Who are the people who wholeheartedly say #welovestationery? What were they hoping to find at their expo for stationery, office supplies and paper in Nuremberg? Meet them in our visitor portraits captured for us by Peter Budig at Insights-X 2022.
Jiri Novotny and his partner Veronika Prchalova live and work in a small town near Prague. Jiri Novotny has built up an online retail business close to Prague, selling school supplies, textiles, toys and more in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
“I was already here once before, in 2019, and managed to establish new business contacts at the time. That’s also my main intention this time around. And I’m visiting my big suppliers, checking out what’s new with them. We won’t order at the expo itself, we’ll take our time on that once we get home. However, we’ll make some advance reservations.”
Tapan Kumar Baghi is marketing manager for Flair Writing Industries Limited, India’s leading manufacturer of writing instruments (“One Billion Pens Sold in 2019”) based in Mumbai.
“We export worldwide and are here in Nuremberg for two days. I’ll mainly meet with people with whom we already have a business relationship. Of course, we’ll also use any impromptu opportunities to get to know others.”
Leonie Jöring is responsible for product line management (purchasing, marketing) at Idee Creativ. The family business with its headquarters in Paderborn has 42 stores (“from Kiel to Munich”) and online shops. It carries 20,000 items, gift ideas, arts and crafts materials, fabrics and wool, school supplies and more. Jöring is accompanied by her colleague Laurin Klaus.
“We’re run off our feet here taking care of three things: we scheduled meetings with suppliers in advance; we’re looking at their ranges and discussing what’s going on. We’re taking a look around so that we can get a better feel for the trends and we’re taking note of smaller brands and niche suppliers that merit closer attention. We've already seen a lot of exciting things in Nuremberg. We’ll take these ideas away with us and discuss them with our colleagues, review them, distil them and make decisions.”
Tomasz Szajniuk lives in Wrocław, Poland, the country’s third-biggest city with around 673,000 inhabitants. A number of years ago, his wife, a trained graphic designer, was looking for a calendar on the internet and couldn’t find anything she liked. This motivated them to design and produce their own calendars, planners and notebooks for distribution on online portals such as planungsliebe.de and amazon.de.
“This is my first visit to Nuremberg. I’ve come here with specific ideas – I’m looking for suppliers of pattern notebooks. I’ve already done my research and arranged two meetings. Let’s see what else turns up.”
Petra Triskova and Teres Berankova are employees of Albi from Prague, responsible for products such as journals, exercise books and notebooks. The company operates a chain of gift shops and toy and stationery stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
“Our main job is to build on our international connections. We’ve also arranged meetings in advance for this. Of course, we’re always open to establishing new business contacts and to meeting interesting people in the industry.”
Lars Maier is managing director of Markenburg GmbH, a Hamburg-based manufacturer of high-quality writing materials, notebooks, pens and creative craft supplies with 500 employees. He has come to Nuremberg with Janina Meyer, the company’s purchasing manager.
“We create our own brands and help customers to build theirs. Our quality standards go far beyond the minimum required by law, which sets our products apart. This is our first time here and we’re mainly looking at concepts – and competitors.”
Franziska Römer, product manager at Augsburg-based Sigel GmbH, has just come from a presentation given by Gabriela Kaiser (TRENDagentur) from Landsberg. “That was so interesting!”. Her business originated entirely in the printing industry (forms, form books for banks and financial firms) and the portfolio has been extended bit by bit to include stylish solutions for the office, 1,800 items in total, as well as modern digitalisation and software solutions.
“On the one hand, I’m here as a product manager for the products that I represent: bullet journals, day planners, journal formats for young women, etc. On the other hand, I’m keeping my eyes open, also for my colleagues. I’m only here today, for the Thursday of the expo. Of course, after the coronavirus hiatus, it’s important to keep your eyes open so that you pick up on mega-trends at an early stage. I believe, for example, and the presentation has confirmed this for me, that things written by hand are now much more valued again. In any case, my colleagues from my department are already curious to know what I’ll tell them.”
Britta Frankenhauser has been working as a freelance designer since completing her graphic design studies in 1993. In 2008, she founded b.sonders with her partner. Based in Düsseldorf, they design their own gift items and greeting cards, which are then manufactured by various partners. (“Our core competencies are the development, design and production of everything that brings joy – greeting cards, accessories, gifts, gift wrap, stationery and sound products”). She is attending the expo with her adult son.
“I’ve a tight schedule and have arranged a number of meetings in advance. I’m delighted that we’ve already agreed deals here today.”
Finishing up our discussions with visitors, something unusual and unexpected happens. Having convinced Edward “Eddy” Kealy from Dublin, Ireland, to speak with us and while looking for a place to sit down, we hear someone calling us over to a table: sitting there is Conor Hanratty, also from Dublin, who explains to us with a laugh: “We’re friends and foes.” As we discovered, both are entrepreneurs, both sell stationery, and only in Ireland, mainly via the internet. Brexit is a headache for them, especially shipping and getting supplies in. They hadn’t realised beforehand that each of them were flying to Nuremberg.
Edward “Eddy” Kealy: “I have to say that I’m worried about the prices. It isn’t easy to tell how they will go, but that’s the global market. We’re traders and we have to know about new products. I’m very happy. Nuremberg is perfect for me – it’s clearly laid out and you can easily see what’s what.”
You can continue to meet the exhibitors that exhibited at Insights-X 2022 on Insights-X Digital. There you’ll also find the InsightsTalks presentations available on-demand in the programme.
About the author
Peter Budig studied Protestant theology, history and political science. He worked as a freelance journalist, headed up the editorial department of a large advertising paper in Nuremberg for ten years and was the editor of Nuremberg’s Abendzeitung newspaper. He has been freelancing again since 2014 as a journalist, book author and copywriter. Storytelling is absolutely his favourite form.