The Biz: Feature Articles

Buyers looking to tap into what’s new in the baby and children’s markets will find top products in one location at the AmericasMart July 10-17 event in Atlanta, including AmericasMart’s Children’s World and the Modern Baby & Contemporary Kid Juried Collection. BooginHead serves up useful products with modern flair, while HSP Nature Toys’ award-winning laboratory for kids teaches them how to plant and grow vegetables. Posh Play presents functional and beautiful products for the modern mom, and U.S. Toy Company turns an ordinary party into an event to remember. Visit today for details.

When Alexander the Great arrived on the shores of Persia, his army was severely outnumbered by his enemies. Despite the grim situation, he was not deterred. In fact, he was so emboldened with confidence in his ability to win, that he gave orders to his men to burn their boats. As their only means of possible retreat went up in flames, it has been said that Alexander turned to his men and said, “We go home in Persian ships, or we die.” As for me, I find I’m more conservative, feeling more comfortable having options. I like having a Plan B (and maybe a plan C too). It’s hard to argue a case for not having contingencies, especially for worst-case scenarios.

Teething is a phase that’s often as difficult for the parents as it is for the baby. The child can experience discomfort, drooling, crankiness, fever and other inconvenient symptoms that can wreak havoc with their temperament and sleep schedule. Momma Goose is a company that believes in the power of nature to help babies through the teething period. They offer a line of Baltic amber bracelets and necklaces that are meant to provide drug-free relief for some of the common problems associated with teething. The resin in Baltic amber contains succinic acid, which has been proven to relieve pain and calm the central nervous system.

Wiggy Studio / Angel Toes

Summer lovin’ is here, so take advantage and fill your stores with waves of wonder! No more tying a towel around the waist; kids can wear their towels proudly with Kiki’s Nation. This innovative company designs pants, jammers, skirts and even bags all made of super-absorbent towel material. Under the sea has never been more fun than MerFins, imaginative beachwear that allows girls to experience Ariel’s world by morphing from legs to fins. Art meets fashion with Kaeli Smith Designs beautiful resort wear in vibrant colors, perfect for a summer BBQ or garden party. Babies stay safe seaside with sport & water wrap baby carriers by Beachfront Baby.

Time magazine’s “Curious Capitalist” Rana Foroohar penned these words that always seem to elicit sighs of relief from some quarters and cheers from others: “Made in the USA is making a comeback.” Having products made in The States not only supports local communities, but also provides other tangible benefits. Quality control is high on that list: a quick walk down to the factory floor can straighten out an issue. Small quantities of well-made products can be created without trouble. Plus, more customers are interested in purchasing US goods. Companies that continue to provide goods made in the USA, like Alex Marshall Studios, Little Korboose, Connor’s Kits for Kids, and Harrisville Designs, are staying strong.

It takes a parent of steel to face a mountain of plastic kids’ dishware and address the environmental and health risks from PVC, BPA and melamine in plastics. Pretty Govindji began to educate herself on pesticides and chemicals and the role they play in the food supply chain. The bottom line: What she served her children’s food on was just as important as the food itself. Govindji enlisted her friend and fellow mom, Tess Brennan, and together they made it their mission to create versatile kids’ dishware products made of high-quality, food-grade stainless steel — Kangovou.

Wee Ones, LLC
KIDShow - Specialty Trade Shows

How do you ensure that the books you stock are winners and not wannabes? Start with tales that kids already enjoy — like the ones told by their parents or caregivers. “The stories started with trips to places I had been lucky enough to have visited,” begins Nabila Khashoggi, author of the new Spartan and the Green Egg series. The debut book in the series, A Trip to the Rainforest, weaves together a compelling story about a circle of friends and environmental concerns. Elements of pure imagination entice young readers: the Green Egg is an alien spaceship that uses power and technology to help friends Spartan (with rescued canine sidekick Grimm), Tor, Katie, and Max on their journey.

Other than the child’s name, nursery decorating might be the most important part of a baby’s early identity. Retailers looking for a new profit possibility might consider carrying paints in addition to crib bedding and coordinating accessories. Dirt has never looked so clean and chic with the natural pigment of Green Planet Paints. Sweet ones will slumber peacefully with medical grade mattresses and pads by Moonlight Slumber. Creative and chic, Carousel Designs has over 100 options for a natural nursery. Stokke stocks some of the most versatile furniture on the market, including beds, dressers and diaper changing tables that convert as children grow.

Earth Divas supports artisans in developing countries and is dedicated to bringing to market fair trade, handmade, sustainable products that are of superior quality. Earth Divas was founded with a vision to create a business that would benefit the environment as well as the individuals who manufacture the products for sale in the United States. From the early days of selling retail via their website and shipping orders from their garage, Earth Divas has transitioned to a wholesale business and increased their focus on fair trade made products, joined the Fair Trade Federation and expanded their warehouse and fulfillment operation to match their ambition.