The Biz: Feature Articles

Made in the USA” is a declaration stamped on goods made in America — a hallmark that instills pride in the heart of the manufacturer and confidence in the mind of the consumer… and so it should, because turning a product over in our hands to reveal the “Made in the USA” label sets an expectation that the item represents quality and value. Meet four terrific manufacturers who embrace “Made in the USA”: PAIGELAUREN baby, ROCK ME!, Sara Kety Baby & Kids, and BabyFeet Jewelry.

With 35,000 attendees, over 85 countries and all 50 states represented, the New York International Gift Fair is the place buyers and sellers will want to be this January 29th through February 3rd. Held twice annually in January and August, the NYIGF showcases the best and newest in gift merchandise. Stationery, candles, seasonal, houseware and kitchenware are among the categories displayed, in addition to, of course, games, puzzles, toys, baby and child products. Today, The Giggle Guide® gives you a sneak peak of GRIMM’S, Kidlandia, Jaxxwear, and BabyBindle to whet your appetite for the big event!

Young children are not always sugar and spice and everything nice! When parents get desperate for tools to help calm their kids’ tantrums, steer them toward effective solutions from Time Out Spots, TOTO Products LLC, Teamson and Moms on Edge. These brands specialize in products to help kids learn right from wrong. Both practical and ingenious, these products encourage parents to manage their children’s behavior in a consistent manner, and send kids a potent message about their misdeeds, so they’ll be careful to think critically about the consequences of their actions.

pediped footwear
ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show

As harried parents know, life is generally filled with more demands than there are hours in a day to meet. Given a family’s long list of daily activities and goals, parents who want both themselves and their children to be more organized and accountable can benefit from a helpful selection of tools by The Homework Caddy, Creative Changes, Prosperity4Kids and The Reward Chain. These products help parents teach kids the importance of responsibility when it comes to activities like tracking homework assignments, performing household chores and saving money.

In the consumer market, every book is judged by its cover and every product is judged by its packaging. Consumers quickly become accustomed to labels and brand identity, so new products and brands rely on shelf-sell packaging to catch the eye of shoppers. Plain and uninteresting packaging could be costing you significant sales. Packaging from Edoche, Baby Aspen, Huggy Bunny and Bloomers Baby are a few of the many examples in the children’s market which demonstrate that when the package grabs attention, the sale is more certain to follow.

Chicago, Chicago, I’ll show you around…” Those song lyrics hit the right note, because this January’s Chicago Market: Living and Giving® gift and home show will lead you through floor after floor of vendors offering fine products — many making their 2011 debut at the show. Unlike those song lyrics, there will be no mention of “betting your bottom dollar,” because the products presented are sure winners for retailers and consumers! Among the juvenile product manufacturers you can meet at the show, watch for Babalu, Inc., Little Toader, Stephan Baby, and Four Peas.

CPSIA Ready
Caletha Crawford

Even though the chill of winter is upon us, it’s not too early to start thinking about the best products for warmer weather. Spring break is just around the corner, and families will soon be shopping for the newest, hippest trends in beach fashion — high-quality products with fun-loving, bright designs. So stock up on flip flops from Fish Flops, get Short Hats to turn heads, include sunglasses from Teeny Tiny Optics, beach fashion from Gossip Girl Swim, and hand-painted beach accessories from Dpoppen. Your fair-weather sales will shine brighter!

We are a nation of people who want what we want when we want it. American consumerism accounts for two-thirds of the nation’s GPD (Gross Profit Dollars) and nearly one-fifth of that worldwide. Our shopping habits carry quite the impact. That being said, when these buying habits begin to shift (as they currently are), businesses who want to remain relevant will happily shift with them.

AmericasMart® Atlanta presents thousands of gift lines on display at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market® January 12-19, 2011. Show organizers search the country for exciting product lines to debut from a variety of categories, with a focus on offering retailers innovative products that will keep their stores ahead of the trends. This season, products range from well-known characters with a twist, such as the limited edition Hello Kitty collection, to classic gifts with new appeal like hand-painted wooden yo-yos, and hand-made slippers that look like they should be on display in an art gallery!

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