Feature Articles: Features

A benefit of a global economy is that stores can offer beautiful and unique items from beyond their own borders. Having this kind of reach means you can be the hero for parents and gift-buyers by offering something nobody else can get. In apples-to-apples comparison, England-based Apples to Pears offers the cutest gifts, complete with their own decorative tin packaging (no need to wrap!). Tablets can be cushioned from child-like blows with tabCoosh direct from Australia. The Scottish can be so eloquent with adorable 2D and 3D gallery frames from The Articulate Gallery. From France, TAPIKID playmats by DEUZ stimulate imaginations to fuel the fun.

Retail buyers are already shopping and preparing for the fall/winter seasons. According to the National Retailer Federation, a family typically spends over $600 on back-to-school fall fashions and products for children. Of course, a complete fall work-up for kids includes more than just everyday wear and accessories. Children also require special occasion clothes, mix-and-match pieces, sports gear, and backpacks. Giggle Moon, Fleurisse & Léon, JWORLD and Moon et Miel are among the many brands helping buyers get ready for the fall rush and generate increased sales with functional, trendy products for children.

The “mompreneur” has become a recognized contributor to American business. Mompreneurs are inspired by their own lives and their children, sometimes creating products or services based on a need they themselves wanted to fill. The following is just a sampling of some of the companies that have made an impression on the children’s market. They cover a wide range of products and age demographics, but they all have one thing in common: they were launched by American mompreneurs. Our review includes: Tattly, cachcach, Diapees and Wipees and No Slippy Hair Clippy.

Itzy Ritzy
pediped footwear

Shoppers are always on the lookout for special gifts for new parents or shower presents that are not ho-hum. Some items are so filled with fun they scream “buy me!” while others attract because they are ecologically in tune. The more variety you offer, the greater your rewards as customers like having a selection of items at different price points. Great shower and baby gifts help build your business as others ask the happy recipients, “Where did you get that?” Gifts from Nui Organics, Wry Baby, Wupzey and Nova Nature are all well designed, with the right combinations of whimsy, practicality and sensible pricing.

The great thing about offering home, lifestyle and gift items in your store is that most can be displayed without regard to time or season. To ensure they are a selection of new products, buyers will swarm the New York International Gift Fair® January 26-30. Drawing an estimated 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and 80+ countries, the NYIGF is produced twice annually. Held in January and August in New York City, the Fair hosts about 2,800 exhibiting companies showcasing brands across the home, lifestyle and gift spectrum. The Giggle Guide® has culled the list of exhibitors to preview a selection of interesting children’s items, including Zipit, Pure Play Kids, Greenpoint Brands and Buzzworthy Baby.

It is always inspiring to see the birth of new companies, but especially when our economy is struggling. In a time when it seems we are seeing more companies closing their doors, the birth of a new enterprise brings with it the anticipation of better things to come. Like a crocus that pushes up and blossoms through the cold snow after a harsh winter, Be{tween} Collection, The Tangerine Tree, coveRumps and Foamnasium are new companies that did indeed bloom, despite challenging times. It is the tenacity and spirit of these companies, three of which were started by women entrepreneurs, that lets us see something special… the promise of tomorrow.

Michael Scott Studio
Little Things Mean A Lot

When it comes to adding a bit of color or sparkle to hair, there are special waxes and glitter that turn up the volume in a safe, parent-approved manner that is easy to make disappear when no longer wanted. There are also products scented with natural botanicals so they are ecologically friendly and safe for use on little ones. Shoppers have responded enthusiastically to offerings from Hip Peas, Zach’s Wax, Lucky 11 and Pupazzo by Kushies. Now it’s your chance to offer these bath and body delights to your customers.

AmericasMart is the juggernaut behind the popular Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. AmericasMart offers a convenient and accommodating venue for exhibitors, with over 4,000 permanent showrooms available, along with temporary exhibits. The first Atlanta show of the year is on now through January 16, 2013. Here are a few must-see recommendations: Choose Friendship, Hotline to God, Sister Chic and Moonjar.

So many comforters, so few cribs on the retail floor. Nursery furniture stores always have a difficult choice to make for coveted display space. There are so many styles of coordinated crib soft goods available. Colors, textures, traditional or modern, and bold or neutral are just the beginning of many decisions retailers and parents need to make. For our latest bedding review, The Giggle Guide® looks at Bacati, The Little Acorn, Cotton Tale Designs, and Trend Lab.

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