The Biz: Feature Articles

At one time or another, even the most-cherished child may feel he or she isn’t worthy of being loved. Maybe a big brother has been unkind to a younger sibling and been reprimanded. Or, a kid gets angry at the playground and is given a time-out under Mom’s not-too-pleased eye. For a story that helps build self-esteem while pointing out that everyone deserves love no matter what difficulties have transpired, consider Dorothy and the Good Shepherd, the first title in the Lamplight series from Cane Creek Publishers.

For almost thirteen years, Pamela Neckameyer’s Juvenile Solutions has been looking for, discovering, distributing, and manufacturing a variety of products that are the solutions to common childcare needs. Specializing in baby feeding, bathing, and diapering products, Juvenile Solutions has developed a loyal retail and consumer following that looks to the company for the “next best thing.” Pamela recently gave The Giggle Guide® an inside look at how Juvenile Solutions remains a “go-to” brand for both online retailers and specialty stores in neighborhoods nationwide.

Eco-friendly, festive, and fun lines are now under one rep roof at Scoop, in the California Market Center under the direction of veteran merch mistress Heidi Ngo. Scoop Showroom officially opens August 8, welcoming buyers with cupcakes, champagne, and great buys. Here’s a look at the terrific brands that Heidi now reps in the West, including Junebug, Popochos, Paulina Quintana, Drama, So Rad, Lollypop Tots, PB Green Bags, and Emily Green.

Phillips Nizer LLP

Do you believe that someone has copied your designs? Legally, a copycat may not be necessarily guilty of copyright infringement. A recent case involving a comic book character and a movie character, both with hairdryers in hand, provides a valuable reminder of what is and what is not protected by copyright law. It’s a battle over whether a comic book creator can protect his hairdryer-toting, terrorist-fighting figure from being copied by big-time Hollywood studios. Although this copyright case did not involve the children’s industry directly, fashion and product design similarities are a common problem for many in the juvenile business.

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that is certainly true for some of today’s creative children’s apparel. Children’s fashion has never under estimated the creativity of moms. The Giggle Guide® takes a closer look at mom designers that “toe the line” during a time when more brands and styles of socks are available than ever before. One pair of socks per day for children is simply not enough. Hosiery by Hank & JoJo, Celeste Stein Designs, SmartKnitKIDS, and BabyLegs are made to increase foot traffic!

What could be cuter than babies’ feet? Parents oooh and ahh over tiny toes and spend hours playing “this little piggy.” Little piggies don’t just go to market, they go in style, when adorned in booties and socks that keep feet snuggly warm. Booties and socks seem more plentiful than ever, available in many unique, attention-grabbing designs. Footwear accessories coordinate looks for little divas and dudes, from the top of their heads down to their tippy toes. The Giggle Guide® looks at the growing trends in socks, with designs from ToeBlooms, Dolly and Dimples, Zooni, and Sock Ons.

Bibi & Mimi
Playtime New York

Wen C. Reese brings her contemporary design sensibility to nighttime with Skylar Luna, which launches at ENK Children’s Club (booth #2211). Moms can appreciate the eco-friendly properties and reasonable prices; while kids want to cozy up to these comfortable and stylish pajamas. Skylar Luna will also entice retailers through its year-round availability, which allows them to order only what they need, when they need it. Reese states, “Skylar Luna is soft, organic cotton washed in a sophisticated palette using simple designs — no busy all-over prints or mass-market characters.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Had Rudyard Kipling been one of the greatest psychiatrists of our time, he could not have distilled the essence of communication any more clearly. The words we use in everyday life are vital to building solid relationships with those around us. As parents of two growing boys, entrepreneurial couple Meredith and Lance Looney have developed their ideas on the most important way to nurture a close, joyful family life by letting their loved ones know that they are important, welcomed, and loved. With this in mind, the I Like Book was conceived and published in 2010.

Having just returned from a round of paper craft-related trade shows where I was a buyer for once, I must say, vendors of the world, we need to talk. Ah, there they are, the four most dreaded words in the dating dictionary. Drop that phrase on a spouse or a loved one today and watch them cringe in response. Maybe it’s too soon in our Giggle Guide relationship for such a heavy conversation, but given that we’re on the brink of another show season, the time has to be now for some straight talk aimed at vendors.