The Biz: Feature Articles

Most Americans have felt the bumps and bruises from the rocky economic road of recent times. In an effort to stimulate job growth in the United States, many consumers are purchasing and getting reacquainted with American-made goods. They’re beginning to understand that the investment they make in domestic products pays off with durability, aesthetic value, and consistent quality. They’re also rediscovering the pioneering American spirit that is evident in the creative and inspired designs of items crafted in the U.S.A., such as these from IMAGINE GreenWear, LuvStuff, Nano Baby, and 32 Degrees

Fans of Dr. Seuss take heart! Seven stories by the writer, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, will be published by Random House in September 2011. The tales will be combined in a book titled The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories and, according to a Random House executive, are in a league with the author’s other works that include the highly acclaimed and much adored The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Among the stories in the new book are Gustav the Goldfish, an early, rhymed version of A Fish Out of Water and The Strange Shirt Spot, which is similar to the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back.

Somewhere in the way-back machine there’s a song that tells us to “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative.” Today, The Giggle Guide® spotlights four manufacturers whose ever-so-marketable children’s products inspire optimism by encouraging good habits and positive self expression: Compendium, Inc., Shains, Journal Buddies, and Iscream. From colorful thank-you cards and message stickers to customizable jewelry and journals, these companies offer a multitude of upbeat avenues for kids to express themselves and spread good cheer!

ABC Spring Educational Conference & Trade Show
Little Things Mean A Lot

When interviewing business owners, it’s rare that I meet someone who doesn’t want to grow their business into a national brand. To those who aspire for this status, growth is key. A company can grow one of two ways: by getting new people to buy its products or getting current customers to buy more. Ideally, a company will attempt to achieve both of these objectives. Choosing to grow by extending your customer base is always a viable strategy regardless of what you sell. If you seek national brand status for your business it is achievable. Deciding which path to take as you seek to obtain this objective will depend on your preferences and available resources.

Connected, trendy, style-conscious — these are just a few of the adjectives that describe tweens these days. They’re after style that’s eye-catching but not outlandish, and accessories that let them express their individuality while still fitting in with their peers. Kids in the tween years can be fickle and hard to please, so retailers will want to check out these on-trend products that are popular in the tween scene: Cool, colorful, changeable watches by Popochos, Minifix apparel and accessories adorned with licensed characters, comfy training bras with coordinating hipsters by Sally Miller, and stylish iPhone cases from Glam.

Like moths to a flame, tweens and teens go crazy for “flashy” gear that attracts attention to itself and the wearer. Dazzle your young customers, and brighten up sales, with rockin’ products that let kids pile on the glitz and glam! Bejeweled earbuds by chicBuds; illuminated building sets from Laser Pegs; twinkling Laser Laces; and modern music accessories from Zumreed all provide a hefty dose of sparkle, light, and style. Kids love products with attitude to spare, so these are bound to attract their attention. Here’s how to light up your store’s life, literally!

All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC Kids Expo)
Bibi & Mimi

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.

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