Skip to content

Nuts & Bolts: Guest Post:  Betty Matsumoto-Schuch  NOTED 2023 Report

May 12, 2023

Nuts & Bolts – Guest Post:  Betty Matsumoto-Schuch  NOTED 2023 Report
Post NOTED show in San Francisco, here is a trip report from GCU ArtistBetty Matsumoto-Schuch:

Last week I was excited to venture up to Fort Mason, San Francisco for the SF Now + Noted Greeting Card Expo. After receiving a lovely email from Mindy with an invite to meet up at this show, I was even more thrilled. As a GCU artist for over 14 years it was such a pleasure to finally get to meet Mindy. What a lovely human she is! We had the opportunity to discuss many topics pertaining to the evolution of the greeting card business and how it sometimes overlaps the equally changing yet fickle gift industry.

The SF Now+ Noted show was by other National Stationery show standards a relatively small representation, but still had an exciting range of cards, stationary, gift wrap, party and tableware and a small array of giftware.

There were in my estimate just under 200 vendors, each displaying their unique style and luscious creative range.

About two thirds of the show appeared to be focused on greeting card vendors, where I noted some lovely examples of old school letterpress options but with very fashionable modern takes on design. Personally, I love the look, feel and splurge of letterpress. I also noticed lots of whimsy and detail included in some of the card designs as well as more intricate offerings which involved lots of hand applied or added embellishments. Those included charms with notes of encouragement or witticisms. It was very encouraging to also note some vendors emphasizing ethnic diversity and environmental issues. Many of the color palettes appeared muted and earthy, like from nature, while the more saturated colors focused more on a younger, hip or even juvenile audience. Sentiments were all over the map from edgy, mildly brash humor to sweet, maudlin verse and or imagery. Included in the mix were a few of the big name card companies, but I focused more on the small, independently creative personalities. I did notice that most of the card designs from these independent vendors were ‘note card’ sized 4” x 5 1/2” in vertical and or horizontal formats. I’ll keep this option on my wish list for future possibilities with GCU. *hint hint*

As I perused the aisles I couldn’t help but notice how much dedication and passion each vendor appeared to have for their individual style of products. This also had me wondering how much of an investment, ie. time, material costs, traveling and actual physical effort each vendor had to work through in order to get to this point of sharing their art and connection with the world. Here is where I had an epiphany, and as Mindy so kindly pointed out. GCU offers a unique opportunity to enable any budding artist a chance to create a passive form of income. I must admit, I never thought of GCU in that vernacular. As I interacted with vendors, I also was gobsmacked to find out that very few of the card vendors had even known that GCU is an option for their creative endeavors.

We’re all striving to connect with people through our own unique personal exchange through our individual artistic expression. For me GCU has felt like a long time friend and cohort.

It turned out to be a fantastically beautiful day in the city, and my overall impression of the show was very positive, and Mindy’s warm and encouraging persona made for a fabulous and inspiring day to get back home and create more art.


The difference is made in the details!



GCU Community Manager


3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2023 2:57 pm

    Hi Betty,
    Great to see your smiling cyber-face again!
    Thanks for the overview of the show, a good read.
    I’m with you, so thrilled to have found GCU in 2010! I closed my gallery in Volcano and stopped lugging my artwork and cards to and from wineries and art shows. HUGELY expensive investment in framing costs, printing costs and invitation costs to create art shows.

  2. May 18, 2023 12:21 am

    Shows are such a wonderful venue to network with other like minded creators and stay in touch with happenings in the industry. Bonus to meet up with co-workers and associates!

  3. May 20, 2023 12:56 pm

    Betty, I really enjoyed your take on the show. It must have been so interesting. I love your statement about GCU feeling like a long time friend and cohort!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: