The Biz: Feature Articles

Cheerleading and pageant competitions are about one thing: standing out. Competitors can’t buy talent or athleticism, but they can buy eye-catching apparel to draw the judges’ attention. In addition to featuring flexible fabrics for active movement, costumes for these competitions should be age-appropriate and reflect individual style. For child pageants, Spoiled Little Mama and Butterfly Kisses are go-to experts for customized looks. Want to become the dealer of choice for your local school’s cheer and drill uniforms? Consider Motionwear for winning styles, along with briefs, tops, and accessories from JB Bloomers.

“Tell me a story.” How many times have you heard that from your kids? Yes, clamoring for a tale is an excellent way to stall lights out, but there’s more to it than that. Everyone enjoys a good yarn, whether they’re telling it or hearing it for the first time. Being a storyteller puts you at the center of attention. If the tale is captivating, your audience will be in thrall as they wait for each word. The power of narrative to draw listeners in is equally powerful in business.

From hunter-gatherer days to modern times, humans have had a need to carry things. We’ve stowed items in cured animal stomachs sewn into crude bags, balanced goods on our heads, and toted our tiny children in blanket-based sacks attached to backboards. Thank goodness for the evolution of today’s durable and lightweight backpack –– a stand-up invention for beings who walk on two legs! For versatility and creativity, The Giggle Guide® recommends packing backpacks from these brands in your store: Madpax, Lässig, Crocodile Creek, and Skip Hop.

Satsuma Designs
Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)

At approximately 5:15 P.M. on April 27, a huge tornado, known as “The Monster,” hit Alabama, destroying homes, property, and lives. To help those devastated by this horrific event, Krystal Branscome, owner of Downtown Baby, a baby clothing, furniture and gift store in North Tuscaloosa, has made her shop a donation center for children’s supplies. Together with Wagner’s Shoes, another local merchant, Krystal and her helpers load trailers of donations and send them to the Red Cross distribution center from where goods are dispersed to shelters, churches and wherever they are needed.

David Holdridge is the kind of child who thinks about the needs of others. In 2008, when he was just seven years old, he thought up a way to bring his little sister more joy. He knew she loved her soft, fuzzy blanket, and her favorite stuffed lovey. He thought that if he could combine the two, it would surely bring a smile to her face. With the help of his mom Emily, David was able to make his vision a reality, and Happy Blankie was born! Happy Blankies are blankets that kids want to cuddle with at first sight. These cozy covers come in a variety of styles, each featuring an adorable, wide-smiling creature.

Businesses are started with intentions of being successful. Growth is a key to realizing that goal. There’s a familiar old saying –– “If you’re not growing you’re dying” –– and it is so true. However, in today’s challenging economic times, growth is easier said than done. Even so, there are a number of businesses experiencing success. What sets these companies apart? Are they lucky? Are they overflowing with resources? Not necessarily: Companies that do well are those with a strong sense of what they are setting out to achieve. These companies are pressing forward because they desire to grow and have committed to make that happen.

Michael Scott Studio
Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)

Mother’s Day, a holiday that is second only to the Christmas season for gift-giving, is here. What better way to show moms how much their love, affection, hard work, and sacrifice mean than a special day full of pampering and presents? From delicious culinary creations future chefs cook up courtesy of kid-friendly kitchen gear from Curious Chef and Ann Clark, to artwork and photos captured on mugs, jewelry, and snow globes by Neil Enterprises, to must-have handbags from Trumpette — there are wonderful surprises here that will make every mom sigh with well-deserved contentment.

Moms deserve lots of appreciation, not only on Mother’s Day, but every day! Make sure your store is ready with plenty of options for shoppers looking to pamper mamas, grandmas and other special women in their lives. When husbands and kids come to you for gift giving ideas, be prepared with special selections that make moms feel feminine, cherished and special, whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, holiday, or “just because” she’s Mom. The Giggle Guide® recommends stocking gifts from these brands for remembering moms throughout the year: Lollipop Beauty Bar, Lily Burkman, Little Giraffe, and Fruits & Passion.

High Five” counts down Editorial Director David Gaunt’s personal observations, tips and praise reports about the children’s business. This edition includes five tips about cold calling, The ABC Kids Expo in Kentucky, doing business differently, strollers breaking the glass ceiling again and Coverplay, an example of “Why didn’t someone already think of that?”

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