Oh wow I’ve still not recovered from last weekend. It was probably the most intensely stationery themed weekend I’ve ever had as a self-titled ‘stationery blogger’. As some of you might now (and for those of you who don’t) I live on a tranquil island off mainland North Wales (actually I live on a small island off a slightly bigger island) so it’s fair to say I’m not a huge ‘city person’ and London is just a whole other kettle of fish!
I find London so overwhelming and stressful as exciting as it is that there is so much going on it’s also just TOO MUCH. So for me to go to London willingly there has to be something good going on. In fact last weekend there were two good things going on. So I sucked it up and went. Two events that happened to be on the same weekend were the Martha Brook Stationery Social on Saturday and Top Drawer London on Sunday.
Martha Brook Stationery Social
The first event was basically a Stationery Party held by the stationery brand Martha Brook London. It was like going back to being a kid at a birthday party. Except that the activities were all stationery themed workshops and the decorations were all beautifully instagrammable and only one balloon popped and no children cried and the dreaded pass the parcel segment was instead a wonderful panel talk with some truly inspiring lovely creative women.
On arrival we got Prosecco and the chance to mingle around then we had a welcome speech by Martha herself, the creator of the brand. There were nibbles circling around the beautifully decorated room and long tables for our workshops on Brush Lettering, Envelope Addressing and Imaginative Gift Wrapping as well as an area for tea tasting. Did I mention the cake yet? There was SO MUCH CAKE!
I met so many lovely women (no men except Martha’s husband!) at the social including the lovely Emma from A Cornish Geek who I’ve been socialising with online for a while who was even lovelier in person. What was nice is loads of us came on our own so everyone was very up for chatting. If you get a chance to go next year (hopefully there will be another) you should definitely consider it.
Top Drawer London
The second event on Sunday was a HUGE (and I mean huge) trade show for home and gift brands including stationery of course! I got in as Press (haha yes really) and got to speak to a selection of lovely stationery and gift brands. I was still wiped out from the day before (going into London literally kills me) but I headed in to Kensington to the huge Olympia centre (after stopping for a quick croissant and coffee for energy).
I talked to lots of brands and got to see some beautiful and quirky products. One of my favourite new discoveries was Rama Publishing by the wonderful Rachida Benamar who was just a ball of positive enthusastic energy! Her products were beautiful and well designed (she was runner up in the Paper Awards) and she was super generous and gave me loads of freebies! How could I not love her?
(This mention isn’t in exchange for the freebies I just genuinely loved her and her enthusiasm).
Some of the other great brands I talked to were PonderLily -I’ve been following Carina since I met her at the 2018 London Stationery Show and her beautiful brand is going from strength to strength – A Gift From the Gods, Pukka – of the famous Pukka Pads – they have an exciting new range- and Carpe Diem Planners.
Inspiring panel talks from creative women
One of my favourite parts of the day was listening to a panel talk about brand values. I hadn’t planned on attending any talks but Emma was my little guardian angel and kept sending me recommendations throughout the day on brands to meet and things to see. So since I had time (and I needed a sit down) I listened to the panel which included the amazing Emily Coxhead of The Happy Newspaper.
So what’s it like being a stationery blogger?
It was a great weekend and I made loads of new connections with lovely creative inspiring people but it was absolutely exhausting! Don’t get me wrong I’m super grateful to be able to get into these events as a self-titled ‘stationery blogger’ and as one woman at top drawer said “wow isn’t that the dream job!?”. Well it is but it’s a lot of work making this into a job!
What I do think though is that it’s amazing how you can pretty much create your career out of your passions. It’s scary and complicated but pretty much anything is possible if you put your mind to it and keep slugging away and trusting in your passion you’d be surprised at what you can achieve!