40 Under 40: Honoring the Class of 2022
Gift Shop® Plus and its sister publication, Stationery Trends, are proud to introduce the 40 new honorees to the Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 program. The class of 2022 features a new group of creatives making their marks in the industry. These emerging leaders were nominated by their peers for their impressive accomplishments.
More than 100 professionals were nominated this year, with 40 honorees selected by representatives of Gift Shop® Plus and Stationery Trends. Honorees represent all facets of the industry – from retailers and manufacturers, to designers and sales managers. Their energy, creativity and desire to make a positive impact will lead the industry into the future.
This year’s class was celebrated during a special reception hosted by editors Julie McCallum and Sarah Schwartz at the Las Vegas Market on July 24. The event, sponsored by Las Vegas Market, was held in the new Expo Center seminar and lounge area.
The Gift + Stationery 40 Under 40 Awards program, sponsored by Las Vegas Market and Mud Pie, acknowledges the next generation of gift industry extraordinaires. From shop owners and managers to stationers and company founders, the magazines are paying homage to those under 40 for their contributions to the industry.
Asha is the CEO of CheerNotes, an inclusive stationery brand that focuses on diverse representation of creatives, designs, and messaging. A creative at heart and engineer by training, Asha seeks to build CheerNotes into a company that not only produces stationery, but also helps communities easily connect authentically. CheerNotes curates designs from over 30 artists, develops an in-house product line, and creates custom cards for small and large businesses.
Founder + Creative Director, Pineapple Sundays
Surface designer Lauren-Ashley is known for her colorful, whimsical illustrations that grace everything from greeting cards to home decor products. Each eye-catching design she creates is inspired by her love of color and pattern mixing. She is the owner and creative director of Pineapple Sunday, a feel-good stationery and gift company. She currently resides in Dallas, but is Chicago-born and raised.
Senior Designer and Marketing Coordinator, Quilling Card
As the senior designer and marketing coordinator at Quilling Card, Veronica’s responsibilities include trade show management, marketing efforts, product development, and most notably, the management of two successful Guinness World Record titles. Veronica played an integral role in the success of the records and was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to see the successful record attempts of Most People Quilling Simultaneously and the Largest Quilling Paper Mosaic Image.
Founder + Illustrator, Gingiber
Stacie Bloomfield is the owner of Gingiber, an illustration company that adds “Zest to Your Nest.” Stacie has licensed artwork to clients such as Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and Moda Fabrics. Stacie authored “Give Yourself Margin,” which helps people reconnect with their creative selves. She teaches aspiring artists how to grow their own businesses in her program, Leverage Your Art. She is a mom of 3, married to a computer programmer, living in Northwest Arkansas.
VP, Marketing & Product Development, P. Graham Dunn
Anthony Burdette has led marketing and product development at P. Graham Dunn for the past 10 years. During which, P. Graham Dunn has become the leading, domestic manufacturer of inspirational home décor and gifts. The business has developed dedicated Christmas, coastal, collegiate, and customizable lines that have provided tremendous growth. It has been a blessing for Anthony to be part of a company with such a rich heritage, Godly values, strong community, and most recently, employee ownership.
Founder + CEO, Pretty Alright Goods
Matt Butler never planned to work in the gift industry. He was a fifth grade teacher looking for a hobby when he took a printmaking class. Ten years later, Pretty Alright Goods (PAG) has grown from linocuts handmade by Matt to greeting cards, cocktail napkins, and other giftable goods designed and made by a team of 10. You can find PAG in over 2000 stores and Matt riding his bike around Raleigh, North Carolina.
Marketing Manager, burton + BURTON
Carswell has been part of the burton + BURTON team for almost 10 years. She has dedicated herself to managing the digital facets of the business, focusing on all things social media and email while promoting the company’s e-commerce endeavors. She has a passion for helping customers learn about the brand and providing them with the best possible shopping experience.
Bilingual Sales Representative, Rainbow Balloons
Lissette Cedeno joined the Rainbow Balloons family in 2015 as a Bilingual Sales Representative (Spanish/English). As an enthusiastic team player, Lissette has been a rising star in the party industry. Having excellent communication skills, the sales team trusts Lissette as a solid link to the group’s success. In addition to being a Bilingual Sales Rep, Lissette leads the Customer Support & Returns Department.
CEO, Owner, Illustrator, NANU Studio
Krishna Chavda is an illustrator, self-proclaimed pun queen and owner-CEO of NANU Studio, a purveyor of punny and pretty paper products. Early on, Krishna discovered she loved to make people belly-laugh with her witty illustrations. So, she made it NANU Studio’s mission to create connections between people through love and vibrant, chuckle-worthy stationery.
Owner, BigHouse Card Co.
Tanya’s dad has been incarcerated since 1996, when she was 9 years old. Growing up, every holiday, Father’s Day, and birthday, she always had a really hard time finding a relatable card. Tanya started BigHouse Card Co. to fulfill a need she couldn’t find, and she knew she wasn’t alone. She wants incarcerated-impacted families to know that they are seen and can feel comforted that there is something created specifically for them.
Owner, All Good Things Gifts
A micro gift shop built with big dreams, Nickole Davis is a maker and creative in whatever she does. Her store is uniquely designed inside one 40′ x 7′ shipping container in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Nickole is working towards her biggest goal: financial independence, unprecedented for her. “I took a bet on myself and went all in for the first time in my life. And it’s my masterpiece.”
Studio Manager, Inklings Paperie
Katie, studio manager at Inklings Paperie, joined the team in 2018 as part of their product packaging team, and quickly became an integral part of their crew. She was promoted to studio manager in 2020, taking on inventory management, retail order fulfillment and studio organization. During her time at Inklings, the company has grown from their 800 square foot home studio to a studio and warehouse space of 6,000+ square feet.
Kids Gift & Accessories Design Manager, Mud Pie
Hillary Duncan, kids gift and accessories design manager for Mud Pie, is a graduate of The University of Alabama’s Fashion Merchandising and Business programs. Over the last 11 years, Duncan has introduced countless new product categories and hundreds of best-selling piece types for the fastest-growing division in the company. The epitome of ‘every day is a gift,’ Duncan is the queen of celebration and sparkle.
Owner, Party Art Community
Destinie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. With her love for stationery and passion for representation, her shop, Party Art Community, was born. Her brick-and-mortar is a stationery, party, and gift shop located in Highland Park, Los Angeles that focuses on community and representation. In her free time, Destinie loves going to the beach with her partner and puppy.
Vice President of Customer Success, Juniper by IMC
Marisa is passionate about bridging the physical and digital markets through innovative technology and exceptional customer experience to enable efficiency and growth in her customers’ day to day businesses. Marisa is a wholesale marketplace vet who oversees all customer facing teams across onboarding, support, account management and integrations — driving exceptional end to end customer experience.
CEO and Founder, 700 Rivers
Cathy is a chemical engineer turned social entrepreneur who is passionate about global women’s empowerment. Cathy was inspired to create a company that employs and empowers Bangladeshi artisans that have overcome human trafficking with dignified careers. 700 Rivers works with 20+ artisans and trains them to handcraft all-natural soaps and bath products, employs them with fair, living wages, and provides them a safe environment and dignified work.
Co-Founder + Head Designer, k.Patricia Designs
Originally, Kelly studied fashion design in college and worked in the fashion industry after graduating. She decided to leave the fashion industry and moved to Tokyo to study Japanese, where she also learned watercolor. Her artwork inspired both Kelly and her mother to create their own stationery line. Kelly loves the stationery industry and making people happy with each design as the brand’s motto is “spreading smiles with handmade designs.”
Oklahoma Territory Rep, Road Runners
Trina’s career began as a visual merchandiser transitioning to a buyer. Today, Trina is an independent sales rep with Road Runners. She’s a representative that vendors seek to collaborate on trends and general feedback from her territory. Her favorite part of being a rep is building client relationships, learning about their business and helping them source products that helps them succeed. Outside of work, she is a wife and mother of two girls, Halle and Grey.
Director of Tradeshow Sales, International Market Centers
Michelle oversees multiple categories within the temporary exhibits for IMC’s Las Vegas Market. Joining the industry in 2008 as sales representative for NY NOW, she began working on the handmade section, quickly becoming passionate about the artisanal community, which she still works with today overseeing Las Vegas’s handmade category. Michelle is a graduate of Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (2008).
Art Director & Paper Engineer Up With Paper/ UWP Luxe
Yoojin Kim is an art director at UWP Luxe, with a foundation in paper engineering and book arts. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from Maryland Institute College of Art and spends her time leading the creation of dimensional products. Yoojin’s wanderlust and fascination with flora and fauna are evident in her work. She resides in a cozy New Haven apartment with her curious hedgehogs.
Creative Director, Seedlings
Libby grew up spending her summers packing card orders, traveling to trade shows with her dad, helping her mom pick the art for the next year’s line…running a stationery company was basically her childhood. So it comes as no surprise that when Libby found herself doing creative direction for Seedlings, she was a natural. With the help of her incredible team, Seedlings has won five Louie’s, three *Noted@Noted awards, and the great honor of winning the 2022 Louie Card of the year. As Seedlings expands and grows, Libby’s goal is to keep expanding with it. Shifting more into eco conscious practices and creating a paper world where you can have your paper and plant it too.
Vice President, Solutions Engineer, MarketTime
Dock started at MarketTime in 2012 as an intern when MarketTime had only three employees. He worked through his internship and after three promotions and 10 years of experience, Dock is now a vice president at MarketTime holding the key position of solutions engineer. His success in day-to-day tasks directly propels the industry forward through innovation by solving problems that retailers, distributors, manufacturers and sales reps experience within the gift industry.
Lauren Boggs Meslar
Owner + Designer, beve
Lauren started beve, a stationery and gift company, in 2012. Her products are created using a variety of mediums and they are carried in hundreds of independent shops. Lauren often finds herself designing a product she wants and cannot easily find. She operates beve out of her renovated vintage camper studio nestled in the woods by her home in Virginia.
Co-Owner + Designer, Rust Belt Love Paperie
Alyson is a classically trained visual artist specializing in pen and ink illustrations and letterpress stationery. She owns Rust Belt Love Paperie, a boutique design firm specializing in luxury event invitations, stationery and gifts, with her husband, Nick. Their shop is in the historic Market Arcade Building on Main Street in Buffalo, New York.
Co-Owner, Dot’s Gift Boutique
Shannon left a successful human services field career and joined her mother and aunt in creating a unique gift shop in her hometown. Shannon took on the role of integrating technology into the small family business to enhance its success. With her commitment to the store’s success, Dot’s has become a shopping destination that has won both local and national recognition.
Sr. Showroom Manager, GANZ
Bonnie has worked for GANZ for nearly nine years. During that time, she’s had the opportunity to undertake many different roles and responsibilities. Working in the gift industry for over a decade has taught her a variety of skills that she’s proud to bring to GANZ, its sales representatives and its customers.
Virginia Sales Representative, Simply Southern
Amber is passionate about helping her customers create assortments to put positive and inspirational products in their communities. Live what you love is Simply Southern’s motto and Amber loves the opportunity this industry has given her to sell gift items that are creating happiness.
Susan Hazel Rich
Owner & Illustrator, Hazelmade
Susan developed Hazelmade as a place to grow creatively and craft products connecting us to those we love. Susan hand draws each nature-inspired design. The products are made in small batches in the USA with a focus on quality. In 2021, Susan opened a studio in Kent, Ohio embracing her local community.
Katy Sensenig Schilthuis
Boss Lady, Mosaic Makes Collection // Fresh Out of Ink // She Makes, a Podcast
Katy Sensenig Schilthuis is a serial entrepreneur and creative based in Dallas. She runs the stationery company Fresh Out of Ink and the retail collective Mosaic Makers Co. She supports and coaches female- owned product based businesses in the retail industry. She also co-founded The Fempowerment Sessions, a community for female small business owners; hosts She Makes, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs; and designed MAKE: a planner for creatives, available on Amazon.
Creative Director, Co-Founder Day One Paper Co.
Katharina Sertic is the co-founder and creative director at Day One Paper Co., a life-inspired whimsical stationery brand from Croatia. After 10 years of experience in brand design, she’s found that creating tactile products instead of logos is what makes her heart happy. Six months in and the business is already selling in 10+ stores across three continents.
CEO & Creative Director, Ruff House Print Shop
Jill lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband and two girls. She was born and raised in a small town and is a farmer’s daughter from the middle of nowhere Kansas. That upbringing nourished her love of adventure and the outdoors and later on her desire for entrepreneurship. Jill strives to work hard and make a positive impression on her daughters so they’ll learn the value of hard work and determination.
Founder and CEO, Anne Cate
Anne (Catherine Skoch) is the owner of Anne Cate, a made-in-America accessories brand specializing in skyline silhouette purses and pillows. A proud Kent State graduate, she has scaled her business from a sewing machine in her dorm room to a manufacturing studio, employing full-time individuals to create success with their hands. Anne Cate sells in over 150 stores across the country, works with corporate clients and distributes thousands of products monthly on her site, AnneCate.com.
Bòs Lady, Notes of Hope
Founded by Haitian adoptee, Sarah Smith, Notes of Hope is the first greeting card company in the U.S. to offer greetings in both English and Haitian Kreyòl. Sarah’s journey has led her to being a two time STAPLES Small Business Spotlight in 2020 and 2021. Her hope is to improve the quality of your mental and emotional self care, develop cultural identity through designs in Kreyòl and keep you connected to the ones you love.
Founder, CEO, Pidge Post
Anna Sullivan is the Seattle-based founder and CEO of Pidge Post, a company fostering human connection, offline. Best known for its vibrant, curated card subscriptions, Pidge Post is centered on creating accessible, analog ways to explore, create, play, slow down and share gratitude.
Owner, Designer, All Around Badass, Little Lovelies Studio
Nikki Tyler, a stay-at-home chaos coordinator to four feral, but adorable kids, is the anything and everything behind Little Lovelies Studio. When she’s not herding her kids to their various activities, she can be found working on new designs and packing orders. When it comes to Little Lovelies Studio, Nikki loves to use inspiration from her personal life to design cards and stationery.
Sophie & Izzy Uwins
Chief Design Officers, SOZY Pencils
Sophie and Izzy, identical twins, are the chief design officers of SOZY Pencils, a stationery company based in Los Angeles. As rising ninth graders, they are most proud of their hero product, The Annotator, a pencil and highlighter in one. They designed it to make studying easier, as no such product existed. Outside of the stationery world and studying, they can be found on the tennis courts.
CEO, Pinky Weber LLC
Pinky Weber is an award-winning illustrator, muralist, and zine queen. Her artwork is inspired by the interwebz, pop culture and a fascination with uncelebrated ordinary objects. Since graduating from Parsons in 2014, her work has been exhibited internationally — receiving awards from Communication Arts and American Illustration, among others.
Associate Art Director, Publishing DaySpring
Jessica is an associate art director over publishing at DaySpring where she executes innovative designs for greeting cards, gifts, books, and journals. She leads with a servant’s heart and a go-getter attitude to implement trends in creative ways that delight, inspire, and encourage. She is passionate about hand-lettering and type design. A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, Jessica has worked at Dayspring for over ten years.