Kristen Ley

At Tradeshow Bootcamp you often hear us talking about the National Stationery Show, or NSS, but that’s not the only trade show for the wholesale market.  Held annually in New York City, NY NOW is a large trade show for the Home, Lifestyle, and Gift Markets and it happens to be the second most popular wholesale show for our TSBC community!

TSBC alumnus Kristen Ley, owner of Thimblepress® in Jackson, MS, has exhibited at NY NOW twice and has some great advice to share with us today.   Thimblepress® creates paper goods (hand painted, drawn and letterpress), lifestyle products, party goods, and Push-Pop Confetti™.  In addition to NY NOW, Kristen has exhibited at the National Stationery Show three times, Chicago Gift Market, and the company is represented by Daniel*Richards Group, Lynn Mitchell Group, and Nolita Home in all of their respected showrooms across the country. Thimblepress® has been in business since January 2012, and Kristen feels very lucky to get to do what she loves every single day.  You can follow along with her cat Norman and her two gooldendoodles, Willow (4) and Henry (5 mo.), at @thimblepets on Instagram.  Without further ado, here is Kristen’s take on 3 things she wish she knew before exhibiting at NY NOW.

1. NY NOW is a lot larger than NSS, like a LOT larger. I don’t think in my head I was prepared for how big it is, but that is definitely not a bad thing. Being such a large show, it brings a very large crowd and exposes you to buyers you may not have been exposed to at other shows. Just bring your walking shoes if you want to take a break to walk the show, because it takes a while!

2. At NY NOW it is super important to get a good spot for your booth. Luckily they have done away with the pier, which is amazing, but it is still super important to always ask for a good booth spot. Being in the wrong spot at NY NOW can possibly take a toll on sales, and if you are paying all that money to be there, it is definitely worth requesting and asking to be in an area you want to be in.

3. NY NOW has longer show hours, or at least it feels like they are longer, and again, that is not always a bad thing. Longer show hours mean more hours to sell, which is great, just make sure you have the proper shoes, lots of caffeine and a good attitude!

I really love NY NOW. I love the hustle and bustle of the show, and the fact that ALL the food and beverage options are open in the Javits during the show (although there is a small grocery/restaurant right down from the Javits which is amazing!). I think if you go into any show with a good attitude and not too many high expectations for yourself you will always come out a winner. It is very true that a lot of relationships are made and forged outside of the show and months down the road, so make sure to always follow up!

Thanks Kristen!

What are 3 things you wish you knew before …? Comment below or send an email to Katie at


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