Feature Articles: Features

Get ready for NY NOW, the Market for Home & Lifestyle, which runs Saturday, August 17, through Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94. Overall, NY NOW, (formerly the New York International Gift Fair), will encompass 100,000 products in 400+ product categories. The event anticipates that 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 80 countries will attend. Our preview of discoveries includes mimish, Wash with Water, Funkins, and Kira.

Bonnet, beanie, fedora or cap, wide brim, no brim, with buttons or flaps; no matter the kind, pattern or color, hats are tops in style. From knit hats that frame newborn faces with personality and whimsy, to bright, colorful cotton sun hats adorned with flowers and ribbons, to fedoras that let big and little kids step out in style, hats are always in fashion. With so many heads big and small that need protection, the business of hats is brimming with great companies like The Blueberry Hill, The Daisy Baby, Hand & Heart, Inc. and Short Hat Company that make it easy for everyone to put a hat on it.

The Playtime NY show, which runs from August 3rd to the 5th at a new venue on Wall Street, is an exhibition powerhouse. Playtime NY already has 130 exhibitors geared up to make it one of the best shows ever. This season’s theme is “Playtime Superstars”, and features a panel discussion on social media chaired by Earnshaw’s publisher, Noelle Heffernan, editor-in-chief, Audrey Kingo, and Carla Zanoni, Director of Social Media and Engagement at DNAinfo.com. Show attendees should keep an eye out for on-trend companies that are ahead of the curve, like Boutan Kids, Jammies Prêt-à-Porter, poopsies, and Chat Mechant.

ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show
Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)

Part of growing up is learning to follow routines and social etiquette. Routines become easy peasy with Easy Daysies magnetic schedules for kids. Calm kids with Kenson Kids charts that reward for work well done. Good manners go a long way, and the Blunders board game teaches kids proper etiquette in social situations. Chores are a great way to prepare children for jobs in the future, and the Chore Chart from Melissa & Doug is just the tool of the trade. Every parent needs a helping hand to prepare their children for the future. Find the right ones here and wait to hear the polite, resounding “thank-yous” from parents and caregivers.

Trends come and go, but one thing remains constant: denim is always in style. While kids’ styles tend to pay homage to adult fashion, children’s denim does have statutes of its own. Whether it’s rolled cuff shorts, cheetah skinny jeans, or stone-washed boyfriend jeans, mobility is key. Adults may wear styles regardless of the comfort, but families shun any brand or style that lacks the utility required from any hard-working children’s garment. Details also matter, from the careful daisy embroidery on the legs to the strength of the copper pocket rivets. Brands like Havoc, Pop Jeans, Pinc Premium, and !iT are right on-trend with must-have styles with the right fit.

When disposable diapers first arrived on the scene, many parents thought they had hit the jackpot. No mess, no washing, and no hassle. However, it wasn’t long before concerns about disposable diapers began to arise. While disposable diaper companies are making efforts to improve the eco-friendliness of their products and many parents are still loyal users of these major brands, there has been a strong movement back toward cloth diapering in recent years, creating a market opportunity for increased sales of convenient cloth diapers and accessories. For consideration, The Giggle Guide® presents products from Bumkins, Itzy Ritzy, Bummas, and Dimpleskins Naturals.

Wiggy Studio / Angel Toes
SwaddleDesigns®

Buyers looking to tap into what’s new in the baby and children’s markets will find top products in one location at the AmericasMart July 10-17 event in Atlanta, including AmericasMart’s Children’s World and the Modern Baby & Contemporary Kid Juried Collection. BooginHead serves up useful products with modern flair, while HSP Nature Toys’ award-winning laboratory for kids teaches them how to plant and grow vegetables. Posh Play presents functional and beautiful products for the modern mom, and U.S. Toy Company turns an ordinary party into an event to remember. Visit www.AmericasMart.com today for details.

Summer lovin’ is here, so take advantage and fill your stores with waves of wonder! No more tying a towel around the waist; kids can wear their towels proudly with Kiki’s Nation. This innovative company designs pants, jammers, skirts and even bags all made of super-absorbent towel material. Under the sea has never been more fun than MerFins, imaginative beachwear that allows girls to experience Ariel’s world by morphing from legs to fins. Art meets fashion with Kaeli Smith Designs beautiful resort wear in vibrant colors, perfect for a summer BBQ or garden party. Babies stay safe seaside with sport & water wrap baby carriers by Beachfront Baby.

Time magazine’s “Curious Capitalist” Rana Foroohar penned these words that always seem to elicit sighs of relief from some quarters and cheers from others: “Made in the USA is making a comeback.” Having products made in The States not only supports local communities, but also provides other tangible benefits. Quality control is high on that list: a quick walk down to the factory floor can straighten out an issue. Small quantities of well-made products can be created without trouble. Plus, more customers are interested in purchasing US goods. Companies that continue to provide goods made in the USA, like Alex Marshall Studios, Little Korboose, Connor’s Kits for Kids, and Harrisville Designs, are staying strong.

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