Who and What I am into this Week: NYC Roundup

6a00d83451b62369e201a511bfcaf2970c-800wi  Papaya

My trip to NYC was a bit of a whirlwind, but all in a good way! I got a late start as I had to see my stepson graduate from High School on Sunday (so proud and happy) and then I hit the National Stationery Show and then skimmed through Surtex. I DID not get to see everyone I wanted to see at Surtex, total bummer. Everyone that I have talked to felt like the buyers were qualified and that it was a good show. I think that is good news for everyone.

I did round up some fabulous guests to bring on Smart Creative Women-always fun for me to do-now just to work around everyone’s schedules! Here are some quick highlights. I met Anahata from Papaya Art. She had set up an easel and painted LIVE in their booth! Ack! That is a brave, impressive (and smart) thing for an artist to do! I love Papaya because they are a brand that really evokes a mood.


Bella Pillar

I sat down and spent some quality time with Bella Pillar. I met her several years ago when I had a booth across from Magnet Reps booth and we hit it off. We were able to discuss fashion illustration in an in depth and nerdy way. I love to be able to sink it to conversations like that! She is surprisingly shy and I have been trying to get her to come on the show for sometime (hint:Bella-come on the show!!) Her work is as charming as ever.

bando  Ban.do

I got to hang out in the ban.do booth. I love this brand. It is so happy, quirky and fun. I feel like I know who they are and what audience they are going after.  I know that sounds simple, but it is not the easiest thing to do! I love following them on instagram (they just reached 40k followers!)


Ashley Goldberg

Enjoyed some new looks over at Surtex. Ashley Goldberg had a  really fresh looking booth. She is an example of what I talk a lot to my clients about-she does extraordinarily well on Esty (as in: She knows what her audience is buying) Surprisingly she does not have a designated website. In other words, even though having a website is a general rule of thumb, she did not let the fact that she does not have one stop her from earning money as an artist and showing up at Surtex to grow her business. You can see her art on Flickr and Etsy.



I found Nottene’s folder in the press room and it appealed to me. It contained a mini Q and A about herself and I thought it was a new take on the obligatory “bio” write up. It contained just enough to make her memorable and interesting. I also recognized her style and art on the great.ly site. There is something to be said for editing down your offerings when initially launch.


Kelly Ventura

You know I love my watercolor and Kelly’s work is just lovely. She also had a simple, no gimmicks press kit (looking at them was eye opening) She even included testimonials of people she had worked with.  I looked her up when I got home and her website is clean, modern and easy to navigate. I thought her booth reflected her look online so it was really a nice complete package!

I have super exciting news next week! So keep your eyes open. Smart Creative Women has been wheeling and dealing to try to bring you fresh and inspiring content! In the meantime I have been hard at play on my Pinterest boards and would love it if you would follow me over there: http://www.pinterest.com/monicalee/      I am not sure I have ever asked you to do that before, come play with me!!!!


  • LOVED Kelly's booth as well!

  • Linda Tieu says:

    Loved that you showcased such unique artists and booths… honestly a bit different from what others have featured… it’s nice to see the variety and that there is room and opportunity for lots of different styles! woohoo!

  • Melissa AuClair says:

    Would LOVE to see Bella in an interview. I LOVE her work- I’ve followed it for years – so fun and so unique 🙂

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