shot from Julie of 8balloons.com

The next step was to make the booth feel homey. I often felt in years past that my favorite NSS booths were those that felt inviting. So add my favorite gold lamp of all time from Land of Nod, a nice plant for the corner, a fluffy white rug and some flowers and there you have it!

Now let's move onto the mailers. Our NSS mailers to current and prospective retailers was tailored to match with the stripe aesthetic. I loved how the peacock turquoise envelopes went with the black, white and gold card.

Instagram shot of our striped mailer from Oh So Beautiful Paper

This was also our first year we hand lettered addresses for mailers and designed our own "happy mail" stamp. I loved the way it looked but my hands could only take so much (I had double carpal tunnel when I was pregnant with my son) so it took more than 2 weeks to get them all out.

But I had a great assistant who loved going to the post office to help me send them out every few days!

We were featured in the Show Daily on Day One. It was a true bummer that that edition is not printed. But nonetheless, some retailers who swang by the booth did mention it.

Overall, I felt like the Show was solid. We had our best show adding numerous stores in other areas of the country. And the Paper Party was a ball...even if I didn't exhibit I'd still want to go to the party! 

Until next year...

July 2, 2015

Three Month Anniversary

Today marks the 3 month anniversary I retired from the practice of law so that I could dedicate my time to Kiss and Punch and my toddler son. It was a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders as I knew years ago that law was a dead end career that gave me absolutely no joy. 

Don't miss this! Haha

It's been an incredible journey so far. 

We kicked off my retirement by celebrating at Disneyland. It was an amazing day and interestingly enough, not that crowded. Score!
Our Dim Sum Birthday card featured on the NSS Instagram feed

Technically there was no relaxing right away as we exhibited for the third time at the National Stationery Show in May (recap here). It was only a teeny tiny bit less stressful not having to juggle my day job and show prep. Unfortunately, it never gets THAT easy. Designing, planning, more designing...in fact, at some point you actually have to tell yourself that it's time to stop and just finish. 
So Thrilled About Sugar Paper in Santa Monica

Since the Show I've been catching up on sleep (years of sleep debt!), filling wholesale and retail orders, following up and just hustlin'.  Can I tell you how awesome it feels to be able to just focus on the business on a daily basis?! As a result, we've also added some new amazing retailers to the list of stockists including Sugar Paper, Arts and Letters on Main, Rock Paper Scissors (Charlottesville), Wordshop, PostScript, among others… in addition, we are now LIVE on the Martha Stewart American Made Marketplace on eBay! After months of preparation, it feels fantastic to see this come into fruition. Again more to be grateful for!! :)

And finally, I've been able to connect with my son in a way I haven't really been able to do before. And now that he is talking, it feels like perfect timing. Now I'm home to watch him blossom. Granted, I have to get most work done while he's sleeping still, but I don't mind. It's truly a beautiful thing and I'm SO grateful I now have the ability to be the mother I always wanted to be for him.

Now for potty training... *gulp*

September 2, 2014

Martha Stewart - American Made 2014 - Nominee Badge

Super excited to be a nominee for Martha Stewart's American Made program! Check out the profile and stay tuned. If we become a finalist, I'm gonna have to do some cartwheels and post it on social media!!

UPDATE - We became a finalist and had over 7K votes during the competition. We didn't win, but it was an amazing experience.

FURTHER UPDATE - As of January 2015, we've been asked to sell kiss and punch products in the Martha Stewart eBay marketplace. Coming soon and cannot be more excited!

July 1, 2014


NSS 2014 Mailer to Retailers

So now I'm a sophomore at the National Stationery Show having exhibited for a second time. If you're in the industry, you know that these shows are no joke. Gorgeous booths, aisles and aisles of beautiful paper galore - it's pretty easy to get a "paper coma" after awhile. And how does this all come together? Beaucoup dollars. Last year was quite expensive for our debut, not only to get the booth together but to build up our product line. 

This year we wanted to be smarter about our dollars. So we scored on free flights to Newark on Virgin using points and free hotel rooms through Starwood (LOVE this card!), but we also decided to leave the family home and just bring me and my husband with the baby.

Oh, man.

I hope he'll forgive me for posting this one day! ;)
As you can probably imagine, setting up in the Javits is a crazy scene. So no babies of course. So only one person could be in the booth at one time, either me or my husband. Yikes! My husband spent most of the afternoon building furniture for me as I took care of my son. Which naturally meant I was setting up in my booth until 1:30am Saturday night, just before the Show. (Ask me some time what REALLY happens after hours in Javits).

Toddler on the loose in Times Square

The Show overall was wonderful. We met some great new store owners throughout the country, reconnected with many of our current retailers, made contacts at Paper Source, Papyrus, Forever 21 and BHLDN (happy dance!) and connected with the fabulous stationery community! Coming from a legal background, this is absolutely refreshing.There's nothing like it, really.
Nominee for Best New Product

Not to mention the Paper Party hosted by Oh So Beautiful Paper and Minted. We got there early this time and got our bag o' goodies. And boy, were they awesome! I'll have to start using them though. I'm SUCH a paper hoarder. If I don't do a craft show, I always go and buy paper goodies. But they never seem to actually leave my clutches. I just hold onto them like little pieces of art, which they are! 
Our color blocked booth was bright and eye-catching

All in all, the time in New York City is full of excitement, energy and exhaustion. Will we do it again? That's the real question. Even with costs down, it's still a whirlwind of sleepless nights and cranking out designs and ideas months before the Show. It really is like planning a 3.5 day wedding every year. With a toddler, I literally did not sleep the night before we left for the Show.

But at the same time, what better place to be with your paper peeps. There is no denying that fact. We will see….

January 6, 2014

Great Beginning to 2014!

2013 was such a crazy year! My son turned one, debuted at the National Stationery Show in NYC, and getting our line into some of our favorite stores throughout the country!

I was pleasantly surprised to see TWO of our cards featured on Brit. & Co. for their cheeky birthday card feature. These have been some of my best selling cards, both retail and wholesale. 

What's funny about the un-pho-gettable card is that I created it a looooong time ago. As I'm half Vietnamese I thought my family would be proud of it, but some of my family members said no one would get it... so I didn't print it!!! Lesson learned. 

Now I'm looking to create more foodie cards this year!  

November 16, 2013

Finally....My National Stationery Show (NSS) Recap...Six Months Later

Six months ago I was amazed I was able to pull off my debut year at the 2013 National Stationery Show in New York City. I was literally staying up until 2am WAAAAY too many nights to get all of the items checked off of my list! 

I tripled the number of cards in the Kiss and Punch line and with the help of Trade Show Bootcamp I was able to figure out all of the things I wouldn't have known as a first time exhibitor. We still had some surprises (IKEA furniture that sold out, electricity misplaced when we arrived, too much time to pick up packages from NYC friends...), but all things considered, we managed to keep our cool. 

It's not an easy task to exhibit, especially if you're coming from the West Coast. We considered a lot of options, but in the end, we had to do what was easiest as far as time and cost.  This is NSS code for use Manny Stone when you know you can't or shouldn't do something yourself! ;) It's a huge undertaking to exhibit, but I'm so happy we did. I mostly wanted to expand my wholesale relationships as well as expand the brand so that I could eventually get this to be my full time gig. We're getting there!

By the time the show came around in May, my son was 10 months old (isn't he a cutie?) and I managed to lug my whole family with me to help me. All four of Blake's teeth had come in at once so poor thing was teething like crazy!

This is my proud mom taking a picture with me in our booth.

Here I am with my instant booth buddy, robyn wehab of meant to be sent. (Please ignore the hideous caution tape they ran right along both of our booths!) Robyn took the previous year off and had a GREAT show in 2013! It was very inspiring to watch her success.  And it goes without saying how wonderful it is to put a face to a name, with fellow stationery colleagues as well as retailers and bloggers.

Overall, NSS was a wonderful experience and here's to more success in 2014. We'll be in the same location (Booth No. 2163), so come visit!