The Biz: Feature Articles

Fair Trade is basically the practice of paying “fair” or “appropriate” prices for products developed in other countries. It focuses on honoring the work of the laborers. It is not simply a way of doing business — it’s a conscious choice made to reflect business and personal values. Fair Trade is not about a handout: Fair Trade products are high-quality merchandise created with attention to detail. If these goods sound like the kinds of products you would like to provide your customers, then WeAreDAR, Aloetree Kids, 1 of a Kind (Pebble) and Almirah are excellent choices.

The Giggle Guide® is delighted to introduce these newcomers, each with a special niche and vibe but all with one thing in common: the desire to make the greatest, coolest duds for youngsters that appeal both to those who shop for youngsters and to the small people who will wear them. The designers behind Ba Ba Bling Baby, Little Name, Alivia Simone and The Good Ones Clothing Co. offer different takes on fashion but each brings a fresh look to the market. Show these lighthearted, contemporary pieces to your customers and watch them snap up the latest looks.

Today’s viral marketing makes it easier for a product to take off and gain popularity seemingly overnight. Of course, some of these products end up being a flash in the pan, but others stand the test of time and become well-loved classics. To get there, it usually means having a combination of a high-quality, innovative product, smart marketing, and excellent customer service. The following companies are innovators with possibly the next “must-haves”: HICKIES, Buddha Board, EarZings and 4moms.

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)
Little Things Mean A Lot

American companies seeking to rapidly grow their business have taken aim at extending their brands to markets outside the United States. If foreign markets are on your radar, you should apply for trademark protection in each of the countries where you want your brand to be sold. Below are some thoughts on filing trademark applications in foreign countries, either individually (original trademark applications), or by use of a centralized filing system that piggybacks your U.S. trademark application or registration to foreign countries (Madrid Protocol extensions).

There are magnets just about everywhere in our world, from cabinet latches to cars, computers, can openers and more. They’ve also enjoyed a stint of popularity in bracelets that allegedly relieve minor aches and pains. Now, magnets are being put to another practical use – baby and children’s clothing. Anyone who has ever struggled to line up the snaps an infant’s one-piece sleeper will appreciate the sheer simplicity that magnetic closures can bring. Considering the success of MagnaMini and Magnificent Baby, you can’t help but wonder whether magnets will be the paradigm, and if buttons and snaps will some day be nothing but decorative flourishes.

Children’s books need to have engaging characters, an interesting problem… and the ability to wrap everything up in about 30 pages. Author Boots Hensel, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, really knows how to weave an enchanting tale. Johari’s Joy will delight children and bring parents back for more. The story focuses on the loneliness of two very different creatures — a black rhino and a pig — and on the universal needs for understanding, friendship, and belonging. It touches on the awareness of each creature as an individual with hopes and dreams.

All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC Kids Expo)

Natural, organic health and beauty products for kids have gone from a trendy alternative to a staple of the personal care industry. Go into any pharmacy and you’ll likely see a collection of shampoos, conditioners, skin lotions, and more, all touted as having “natural ingredients”. But how often are these products as natural as they claim? A closer look may show that the purity of ingredients in children’s personal care products can vary widely. Dolphin Organics wants to set itself apart from the crowd by being upfront about the ingredients in its products.

When it comes to Christmas holiday books for children, it can seem as though every storyline has been thoroughly explored and that there is nothing new under the tree. It’s a challenge for an author to color outside the lines in order to produce an original story, while at the same time drawing from meaningful elements of traditional Christmas tales. A Christmas Holiday with the Clauses by Cheryl Kelley is a modern take on a holiday fantasy adventure. In it, a young boy goes on an out-of-this-world adventure to the North Pole and finds out that there’s a thin line between reality and imagination.

There are a slew of things that parents worry about when it comes to their kids’ quality of sleep. Noise, bright lights and other sensory interferences are common problems moms and dads usually try to keep to a minimum when the little ones are in bed. But what about the surfaces children sleep on? Studies show that the mattress a child sleeps on can affect sleep more than most parents realize. Enter Naturalmat mattresses, made with optimum health and safety in mind.