Feature Articles: Features

Often, when a company does good deeds or creates life-enhancing products, they benefit by getting increased media attention and positive word of mouth. It’s Business 101; when customers feel good about their experience with a company, they’re likely to buy from that company again and to recommend it to others. It also helps if your products are interesting and unique. Seeds of Happiness and Peace Passion Positivity are two companies that are getting plenty of good buzz right now.

The 111th annual American International Toy Fair® is running from February 16-19, 2014 (Sunday-Wednesday) at New York’s Javits Convention Center. Retailers, inventors, businesses of all sizes, distributors, manufacturers, and anyone with anything to do with the children’s toy market will descend on one of the biggest shows ever. After its 2013 record-smashing show, attendees can expect the best in products and the serious consideration of global companies. A peek at exhibitors reveals that Smart Games and Toys, Ubooly, Shure Products, and Super Impulse will all make an appearance.

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.

RuffleButts / RuggedButts
Itzy Ritzy

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.

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.

Playtime New York
Teeny Tiny Optics

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.

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.