The Biz: Feature Articles

I met the President of HABA USA, Lea Culliton, when she first started marketing the German toy brand in the U.S. and she was comparing options for print advertising to the trade. Early on, I could tell that Lea was precise, organized and understood the relationship of carefully-defined marketing budgets, rates and circulation. She was smart, honest and direct in her decision making and was willing to make a year-long investment in advertising. I admired her as an astute businesswoman. After over 10 years, my opinion of Lea has proved constant. We developed a business friendship based on mutual respect. Many others also value her as a leader in the children’s industry.

Finish the final touches on your holiday plan and start facing your future with clothing lines that will spruce up your spring and summer 2014 store. For your classic clientele, introduce Max & Dora, a luxury collection that features a mix of contemporary cotton and linen with vintage trim. A costume designer makes dress up fun and practical with Ele Story, featuring ornate silhouettes with the perfect pleat and ruffles that rule. Spring means spring break and no vacation would be complete without bathing suits. Muddy Feet Boutique has made tracks in unique swim and resort wear that will set you apart from the rest. Spring also means parties and formals, so don’t leave the tweens out of the mix. STELLA M’LIA features fashion-forward but age-appropriate dresses perfect for any event.

If a parent had a nickel for every time a child said “I’m bored”, they might be rich. Point those parents away from Pinterest and into an actual book. We know, in this day and age of blogs and social media pitting parent against parent for the most creative craft, a simple book seems revolutionary. And maybe it is. Imagine Childhood: 25 Projects that Spark Curiosity and Adventure is like going off the grid. It’s everything whimsical and magical about the world outside electronics, and forces adults to get into a child’s head.

JP Lizzy
pediped footwear

Get ready for NY NOW, the Market for Home & Lifestyle, which runs Saturday, August 17, through Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Passenger Ship Terminal Pier 94. Overall, NY NOW, (formerly the New York International Gift Fair), will encompass 100,000 products in 400+ product categories. The event anticipates that 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 80 countries will attend. Our preview of discoveries includes mimish, Wash with Water, Funkins, and Kira.

Bonnet, beanie, fedora or cap, wide brim, no brim, with buttons or flaps; no matter the kind, pattern or color, hats are tops in style. From knit hats that frame newborn faces with personality and whimsy, to bright, colorful cotton sun hats adorned with flowers and ribbons, to fedoras that let big and little kids step out in style, hats are always in fashion. With so many heads big and small that need protection, the business of hats is brimming with great companies like The Blueberry Hill, The Daisy Baby, Hand & Heart, Inc. and Short Hat Company that make it easy for everyone to put a hat on it.

Recently I brought my intern along to a client meeting. When we left, she expressed amazement at the scope of our discussion. “There’s so much to think about,” she said. And, she’s right, it is sometimes staggering to think about what goes into running a successful label. So it’s not surprising when designers become overwhelmed by the many decisions and tasks they must perform each day. Even for seasoned veterans and talented multitaskers, the fact is, you can’t do it alone.

KIDShow - Specialty Trade Shows

Whispers of fall are already in the air, with the pressing heat of June and July beginning to give way to August. But while the seasons may be on the verge of change, one thing remains the same: the strong commitment of eco-conscious companies to the stewardship of the planet. Origany, the company that specializes in “Clothing Made Organic by Nature”, is already looking forward to cooler times. Origany is known for the splash it made by partnering with Ovie Mughelli of the Atlanta Falcons to create the Eco-Athlete collection. Now, it’s taking on the slide from summer to fall with the same passion.

The Playtime NY show, which runs from August 3rd to the 5th at a new venue on Wall Street, is an exhibition powerhouse. Playtime NY already has 130 exhibitors geared up to make it one of the best shows ever. This season’s theme is “Playtime Superstars”, and features a panel discussion on social media chaired by Earnshaw’s publisher, Noelle Heffernan, editor-in-chief, Audrey Kingo, and Carla Zanoni, Director of Social Media and Engagement at Show attendees should keep an eye out for on-trend companies that are ahead of the curve, like Boutan Kids, Jammies Prêt-à-Porter, poopsies, and Chat Mechant.

Part of growing up is learning to follow routines and social etiquette. Routines become easy peasy with Easy Daysies magnetic schedules for kids. Calm kids with Kenson Kids charts that reward for work well done. Good manners go a long way, and the Blunders board game teaches kids proper etiquette in social situations. Chores are a great way to prepare children for jobs in the future, and the Chore Chart from Melissa & Doug is just the tool of the trade. Every parent needs a helping hand to prepare their children for the future. Find the right ones here and wait to hear the polite, resounding “thank-yous” from parents and caregivers.