The Biz: Feature Articles

High Five,” by Editorial Director David Gaunt, counts-down his personal observations, suggestions and shout-outs about the children’s business. In this installment…

· Face First. Hold the Phone!
· Yellow Umbrella Kids is a Bright Idea!
· Early Bird Catches the Client
· RSVP ASAP to Attend Trade Events
· “Shark Tank” Sinks Those Not Ready to Swim

What’s one of the fastest-growing sectors in the children’s market today? Organics! Not only do organic products hold the promise of being toxin-free, but they also make our world a better place to live. While some buy organic products for their environmental impact, the vast majority of families do it to protect the most innocent — their children. Concerned parents take great pains to ensure that the environment for their kids is as clean as possible. Unfortunately, most household cleaners are brimming with harmful chemicals. Enter BabyGanics, the brainchild of Kevin and Keith, two fathers on the cutting-edge of organic cleaning products.

“I’m me and you’re not!” is the resounding teenager’s anthem. One way tweens and teens play up their sense of individuality is to wear a temporary tattoo — or several. Tattoos are a fun way to stand out and “speak out with ink art.” However, real tattoos are an adult decision, expensive, difficult to remove and can lead to an allergic reaction or scarring. The alternative that’s sweeping the land is temporary tattoos: a mega hit with tweens, teens and even younger kids. There are lots of harmless options from several suppliers, including Fan Stamp, All That Glitters, Fun Tats for Kids and Savvi.

SwaddleDesigns®
Cachcach

All babies are prone to dribbles and drools, especially during feeding and teething times. Unfortunately, those little dribbles often lead to stubborn stains that can be all but impossible to remove from adorable baby clothes. A baby’s sensitive skin can also be irritated by drool, leading to uncomfortable rashes. Today, several products are available in wonderfully soft materials and vibrant colors to help protect clothing, while also keeping tender skin warm and dry. Clean up with these sensational products from Wow Baby, Ulubulu, Per Bambini, and Mally Bibs.

Spring is bursting forth, bringing with it excited children eagerly anticipating one of its most glorious outdoor activities — the Easter egg hunt! From the White House lawn to the tiniest backyard, the Easter Bunny will soon be distributing his colorful eggs filled with goodies. Only one cloud is darkening this bright day… what exactly is in those eggs? The unfortunate truth about those pastel ovals is that a great many of them are plastic, which is not eco-appropriate. Happily, an environmentally friendly alternative is now hopping down the bunny trail to stores everywhere: Eco Eggs!

The time for spring cleaning is here! For many families, each year brings a new heap of toys, gadgets, books, and puzzles. When it comes to organizing children’s items, storage containers need to be easy to use, yet strong enough to stand up to piles of heavy, oddly shaped items. Whether parents are looking to round up an ever-growing collection of stuffed animals, or need a central place for all those Legos and crayons, The Giggle Guide® likes these neat solutions from 3 Sprouts, Resource International, Jonti-Craft and Little Zookeepers that are durable, kid-friendly, and fit beautifully into any home décor.

Caletha Crawford
All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC Kids Expo)

Choose Your Own Adventure, a successful book series first published in the 1980s and then re-released with updated elements, captures the attention and imagination of even the most reluctant young reader. Incredibly popular, the secret to the series’ success lies in letting the reader play the leading role as the main character in each story, choosing from many possible outcomes at different points along the way. Making choices empowers readers to become involved and encourages ownership of the tales, through decision-making fun!

The children’s industry today moves at a feverish pace. Our endeavor to stay on top of all the latest trends keeps The Giggle Guide® in perpetual motion. Maybe that’s why we’re finding the new lines for autumn so refreshing! After attending recent trade events across the country, it appears that Fall 2011 fashions are reminiscent of a simpler time. Retailers have welcomed back-to-basics for back-to-school, with traditional clothing and quality construction made to last. Organic fabrics satisfy the desire for sustainability without sacrificing style, and beautifully muted tones provide a warm color palette. Fall for new fashions from Pale Cloud, Little Esop, Blu Pony Vintage, and Kiwi Industries.

Autumn is traditionally a season of change, and once again retailers are seeing significant shifts in children’s apparel trends for back-to-school. Just as autumn leaves show off magnificent colors, nature’s shades are echoed in fall’s fashions. Designers’ twists in organic cotton and cashmere are more prevalent. Mixed patterns and floral arrangements abound, as do simple, clean lines — all yielding a thematic trend toward nature-inspired looks in both color and construction. As the Fall 2011 buying season comes to full fruition, harvest a bountiful crop of the choicest apparel for your store from eyeSpy Baby, Million Polkadots, Bambeeno Cashmere and Right Bank Babies.

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