Feature Articles: Features

Kids are dirt magnets. Between dropped pacifiers, chewed-up toys, and snack-time on the floor, parents need to be one-step ahead of babies and germs. This is part of the reason why a growing number of child products are developed from silicone. Already known for its many industrial and medical uses, silicone brings an added dimension of safety and durability to kids’ products. From the innovative teething devices at Mello & Co. and RaZbaby to the products from ChooMee and 5 Oceans International that make mealtime a snap, silicone is helping parents keep kids cleaner and safer than ever before.

Artsy types wanting to make money from their creative talents can now jumpstart their ventures with Kickstarter. Getting public funding for mass production allows creators to realize their dreams while allowing retailers to line their shelves with new products. As spring arrives, offer your earthy types the UltraCompact baby carrier from Bitybean. Help families talk directly to kids through their toys with Toymail Co. The designer of the newest plush pocket pals at Poketti is a kid herself, raising money for her animal toy line. MinkeeBlue has taken the weight off women’s shoulders by offering one bag for every situation.

Fair Trade is basically the practice of paying “fair” or “appropriate” prices for products developed in other countries. It focuses on honoring the work of the laborers. It is not simply a way of doing business — it’s a conscious choice made to reflect business and personal values. Fair Trade is not about a handout: Fair Trade products are high-quality merchandise created with attention to detail. If these goods sound like the kinds of products you would like to provide your customers, then WeAreDAR, Aloetree Kids, 1 of a Kind (Pebble) and Almirah are excellent choices.

pediped footwear
Teeny Tiny Optics

The Giggle Guide® is delighted to introduce these newcomers, each with a special niche and vibe but all with one thing in common: the desire to make the greatest, coolest duds for youngsters that appeal both to those who shop for youngsters and to the small people who will wear them. The designers behind Ba Ba Bling Baby, Little Name, Alivia Simone and The Good Ones Clothing Co. offer different takes on fashion but each brings a fresh look to the market. Show these lighthearted, contemporary pieces to your customers and watch them snap up the latest looks.

Today’s viral marketing makes it easier for a product to take off and gain popularity seemingly overnight. Of course, some of these products end up being a flash in the pan, but others stand the test of time and become well-loved classics. To get there, it usually means having a combination of a high-quality, innovative product, smart marketing, and excellent customer service. The following companies are innovators with possibly the next “must-haves”: HICKIES, Buddha Board, EarZings and 4moms.

There are magnets just about everywhere in our world, from cabinet latches to cars, computers, can openers and more. They’ve also enjoyed a stint of popularity in bracelets that allegedly relieve minor aches and pains. Now, magnets are being put to another practical use – baby and children’s clothing. Anyone who has ever struggled to line up the snaps an infant’s one-piece sleeper will appreciate the sheer simplicity that magnetic closures can bring. Considering the success of MagnaMini and Magnificent Baby, you can’t help but wonder whether magnets will be the paradigm, and if buttons and snaps will some day be nothing but decorative flourishes.

Satsuma Designs
Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)

Appreciation for American-made products is all around us. As the economy recovers, more entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the benefits of doing business here at home. You can see them at every trade show and market, bringing their innovation and creativity to wholesalers. Retailers are realizing the impact of a “Made in the U.S.A.” stamp. When customers buy American, they can be confident that they’re purchasing a product that is manufactured to high standards in responsibility to the environment, treatment of employees and reliability of delivery. The Giggle Guide® presents another selection of these products, including Raindrops, Tidy Tots Diapers, Pure Play Toys and AXL Brand.

Do your customers think that buying goods made in the U.S.A. is only a slogan? In truth, it means a great deal and here are some solid facts to mention as you proudly display clothes and accessories for kids from Lucy & Leo, Stinky McGee, Cavelle Kids and Stoney Clover Land — all companies that proudly produce their goods in the United States. When goods are made overseas, they often don’t meet strict U.S. standards. Furthermore, workers toiling in poor working conditions may make them. Buying American-made products supports more than just American manufacturers — it also helps support our workers, safe working conditions, and child labor laws.

Ask any kid what their favorite time of year is, and you will likely hear “summer!” The weather is good, school is out, there are friends to see and family fun to enjoy. Summer’s dress code is mostly casual, but it doesn’t hurt to have some stylish additions for a kid’s warm weather wardrobe. Get ready to take a tour of some of the brands making the coolest summer clothing and accessories for kids, including Flik Flops, Andy & Evan, BSkinz and Koko-Nut Kids. From flashy flip-flops and fashions for little gentlemen to fair trade Batik, the possibilities are as diverse and fun as the sights you’ll see on any summer road trip.

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