The Biz: The Grapevine

Summer is the season of sunshine, but it’s also a time when baby showers reign. If you carry poème & poésie in your stores, there will be no need to include a gift receipt in the card. You will be offering something personal that goes beyond the obligatory oohs and aahs at the party. Saranga Weerasuriya designed the collection with her mother to reflect her heritage and family traditions. From mother to daughter, clothes and linens have been hand-sewn for each and every new arrival, boy or girl, in her family. Bloomers, shirts, gowns, blankets and swaddling cloths are a few of the signature pieces.

The creative vision for Cameo by RUX comes from RUX Design, a Manhattan based multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2008 by Russell Greenberg. The inspiration for a truly personal and unique baby gift came to Russell when his wife was pregnant with their son Kingston. The Cameo by RUX baby rattle is the ultimate baby gift for new parents. Each beautiful rattle is a custom family portrait. The ends of the rattle are hand carved in their workshop to match the unique contours of the baby’s parents’ faces. The handle of the rattle is etched with the baby’s name.

The need for a functional, high quality, good-fitting diaper constructed of comfortable, natural fibers is what propelled one mother to take action. Monkey Doodlez did not begin with executives around a boardroom table, but with one mother at a dining room table. Founder Cheryl Yakem named the company Monkey Doodlez because it was the nickname of her oldest daughter as a toddler, and it just seemed to fit the product line. Monkey Doodlez quickly outgrew the dining room table and their products can now be found at nearly 500 retailers around the world.


Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt calmer? When you open your closet, are there certain colors you reach for over and over again? Color psychology seems to be at the root of the new line of products from Happi by Dena. The collection consists of lushly colored pieces, bright pastels, and gentle “cuddle-me” hues. Targeted at tiny tots and children, the Happi line was created by award-winning artist, host of the program “Embellish This”, and designer, Dena Fishbein, in partnership with Two’s Company, a gift and home décor wholesaler.

Just as LEGOs™ allow children to create complex structures with only their imaginations to guide them, innovative littleBits are simple, intuitive, space-sensitive blocks that make electronic projects as easy as snapping small magnets together. littleBits consist of tiny circuit-boards engineered to snap together with magnets. No soldering, no wiring, no programming; just snap and play! Each bit has a simple, unique function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, thresholds, pulse, and motors), and modules snap together to form larger circuits. littleBits believes in developing the scientific thinkers and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

Jupiter Creations is a company that offers fun toys for kids of all ages. Jupiter’s founder, Michael Katina, worked in the toy industry for years as a distributor, so he had a good idea of what sells. He’s in the process of seeking out more fun and varied products to add to his company’s already exciting line of toys. While the old standards –– dolls, trucks, and stuffed animals –– will likely never go out of style, kids today are gravitating towards toys that are innovative and interactive. While this can take the form of electronic games and gadgets, it can also refer to classic playthings with a 21st-century twist.

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

Children love stuffed toys, and they love to scribble and draw. Mix the two together and you have a winning combination that will keep kids occupied for hours. Blankz from Always Been Creative, Inc. are innovative new toys that allow kids the cuddliness of teddy bears and the creativity of a canvas. Right out of the packaging, Blankz are plain, unadorned stuffed toys made of sturdy white cloth. But each one comes with a set of specially made colored markers that can be used to decorate the toy in countless ways. The best part is that these fun toys can be washed and colored again and again, giving kids plenty of opportunities to express themselves.

Many families make their own “rainy day kits,” full of activities to entertain housebound kiddos. They can go to any craft store for the basics: coloring books, markers, construction paper and glue. But what if you could offer parents high-quality, affordable textile art supplies like fabric paints, dyes, screen inks, pigment powders, fabric art markers and more for an all-inclusive ultimate craft kit? Well get started in what could become a new profit center for your store, with Jacquard Products.

Bringing art and play together is Long Pond Company’s mission. Long Pond Company creates unique, heirloom-quality wood toys, furniture and other personalized gifts for children. All Long Pond creations are custom made to order. They use furniture-grade hardwoods and hardwood laminates finished with a durable gloss acrylic for lasting beauty and cleanliness. Customers can customize their orders with Long Pond’s original art and characters, and hand-painted personalization is available at no extra cost. All Long Pond Company toys and furniture are made in the U.S.A.