The Biz: Feature Articles

Satsuma, founded in 2007 by Jennifer Porter, is an eco-conscious baby apparel, soft goods and accessories that offers parents natural, healthy alternatives in everyday baby wear and bedding. The word “Satsuma” refers to a tangerine-like fruit available in Asia. The name fits the company well. It’s fresh, exotic, natural and just plain sweet! Jennifer was motivated to create the Satsuma brand because she realized that more and more parents wanted to outfit their babies in stylish, trendy gear, but also wanted to know exactly where those products came from and what went into the manufacturing process.

Everyone is aware of the children’s obesity problem in our country. To help children, what better way to make them “move more” than playing with toys that require hopping, jumping, crawling or running around? With summer approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity for kids to get up and go with toys that make exercise fun! Stock up on kinetic toys from Active People, Aerobie, Whitewings and New Tech Kites, and celebrate the non-lazy days of summer!

In anticipation of autumn weather, hats are hot for kids! Fun, funky, and fabulous, hats are an essential topper to retailers’ array of fall fashion accessories. In addition to providing protection from the elements, hats add a perfect touch of color and style to outfits. Wool newsboy hats for boys are reminiscent of simpler days, and colorful bonnets offer timeless appeal to little girls, while cool bucket hats are in from coast to coast. The Giggle Guide® recommends on-trend headwear from Gigis Apparel, San Diego Hat Company, Susu & John and Little Lids.

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Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)

On cool summer nights, brisk fall afternoons and winter times, the best way to make a special memory with loved ones is to snuggle in close and enjoy the season. Throw off those flimsy terry towels and worn-out blankets and wrap up in style. Whether silly, elegant, playful, or practical, The Giggle Guide® has found these brands of towels, blankets, and accessories to keep the family snug happy: Tiny Turnip, maamam, The Lenti Zoo, and Barefoot Dreams.

Dance has always been a popular pursuit for children, and why wouldn’t it be? It allows kids to expend energy and express emotions while fulfilling their desire for dress-up and role-play. Many find it’s an excellent alternative to traditional sports for fun, fitness, and friend making. Dance also has a tendency to bring out a bit of the glam diva instinct, with girls gravitating toward eye-catching costumes and accessories where diversity and variety are key. The Giggle Guide® applauds the following brands for leading the troupe: Lexi-Luu, Pomchies, Funky Diva, and Sassi Designs.

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.

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“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.

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.

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