What’s What 8/6-8/12
Stationery Store Day, pen shows, and vacation is not great for focus.
Inked Right Now
Same as last week, no need to spend any time on it.
New & Exciting
Stationery Store Day is both new and exciting. It began last year with an idea from Kristina Burkey of Calliope Paperie in Natick, Massachusetts. I couldn’t go last year but I’m on vacation this year and I wasn’t going to miss it.
The store opened at 9am and I heard the earliest person waiting outside was there at 6:30am. 2 ½ hours waiting outside for a stationery store to open. I’m guessing they had a camp chair and a good book. Looking at pictures and videos on Instagram, this scene was repeated at many of the stores across the country and around the world too. The amount of stationery fan love and creativity was incredible. Here are some pictures from the day at Calliope.
At this point, I realize I did not take a picture of the main display table with all the SSD-themed items. I’ll facepalm later.
As someone who already has more than enough notebooks, pens, stickers, and other assorted stationery items, what am I going to do with all this stuff? I decided beforehand that I would take at least half of what I got and give it away. I have three bundles made up to pass on to other stationery fans. I haven’t figured out yet exactly how I’ll choose where they go. Maybe to a person or two I follow on Instagram. Maybe I’ll reach out to someone else online to see if they’ll take the merch to give away to their fans. Whatever the case, I must spread the fun that was SSD to more people.
Going to Stationery Store Day easily made up for the lack of a local pen show this year. It would be great to have both, but SSD was a blast and filled the space that the pen show absence made.
Interestingly, SSD occurred the same weekend as the Washington DC Fountain Pen Supershow. By all accounts I’ve seen thus far, the 2023 DC show was a monster with huge shopper and vendor attendance numbers. Certainly, many of the vendors displaying at a show like DC would think of themselves as being in the stationery business, or at least connected to it. There are a few stores on the SSD participant list that I know from the fountain pen market — Flax Pen to Paper in Los Angeles and Atlas Stationers in Chicago. I wonder to what degree SSD and the DC show work for or against one another by virtue of happening at the same time.
I’ll make a trip to Appelboom Boston in a few days. Still haven’t given any real thought to what I’ll have an eye for there. In part, this is related to my mind feeling all over the place during vacation. There are all the things I want to do, the fact that there’s no actual pressure to do anything, and the feeling in your gut of knowing you always wish for chunks of free time and you’re a fool not to take advantage of it.
One thing I’ve been able to work on is reorganizing my own space. My desk, my bureaus, and my closet all needed review because the setup was no longer working for me. That or I was simply tired of it. When I have less free time, I’d probably plan what I wanted to move where and work out some storage options beforehand. However, I felt no motivation to plan all that out despite having an abundance of time. Almost like I didn’t know what to do with having so much time and I couldn’t bring myself to focus. There was no clock ticking down on when free time for the day was over because now it was time for work, sleep, or whatever. Even now I can’t collect more of my thoughts on this in a way to present them for you to read. It’s all just sand through running through my fingers. Didn’t plan on that either.