Stationery on Steroids: Our Experience at the Tradeshow Bootcamp

Stationery on Steroids: Our Experience at the Tradeshow Bootcamp

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Our heads are still spinning from our trip to LA and attending the Tradeshow Bootcamp’s Paper Camp.  We are more in-love with stationery than we were before and it has helped have a greater vision about the direction in which we are headed.  To top it off, we were inches a way from the red carpet on Oscar Night. LA was simply filled with excitement.


The Oscars reminded me that anyone can make a mistake, but preparing for those mishaps in advance is going to be the key in a successful experience.  Over the last year and a half, we launched our little business in Columbia, Missouri.  We learned a lot the first year and really created a niche in the wedding industry for customized wedding invitations. But their was this little part in my heart that wanted to do more.

For years I had said that I did not want to create my own stationery line.  It seemed like a bigger adventure than I was capable or qualified for.  Over the last year, I have had some signifiant people in my life encourage me to take greater risks and explore the art of stationery even more.  I finally decided that I wanted to take the plunge and create a form of stationery (greeting cards, notecards, etc) that I was truly proud of.  But I had no idea about where to start and that is where the Tradeshow Bootcamp came in.  So what is Paper Camp?


Paper Camp is simply the best of the best in the Stationery Biz (aka paper lovers) that teach you how to create a stationery + gift line, launch to the wholesale market and exhibit at trade shows, so you can build a sustainable, profitable business. These industry pros openly share their successes and struggles to help you make better decisions in your business.

I had heard of other paper businesses that had attended and what it had done for their business.  I wanted to attend so badly and applied for a scholarship.  Within a week, we were awarded a scholarship and I had booked my flights to LA.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to workout having sweet little Pearl go with me, but I knew I was suppose to go.


All the details seemed to fall into place.  My mother was able to join us to watch our 3 month old and our hotel was booked.  I would attend the workshop and break to feed Pearl every two/three hours.  It was the greatest experience!


I met so many small paper business owners.  It was like a breath of fresh air.  They understood paper lingo, they understood my struggles and, most importantly, they understood my fears.  We made immediate lifelong friendships and I am excited to see some of them in New York this may for the NY Stationery Show.


So where does The Ink Cafe go from here?  We keep doing what we have been doing.  Creating amazing invitations for brides we love and we start carving out more time to create a product line (greeting cards, pencils, etc) that will launch late 2017 that will be wholesaled in local shops and boutiques.

We are so excited and can’t wait to share every step of the way with you!  So cheers to a year of stationery that you will absolutely love!

A special thanks to all of those who made Paper Camp possible: Tradeshow Bootcamp, DeFrance Printing, Astro Paper, Manny Stone Decorators, National Stationery Show, Digital Lizard, Printed Mint and Guesterly.





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