The Biz: Feature Articles

Cloth diapers have come a long way, babies, from the days of diaper pins and rubber pants. Today’s cloth diapers come in an array of fabrics and styles from all-in-one (AIO) to prefolded to contoured, and that’s only the beginning! With so many choices, there’s bound to be a cloth diaper choice for every parent-to-be. When shoppers opt for cloth, everyone benefits: the baby, the family budget, and the environment. The Giggle Guide® promotes changes for the better with information about the Real Diaper Industry Association, Super Undies, and Happy Heinys.

Béaba is a French company that creates innovative toys and household items that make life easier for parents of young children. Founded in 1989, Béaba’s attractive and easy-to-use products have become part of family life in countries around the world. Béaba’s flagship product is the Babycook, an all-in-one baby food maker that simplifies the entire process of feeding an infant or toddler. Béaba offers an excellent selection of booster seats, bottles warmers, meal accessories, bath items, toys, and more. All items feature a signature contemporary style and bright colors that enhance the look of a home and offer sleek style on the go.

What are little boys made of? According to the 19th century nursery rhyme, “Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.” While the Victorians may have been satisfied with this description, the modern boy is a far cry from it — and his parents are ready and willing to dazzle the world with junior’s guy style. English Laundry, d mo baby, and Alpha Industries are on the well-dressed boys’ short list for the finest in targeted, youthful fashion, while Spitfire Girl is keeping it real with a new take on old-fashioned, favorite toys that capture boys’ imaginations.

Teeny Tiny Optics
HALO® Innovations

Historically, boys have been easy to please when it comes to shopping. They tended not to fuss over clothing styles and many were happy with simple, action-themed toys. Today, many parents of sons voice a need for more variety in boys’ products. To some extent, they crave a return to the traditional ideal of carefree, outdoorsy boyhood. At the same time, they’re aware that a young man needs to develop his mind as well as his body. Kapital K, Outset Media, Lil’ Teammates, and Manhattan Toy are all doing their part to expand a boy’s world well beyond “snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.”

July’s “High Five” column counts down a handful of products that Editorial Director David Gaunt discovered at the Licensing Expo and ASTRA trade shows. His personal shout outs include an animated “reunion” with Warren Buffet, smiles from Puerto Rico, a recommended store appearance by a famous silhouette artist and author, card-caring creators of family games, and an original new entry in the silicone bandz craze that stands up to any competitor.

Having a baby may seem like an unforgettable experience, but with the millions of childhood milestones, there may be a moment or two overlooked. If a mom doesn’t start a mommyblog, what’s she to do with the oodles of things she wants to tell junior when he or she grows up? Parents everywhere are looking for unique and special ways to record precious memories and save important documents. Offer your clients something different by allowing them several unique ways to show love for their children, with innovative products from Frittabello, Perfect Memory Creations, Penny Laine Papers, and Little Ones Showcase.

Playtime New York
Michael Scott Studio

The black-and-white square patterns popping up on advertisements, products, storefronts and business cards are officially known as QR (Quick Response) codes. These modern barcodes can be read by a variety of devices including today’s smartphones. The encoded information may reveal text, a URL, contact information, or other useful data. Curious consumers often scan QR codes to learn more about what’s being offered. As a result, QR codes are becoming an increasingly important part of modern marketing and are being integrated into both traditional and interactive campaigns.

Move over tigers and bears and make room for the Anamalz, a wild and wonderful menagerie in the world of fun and fantasy play. In 2009, these bendable critter charmers won Australia’s prestigious Design Award for innovative use of materials and were also given three stars — the highest award — by The Canadian Toy Testing Council for excellence in function, design, durability and play value. A unique gift and story spinner, as well as a way for youngsters to meet many animal species, Anamalz come in a variety of figures finely crafted from sustainable maple with appealing fabric touches.

Parents are willing to buy some items sight unseen, but most want to touch and examine the crib where their little one will rest its head. This can present a challenge for smaller storefronts that don’t have the space required for extensive display. While some boutiques can’t put together an entire nursery in their small spaces, they can set the scene by displaying a smart selection of eye-catching pieces that are sure to make the entire set a must-have. The Giggle Guide® starts you thinking about new ways to display and use furnishings with picks from Martinek BéBé, Arte M, and tinitikes.