The Toronto Stationery Show was a highlight event of the year

The Toronto Stationery Show was a highlight event of the year

Leslie and Richard standing behind table filled with journals at Toronto Stationery Show

Even in this digital age, I was delighted see first hand that there is still a very healthy population of people who still love stationery in Toronto, on April 30, 2023. More than 2,300 stationery lovers took their place on a rainy Sunday, in a line that wrapped around the block, waiting to get into what used to be the huge Curry store on Queen St. W. Here’s how that day went for us, as a vendor at the 2023 Toronto Stationery Show.

It was the first time the show was taking place in person again since the pandemic started. We had participated in the virtual shows as a vendor or sponsor for 3 years, so we already knew that there was a huge community. But to see the other vendors in action and customers showing up to shop and support local makers and small businesses was truly a joy.

VIP’s entered an hour early and the first 100 people in line were given a swag bag full of stationery goodies. I’ll admit it seemed a little slow for us at first, so I wasn’t totally prepared for the shift in energy and rush of foot traffic when the doors opened to the general public at 11 am. It turned out that we had totally underestimated how much we could sell because 2 hours into the show, my partner had to go home to pick up more notebooks, journals and planners!

Almost 3 hours later (delay due to highway traffic), he returned and I was able to restock our table, which was now completely out of our best-seller, the LISTS Spiral Notepads. Our Mindful Productivity Planners also did very well, the Sunshine Travel Folio caught the eyes of many, and numerous packs of Eco Pens found new users to give them purpose.

I was on my feet, talking and selling for the entire day! The flow of customers was constant so there was really not a good moment to take a break.

Making sales was great, but the truth is, meeting in person some existing customers who had previously purchased from us online were my favourite moments. I have the worst memory, but somehow, I remember customer names that I see on orders and shipping labels. When they introduced themselves, I instantly made the connection and was actually so touched to see them stop by to say hello and even buy again.

I was able to do a quick walk around and purchase a few things from other vendors. The place was paradise for those who love stickers and cards. There were so many vendors that some customers were there for hours – no kidding!

Of course, this show was successful first and foremost because of the amazing efforts of the show organizers, Queenie and Andrea, and their team. They created an event that became the most successful day for many business owners and lovers of snail mail and other stationery goods. I am so excited for next year’s show and hope you’ll follow @torontostationeryshow to be exposed to the community and details of future events.

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