The Biz: Feature Articles

Staying fresh and relevant is a constant challenge for any business. A struggling economy doesn’t help much. How do you maintain your growth momentum or possibly kick-start a business experiencing a plateau? The answer is to look at your brand (your business) with fresh eyes. When doing so, you will discover new opportunities to pursue and uncover options you may have never thought you had. Of course, there are countless ways to revitalize a brand, but here are 5 universal strategies that most, if not all, in the children’s business can employ.

According to Lisa Manzione — mother, children’s book author and advocate for geographic literacy — if today’s kids are going to be well-equipped to thrive in our global economy, learning geography is paramount. Manzione’s most recent book, The Adventures of Bella and Harry: Let’s Visit Paris! relates the adventures of two Chihuahuas, Bella and Harry, as the pups and their family tour Paris and discover the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, French cuisine, and more. Illustrated by Kristine Lucco, the book won the coveted Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and was also an International Book Award Finalist.

For charming clothes and fabrics that literally tell a story, think Poppy. This British, super-eco-friendly company designs fabrics in one hundred percent cotton using contemporary colors and a look that harks back to the 1930s with classic high waists and puffy skirts. Many of the dresses are designed with a “story” about Poppy and her dog, Fred, running around the hem and come with a small storybook so children can follow the adventures of their favorite characters. This summer’s dress collection follows Poppy and Fred as they go to see the sea. Poppy themed storybooks, greeting and thank-you cards, mugs, invitations, and coloring books are also available separately.

Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)
Andy & Evan

Made in the U.S.A.” is a declaration that epitomizes American manufacturing, ingenuity, quality and pride. From diverse backgrounds, including foreign cultures, we weave our heritage into great ideas and goods that fill America with a dynamic tradition that has a rich past and present, as well as a future! Among the many manufacturers who can claim, “Made in the U.S.A.,” are the four that The Giggle Guide® showcases today: Winter Water Factory hailing from Brooklyn; Yumy, creating fine children’s clothing in Dallas; and SpiritHoods Kids and little society — both from sunny Los Angeles.

As you gear up for a rollicking red-white-and-blue Fourth of July, proudly offer goods made in the United States! When you sell American products, you help keep our economy growing. You do your part to create jobs, as selling U.S.-made wares directly supports American workers and their families. Americans buying American-made products is more than just flag-waving patriotism –– it helps control the nation’s destiny at this important time in our history. Feel good about merchandising quality products made in the U.S.A. like these from Pop & Lolli, Zipfy, belly bump couture, and Channel Craft.

When I emailed Marlo Poole of Carolina Baby Company with questions about her products, I received a reply within hours. I was impressed by her prompt attention. A simple gesture, but for a company as successful and as busy as the sales rep organization Carolina Baby Company, the ability to respond and communicate with clients, buyers, and press in such a prompt manner is a key tool in effective marketing. “Everyone gets a response from us the same business day,” Poole wrote, “and we’ve been told how important that is to our buyers.” Carolina Baby Company represents at least 25 brands, including Itzy Ritzy, Zoe B Organic, Four Peas, Bambino Mio, and Baby JaR.

KIDShow - Specialty Trade Shows
Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)

Parents appreciate products that double in value by doing double duty –– especially children’s products that make childcare a little easier! The Giggle Guide® has flushed out terrific products that help solve common bathroom and household challenges; including safety, cleanliness, potty training, hand washing, and even getting kids to cooperate better with parental demands. So, without further ado, here’s the heads up on the Aqueduck Faucet Extender by Peachy, LLC, the Looster Booster Potty Stool, Jahgoo Baby Hardware by Kastel International, and handy products from Mommy’s Helper.

When it comes to the funnest organic apparel for baby, the cat’s out of the bag! It’s no secret that Cat Fish Design clothing sports wild ‘n’ crazy messages, with personality plus. With cute sayings such as “Lunch is on Me” and “America’s Next Top Bottle”, Catfish Design is the cat’s meow with fresh novelty baby clothing that’s causing a bit of a frenzy. Cat Fish offers 100% organic clothing made in the U.S.A that’s not your typical crunchy granola-colored one-pieces. The products are catnip for impulse shoppers, with a kitten-soft and supple touch and colorful drawings that complement colorful messages.

If you ever watched an Afterschool Special when you were a kid, you were no doubt brainwashed into believing that allowing your friends to talk you into anything could only lead to disaster. Every installment of this television staple was basically a sermon about how following the crowd would surely end with you living on skid row or being extracted from a car by the Jaws of Life. And all because you didn’t obey your mother’s warning against the evils of outside influences. But, despite what you’ve heard, all peer pressure isn’t bad — especially if you’ve got a product to sell.

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