The Biz: The Grapevine

When two good friends visited Peru, more than Manchu Pichu awe struck them. Susan Pritchett and Florence Wetterwald stumbled onto entire villages of expert knitters and returned home to found Blabla Kids, a company selling all manner of knitted objects for children. The hand-knit cotton Lion Dream Ring can hang over a bed or anywhere in a kid’s room. For customers seeking dolls, point out that these knit charmers are soft and lovable for tots to teens. Knit dolls come as horses, monkeys, girls, boys, bunnies, owls and a host of other characters.

“Time to get clothes out for tomorrow!” It seems like an innocuous phrase, but in homes across the world, it’s really the call to battle. Dawn Farver understands this type of combat only too well: the Indiana mother of four is a veteran of many closet conflicts and has extended a helping hand to desperate families. She founded Girls Looking Cute with a strong desire to promote children’s budding style choices while still allowing for parental guidance. GLC delivers the dream: a life-sized (48” or 56”), laminated wooden doll that is ready for the child to dress in her (or his) own clothes.

As conventional wisdom has shifted to empower women to work out before, during and after pregnancy, the need for maternity fitness wear is budding. For Two Fitness is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand and boasts celebrities and athletes among its converts. Looking and feeling good while staying on top of health and fitness can be as difficult as seeing your toes at 9 months. Mamas-to-be can feel chic and comfortable in the range of Maternity Tanks, Short-Sleeve Maternity Tees and Long-Sleeve Maternity Tees that artfully combine style and function.

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. (K.I.D.S)

The One World Doll Project has targeted one of the biggest trends to hit the children’s industry: multicultural dolls and products that reflect real family values. The Prettie Girls! are all about celebrating the wonder and inspiration of every nation. Five, 11.5” dolls offer a multicultural and positive message that parents around the world can appreciate. The Prettie Girls’ appeal to young girls is obvious: they are fresh, fashionable, and truly different with a hip, positive attitude. These dolls have a genuine pull on the increasing number of families that not only want to promote an understanding of other cultures, but also instill this value in their own children.

European styling and a deep understanding of comfort merge to form some of the finest baby furniture and products in the world. These virtues are the hallmarks of BabyHome, the Barcelona-based, family-friendly company that has been wowing a global audience since 2005. With numerous awards and nominations, BabyHome has been confirmed as one of the premier suppliers of quality nursery items that have become a customer “want”.

Today, many schools and daycare establishments take advantage of the energy-burning and motor-skill-building benefits of tricycles and other riding toys for young children. Europeans especially have promoted wheeled riding toys as good for kids’ physical education, and schools there often invest in high-quality tricycles that are made to be safe and durable enough to stand up to the demands of the playground. If you ever visit Denmark, you’re likely to see school children riding on Winther trikes. Winther has been a respected Danish company for nearly 8 decades, and is still on the cutting edge of trike and cycle design.

Woombie (KB Designs, LLC)
Caletha Crawford

Moving a baby from a bottle to a cup is a big milestone… it’s also a messy one! As children learn to swig with a sippy, parents learn which carpet cleaner works best for the inevitable stains that results from loose caps and hard throws. Then once the sippy cup is mastered, parents have to take on the Herculean task of teaching their rugrats how to drink from a real cup. Kiddos can now drink with the big gulps thanks to the Reflo Smart Cup.

It doesn’t take a professor to figure out that busy families can always use an extra hand. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a former professor with kids figure out a way to help out. “The first time I took my new baby into a public restroom and couldn’t find a convenient way to hang my diaper bag near the changing table, I knew I had to develop a hook that could help every parent and caregiver…” explained Lulabop founder, Mina Yoo. Yoo’s gift to families is the LulaBiner: a two-ended carabiner. It sports two functional hooks to allow for hands-off peace of mind.

“My 1-year-old and 3-year-old have a splashing good time in the bath, and I used to feel like we were in the ‘soaker section’ at the Shamu show.” While SeaWorld sells special towels to spectators in the “soaker section”, there has never been a fool-proof solution for parents trying to get a wet child out of the bathtub. For little ones, the prospect of bath time can either be a struggle or a chance to splash a tubful of water across the bathroom. After years of frustrating bath exits with her daughter, Amanda M. West came up with a perfect remedy. By combining the best parts of a towel and an apron, the Kozybaby was invented.