The Biz: The Grapevine

If Christine and Peter were married instead of business partners, how they got together would be a classic romcom meet cute. Christine was selling her car to make money for her new venture – the perfect BellyBelt for maternity and post-maternity clothing issues. Peter turned up with his mother to look at the car, took one look at this mompreneur and instead of buying a Volkswagen, he bought half the business and grew it into Fertile Mind. Belly Belt grew as fast as her belly as Christine had three more kids, and she and Peter hired a staff of mostly working moms who helped them develop all the necessities for maternity and postnatal accessories.

When checking out lines for your shop, do you ever wish many items could be found in one showroom for your buying convenience? Now, at the Summer Place Showroom at the AmericasMart, Atlanta, the existing space has been doubled, offering twice the space for display. Buyers can view and select everything from layette and accessory items to toddler and tween apparel, shoes and gifts in one spacious showroom that gives growing lines more opportunity to display their complete offerings, as well as space to introduce new brands.

Established in 1986, etnies is the first skateboarder-owned and operated global action sports footwear and apparel company. etnies Kids just introduced their latest collection inspired by Disney-Pixar’s Monsters University. The new designs are debuting in stores this month and feature three different Toddlers styles inspired by Mike, Sulley and the Pinks, and three new Kids styles featuring the Roars, Okays and Pinks.

Itzy Ritzy
HALO® Innovations

Whether mom and dad hit the links for work, part of a club, or just as an excuse to take a golf cart, it can be a shared family sport with The Littlest Golfer. The company makes resort-quality golf apparel, accessories, toys, books and equipment for children — the fastest growing segment in golf. The golfing turtle mascots, Putter and Sandy, invite young kids to explore the world. Parents can pass on the passion with the TLG First Set. Built specifically for children, these clubs are not just miniaturized adult clubs. They are durable, lightweight and feature Littlest Grip Technology to ensure the right grip every time.

New parents want their babies surrounded by the best, and that is precisely what Bivona & Company provides in its collection of cribs, dressing tables, tall dressers, double dressers, nightstands, hutches, guard rails, bed rails, mattresses, and Hollywood style frames. The centerpieces are the cribs. Designed “in the round” so they are beautiful to look at from all sides, the Dolce Babi line features elegant and timeless pieces. If you want a showpiece for your store, bring in the Bambino Collection. The Cream Frosting color is neutral enough to go with any nursery, but special enough to stand out.

When we eat food that is locally grown, we reduce our carbon footprint by cutting back on the cost and impact of importing food from far away. Reducing the need for long-distance trucking cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions so altogether it’s a win-win. Preserving local character is good every way you look at it. Many consumers subscribe to this philosophy so, by offering them clothing for kids that emulates these ideals, retailers can support their existing values — another win-win. Locally Grown Clothing Co. embraces the resurgence of farmers’ markets, local agriculture, and ideals of traditional craftsmanship and Americana.

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

There’s a reason Bob Barker is always telling us to spay and neuter our pets. Pet overpopulation is no joke, and as people become more aware, fostering and rescuing dogs has become more popular. Carianne Burnley launched Petsapalooza LLC in 2009 to create high-quality fun toys for pet lovers that also teach about the importance of pet adoption. The idea for Petsapalooza came from Carianne’s love of animals, and also from years of volunteering at a local shelter and being on their Board of Directors. She knew kids loved animals and pretend play, so why not combine the two?

What does a new mother need most? A third set of hands? A night of uninterrupted sleep? Enough time for a quick shower? “Yes” is the answer to all these questions, but here’s an item that will also win an approval shout-out. Poncho Baby is the answer to how to modestly nurse a baby in public any time anywhere, even when Mom and tot are out and about. The innovative design that covers both a woman’s front and her back allows Mom to keep an eye on her baby while she’s feeding. It is also a very useful garment for nursing women to use when pumping breast milk at work.

Here’s a toy that hits the kid jackpot big time, combining cute, cuddly animals, state-of-the-art technology and the pure pleasure of playing games on smart phones and tablets. Scanimalz, originally from Scandinavia, offer the kind of Scantastic fun that delights young ones and brings smiles to those who shop for them, both because the whole concept is appealing and the price reasonable. Smart retailers, start your engines and get in on the action with this collectable toy group that is winning kudos from both girls and boys.

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