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NY NOW recap and the value of slow growth

Another NY NOW is complete! It felt like a good show for me overall, with nice orders and some hopeful connections I'm super excited about.⁠ I never thought that exhibiting at a trade show of this level would feel so normal, but after three times, it really does, and that feels great to realize.⁠

Highlights and surprises of NY Now Winter Market:

🤞🏽Making connections with a couple of folks for some hopeful and exciting licensing opportunities

📝Taking wholesale orders from new and old accounts

💌Getting to show my product line to a couple of major stores in the stationery industry so that I'm now on their radar

👯‍♀️Seeing my trade show and Paper Camp friends again, and meeting new friends from our very active GCA Village What's App group that we used to help each other prepare for the show.

🍔Continuing my NY Now ritual of walking the High Line and enjoying Shake Shack after breaking down my display at the end of the show

✈️On the flight home, a musician on her way to a show treated the cabin to a quick and impromptu song. She had a beautifully smooth voice, what a fun surprise to end the trip!

But let's also talk about the value of slow growth.⁠ ⁠

One of the orders I received this week came from a store I first reached out to back in 2016. ⁠ ⁠

In retrospect, I can clearly see that my work wasn't yet a good fit for the store back then, but today we really do complement each other in how our businesses and styles grew and changed. ⁠ ⁠ I mention this six-year waiting period because I'm proud of Yardia's slow growth. I started Yardia as an Etsy shop in 2008. It took: ⁠

👉🏽7 years to create and revise my line enough to enter the wholesale market. ⁠

👉🏽11 years before I earned enough income from Yardia to quit my day job. ⁠

👉🏽12 years before I reached 100 stockists, first exhibited at NSS/NY Now, and acquired my first licensing project.⁠ ⁠

And then the unexpected storm of the pandemic hit. Because Yardia had grown slowly and intentionally for so many years, the business wasn’t blown down, but instead pulled through from its deep roots and flourished. ⁠ ⁠

I built Yardia one store at a time, year after year, doing the work and learning from my Paper Camp and Greeting Card Association communities along the way.⁠ ⁠

This industry isn't a sprint. It requires patience, stamina and adaptability to make it work for the long haul. ⁠

If it feels like our dream stores aren't responding to our products in a particular moment, perhaps with continued perseverance and creativity, six years from now we might end up being good complements for the future versions of each other.⁠ ⁠

And even if we're not, we've still done the work for all those years to create art and a business that deeply expresses our message and values. And we can feel authentic success in that from our inward sense of confidence. ⁠