The Biz: The Grapevine

You can’t go through most any home store without seeing wall transfer decals with inspirational quotes. Before you think, “Been there, done that,” mind your Ps and Qs with Alphabet Garden Designs. These fresh and customized designs create a hand-painted look that complements existing décor. Customers can pick the desired size and color of their design and each one is custom cut . They even offer two finishes: the matte finish is perfect for the indoor hand-painted effect and the glossy finish works wonderfully outdoors. Jenn West and Camilla Rose created the company to offer more versatility than other store-bought decals available.

So what makes a stuffed toy special? It’s not always easy to say; sometimes a kid just seems to have a certain chemistry with a toy, even when there’s seemingly little that sets it apart. Oh So Cuddly Stuff is a company that wants their toys to be those special ones in every child’s toy box. The company is fairly new –– toy designers Mark Davies and David Dalton founded it in 2011. They believe that the perfect stuffed toy begins with the softest, most huggable materials, and they pay close attention to details, including stitching and feature placement, so the look is handmade and high quality.

Parents share the same conundrum when it comes to infants: at some point they just have to put them down. And when they can’t hold them in their arms, babies need a soft and safe place to land. Sure, they could use a blanket on the floor, but that just invites any foreign substance to reach their tender mouths. It also doesn’t exactly offer the most comfort to little bodies. Pello is this problem’s solver. It’s the luxe floor pillow designed by a mom for her own infant.

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No one, including your customers, thrills to the sight of little kids dropping snacks all over the floor and mashing them into the carpeting. Those same shoppers also enjoy a tidy car — very tricky when youngsters are on board with their endless eating. A dedicated inventor, grandfather and science enthusiast felt exactly the same, which is why he created Munchie Mug, a spill-proof snack cup ideal for little ones ten months and older.

Wood has long been used as a material for children’s toys. In days gone by, wooden blocks, dolls, and building sets were common sights in playrooms and playgrounds across the world, before being replaced by the more familiar plastic toys we see so much of today. Luckily for us and the environment, wooden toys are gaining popularity again these days, thanks to their aesthetic appeal and durability. Many of these toys also encourage creativity. Kinderbuilt is a family-owned company that specializes in high-quality wooden toys.

Families with children need a clean, convenient surface whether they are traveling and the only flat surface is a less-than-pristine airport floor or they go to the beach and need a space that beats sand twenty to one. Enter the Monkey Mat, stylishly enclosed in its own convenient six-by-six, animal-print carrying pouch with weighted corners to make it stay where it is put. The mat even has loops for additional grounding, as well as little loops in the center that are handy for attaching small toys, keys or a pacifier.

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“Have baby, will travel,” seems to sum up what most parents are doing today. Portable, lightweight baby gear options are much needed necessities. Kim Strong and Jamye Baker are two moms who understand just how hectic life can be for families. One of the pitfalls of being so active is that mealtimes do not often happen at home. Kim and Jamye created the ciao! baby portable high chair with that fact in mind. The ciao! high chair, with attached tray, is a great solution that helps make mealtimes and snacks on the go much easier for parents and baby.

Maybe you are a people watcher with a gift for observing what makes others happy. These special individuals have a gift for paying attention to the details in everyday life. They don’t just watch people: they truly want to understand others so they can meet their needs. If the thought of meeting others wants and needs makes you feel alive, then partnering with a designer who shares your interests is definitely a step toward success. Clare Chen, creator of baby and lifestyle goods, puts her sharp observation skills through a vigorous workout and then produces functional, unique items.

When was the last time you saw clothing that was an absolute showstopper? With the increasing buying power of the global middle class, clothing manufacturers are eager to cater to the unique styles and tastes of their customers. And many customers don’t want just anything: they want clothing that turns heads, makes them feel good and gets compliments. These are exactly the kinds of items that should be stocked in every retail store. But it’s hard to keep track of all the new and upcoming designers. One company that will save you time on that search is Lotty Dotty, which blends comfy organic cotton with playful creativity that will turn heads.

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