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Recently style watchers have been preoccupied with Coachella, the music and art festival that wrapped up last weekend. These days the event is almost as well known for its see-and-be-seen street style snaps as it is for mashing up different genres from hip hop to electronica. But while everyone was preoccupied with what starlets like Kate Bosworth were wearing, I took note of the cross-promotional opportunities these events afford artists.

Since this is Earth Week 2012, the increased environmental awareness provides The Giggle Guide® with an opportunity to share some eco-friendly toy companies and their products. Isn’t it appropriate that toys and games which are marketed for children are manufactured and packaged in ways that protect and preserve the world for them? Help support toys and games made with sustainable, recyclable materials, using safe dyes, inks and paints. Here are some recommendations: Green & Groovy Crafts, DoodleTown Toys, Tegu and Green Toys.

This year’s Earth Day, April 22, marked the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Help your customers and the environment by offering goods that are planet-friendly and help lead to a sustainable future. You, your shoppers and the people they shop for are all in this movement together. Here are a few brand suggestions that can help you go “green” in more ways than one: Lifefactory, Itzy Ritzy, Dandelion, and Kids Konserve.

pediped footwear

So many exhibitors responded to our inquiry about their “Must See” products on display at next week’s ABC Spring Educational Conference and Trade Show that we made it a two-part series. Since this ABC event is all about learning from others in the town built upon luck, brand representatives also shared their best business tips and the luckiest they have ever been in their lives. See Part One of the ABC SEC preview published April 19, 2012. The ABC Spring Educational Conference and Trade Show will be held April 25-27 at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas.

The ABC Spring Educational Conference and Trade Show will be held April 25-27 at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas. This annual event provides opportunities for manufacturers and independent children’s retailers to get to know each other better, learn tips to improve business and see new products on display from a variety of juvenile product manufacturers. In the ABC SEC spirit of new product news and business education in the good-luck town of Las Vegas, I asked exhibitors to tell me about their “must-see” product on the trade show floor, their favorite business tip and what is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to them.

Chispum believes that our story can be told anywhere, even on the walls. In fact, they not only believe that the “no drawing on the walls rule” should be lifted, but that drawing on the walls is necessary. Chispum has always believed and defended creative freedom and supports breaking boundaries, coloring outside the lines, doodling, and moving storybooks to the wall. Chispum’s vinyl decals offer an easy and fun way to transform dull walls and enliven family décor with whimsy, words, wisdom and wit.

Republic of Pigtails, LLC

Get ready for some good, clean fun! Your customers will laugh with delight at these sweet-looking towel creations from Towel Treat. Each is created with a fluffy hand towel or washcloth folded and displayed to look like a tempting sweet. These unique gifts are perfect as bridal, baby shower or birthday favors. Plus, they’re calorie-free! The newest additions to this whimsical line are rolled up plushy kids’ blankets of 100% polyester, packaged as cuddly animal pals.

Trends come and go, but one thing always stays the same: classic clothing. While customers are sure to scoop up a few of the latest trends for their children, they are happy to invest in foundational pieces that never go out of style. Vintage clothing and accessories speak directly to our nostalgia, our sense of sturdy, trusty fashion, and remind us of our heritage. Partnering with vintage purveyors, including Home Spun Vintage, Grass & Clovers, Rachel Riley and Bottleblond Jewels, offers a timeless way to add to a retailer’s sales foundation.

Coloring books, crayons and markers are great fun for kids of all ages and allow them to express artistic creativity. However, when all the pages are colored, there is no magic wand a parent can wave to reset the book back to its original state, so the child can begin all over again. Glenn Rudin, founder of Always Been Creative, Inc. is well aware that times are tough financially, and he feels that parents and creative individuals will appreciate a toy that stimulates creativity, but can be used over and over again. Glenn is the inventor of blankZ, a new series of stuffed toys that are a blank canvas for kids to color, with included watercolor markers.

Caletha Crawford
Playtime New York - New York, New York (3/10/12 - 3/12/12)

The 4th edition of Playtime New York was held in March at 82 Mercer. Retailers are drawn to the cutting edge and modern selection of creative, exclusive and upscale merchandise that demands a setting that is different from traditional trade shows. Within an increasingly strong dynamic nourished by the international network of the Playtime trade fairs, this New York edition took place in an atmosphere that was stimulating and relaxing. Many fresh designers, including Neve Inspired, JUMINA, LOUANN and boy+girl previewed their fall/winter collections.