Gift Shop Plus reveals its 2024 Gift + Stationery Spotlight Awards winners
Gift Shop® Plus and its sister publication, Stationery Trends, are thrilled to unveil the inaugural class of Gift + Stationery Spotlight Awards honorees.
While there are countless awards programs in the gift and stationery communities, our editorial teams strived to create one to truly reflect the leadership, creativity, compassion and ingenuity demonstrated by the remarkable professionals who propel us all forward as they play various roles within our communities.
Thus, this extraordinary dozen includes retailers, manufacturers, designers, sales managers and executives. Certainly some will be familiar to you, and some won’t. Each was nominated by their adoring peers, and we can’t wait to share their stories and advice as we celebrate them all year.
Join us for an industry star-studded breakfast at Atlanta Market with keynote speaker Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, and former honorary chair of Gift for Life! The festivities kick off at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19, Building 1, Floor 14, Seminar Space.
Owner, Duly Noted
Chris has had a passion for letterpress printing since his early 20s and dreamed of owning a paper goods shop for more than 10 years. In 2021, he opened Duly Noted in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his husband Tobin. After a whirlwind of just eight months, Chris was able to quit his job and be in the shop full time. Now, the business has been open and successful for nearly three years.
President, nora fleming
Janice started as nora fleming’s first employee in 2008 and has devoted 15 years to cultivating the brand alongside its founder, Nora Napientek, steering brand strategy, product development, marketing and communications. She has elevated the brand to international recognition and multimillion-dollar revenues. As a working mother of three sons, she is dedicated to forging pathways for parents reentering the workforce, and, as a student mentor, she is infusing an entrepreneurial spirit into emerging leaders in her local community and beyond.
TOSHA GREBE PEARSON
Vice President of Sales, Road Runners West
Having started in the industry in high school buying for the children’s department of a small gift shop, Tosha has witnessed ever-evolving trends, customer preferences and market dynamics. This experience led her to Road Runners West in 2012, where she leads the sales team and collaborates with manufacturers to create successful partnerships. At home, nothing warms her heart more than the addition of her grandson, the next generation of her family.
Sales & Customer Service Manager, Simply Southern
At only 27 years old, Jourdain celebrated a decade of service at Simply Southern in 2023. While waiting tables at her family’s restaurant at 16, she met Ginger Aydogdu, owner and CEO of Simply Southern. Jourdain quickly started working at one of their retail stores, then seizing the chance to work in the warehouse on summer breaks and attending the University of North Carolina — Greensboro, all while continuing to expand her career at the business and taking on increasing leadership responsibilities.
CEO & Illustrator Extraordinaire, Good Juju Ink
In 2014, Juliana decided it was her life’s calling to spread good juju (her nickname since childhood) through illustrating greeting cards. Although classically trained in fine art, she taught herself graphic design. Now, Good Juju Ink includes a “professional dream team” of her business partners (her husband and best friend), printing partners and fulfillment team. They’ve won 10 Louie Awards and have an exclusive collaboration with the Getty Museum. Juliana also feels lucky to be a mama to her daughter and newborn son.
Owner & Designer, Kwohtations
Janine’s side business of making cards turned into a full-time job five years ago. Her art aims to help others feel more seen and connected, drawing from her own experiences growing up between the U.S. and China, as well as her lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety. Her experience of losing a partner in her late 20s has also turned into a work of art, her illustrated book titled “Welcome to the Grief Club,” published in 2022.
CEO, Legacy Publishing
Carlos has had two employers since graduating with a philosophy degree in 1986: the U.S. Army as an armor officer and then Legacy Publishing, a family business he helped start. In the past 34 years, Legacy has gone from coaster manufacturer to major wall calendar publisher with stationery products and greeting cards. Carlos has also chaired a school board, been president of his Rotary Club, is a Freemason and has served on numerous boards including the Greeting Card Association.
President, Greeting Card Association (GCA), & Consultant
Having sold hundreds of millions of greeting cards and stationery products in his 40-year career, Andy is now a consultant to Designer Greetings and Madison Park Greetings and president of GCA. He was the architect of having the Louie Awards purchased by and displayed at Barnes & Noble and Paper Source and has won numerous awards for innovation and best-selling products. Andy is passionate about sharing his experience, imagination and results with others to “create and make their own lucky breaks.”
Senior Vice President of Leasing, ANDMORE
Terence fell into the gift industry 30 years ago and has become a leader, visionary and partner, playing a major role in the development of multiple trade shows and market centers. He started in California before taking a leap to Atlanta, where he led gift leasing at AmericasMart for 15 years. Now with ANDMORE, he leads gift showroom and temporary exhibit leasing at Atlanta Market and Las Vegas Market. When he’s not at Market, he’s on the golf course.
Vice President of Sales, Mud Pie
Angie held pivotal roles at Golden Girls and London Fog before joining Mud Pie in 2013 as national account manager then director of national accounts, contributing significantly to the segment’s never-before-seen growth. Now, she oversees all sales operations and customer experience. Outside of work, Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and adult children, volunteering with numerous charities and traveling internationally to play at some of the world’s best golf courses.
Owner, Stickers Northwest
In 10 years’ time, Tony has grown Stickers Northwest from a “side hustle” retailing a few designs online to a wholesale-only business producing close to 7 million stickers last year. He built the business from the ground up and is proud of the ability it offers to provide great jobs in the local community as business grows. At home, having four girls under the age of 10 definitely keeps Tony busy.
Sales Technology Director, Ganz Midwest-CBK
Michael started as a territory sales representative for Ganz, holding various positions before becoming sales technology director. His commitment to mentor and educate has helped the company’s salesforce grow, but Michael is most grateful for his coworkers and his customers, many of whom he now calls lifelong friends. His wife and three boys are the reason he works so hard and he coaches his kids sports teams — while watching the Denver Broncos and Chicago Cubs himself.