The Biz: The Grapevine

Cars can be dangerous for kids, even when they’re securely parked. On average, 38 children die each year from heatstroke due to being left in a car. In recent years, some child safety organizations have published tips to help parents and caregivers avoid leaving children in the car. While these tips are extremely helpful and needed, it’s always wise to have as much protection as possible. Baby Alert makes electronic devices that help protect kids. Their line of products is designed to act as a warning system that alerts the adult about a child left in a car.

‘Sweet, chic, animal lover, fancy, funky, international, free spirited.” In time this list created by a group of 10-year-old girls turned into Sugar Lulu: a company dedicated to giving tween girls the products they want. Owner and developer Shari Kaufman was inspired by her tween daughter’s struggle to find clothes that were not too babyish, sophisticated, or inappropriate. Sugar Lulu has a modern vintage look with products that inspire girls to express their style, explore their creativity and just embrace their love of beautiful things.

Summer is all about bright and bold, so step into the season in style with Little Miss Galia. With a focus on cool clothes for girls ages 2-12, the goal of the brand is to interpret adult fashion for little bodies. To give little fashionistas sassy and trendy gear, start sophisticated with silk! The Silk Open Back Blouse looks like something out of Project Runway with its floral print and sweet bows on the back to keep the open back look modest enough for the mini set.

Satsuma Designs
Bébé au Lait

It’s amazing how childhood experiences can shape a person’s artistic passions. Most often it’s not the major events that make the biggest impact, but the small details — the magical combinations of scents, colors, sounds and touch — that create strongest and most lasting impressions. This is true for Elizabeth Cross, the founder of the Fiametta Toy Company and the creator of Stork Babies. When Elizabeth was a child, she was captivated by the colorful, charming miniature dolls she came across while in Greece. Fast forward to 2012; Elizabeth is running her own business selling dolls based on these childhood memories, and loving every minute of it.

Founded in 2012, William + Leora capitalized on a profitable growth market, the tweens. Owners Elizabeth Hoye and Kat Swick set out to create a modest but fashion forward line that is appropriate and hip. Swick and Hoye spent a good year researching how to make a fashion line, and what is needed to be successful before launching any sort of prototype, ensuring their business model was sound. Every season they have been hitting the wholesale markets reaching out to potential buyers and retailers. Their planning and perseverance have paid off for the brand.

Who do you ask about high-quality wooden toys? Wise Owl Toys, of course. Wise Owl has been developing entertaining, educational toys for over twenty years and is a symbol of enduring fun. For the very young set, show Learning House with options for bead sorting, shape and number recognition, all in bright colors with shapes that are just the right size for little hands. The Butterfly Sequencing Puzzle offers shapes to sharpen fine motor skills, in a fun butterfly shape.

Emily Press Labels
Baby Banz Inc.

There’s a huge industry geared toward parents who want to start teaching their children reading and math skills even before they can walk, and many of these products and programs really do yield results, helping kids go into preschool well ahead of their peers. Art is often part of these learning programs. Wee Gallery offers a wide selection of toys, mobiles, wall graphics, books and more, all featuring artwork designed to stimulate and enhance the minds of babies and young children.

Spring has sprung at DownEast and if you’re looking for vibrant colors and patterns to freshen your store, look no further. Ruffles are ripping through the runways this year and the Ruffle Front short-sleeved top in lemon or sailor blue is ready to sell. Heat things up with the Center Ruffle Tank in pink lemonade or purple punch, showcasing a simple ruffle down the front. Girls can take the summer by storm in the Tuxedo Ruffle Top in pink lemonade, violet tulip or white. The ruffles are offset by a slight v-neck cut of the collar for a cool look that can be dressed up or down.


When mild, breezy weather comes to call, many families are inspired to go fly a kite. Kites have been around for thousands of years and have become an essential part of the American family recreational experience. It’s easy to see why. Kites get kids outside, giving them a break from electronic games and social media. The best part of flying a kite is, of course, the feeling of elation that comes from seeing your kite soaring on the wind, high above the trees.

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