The Biz: The Grapevine

The best way to really get kids to learn something is to make it fun and creative! Just a quick search on the Internet shows that most great educational products for children are geared for maximum fun and ingenuity. Developing stories or thinking out plans help children’s brains in ways that rote memorization cannot. Companies which provide fun and energizing educational solutions garner adult support and kid adoration. The innovative creators at The MU – Microcosmic Universe are part of the vanguard in developing tempting toys that stimulate the brain.

Kissy Kissy by Tatiana & Company enters Spring ‘13 with a generous dollop of sweetness and a healthy dose of whimsy. The broad collection serves up baby essentials: Classic looks in the Kissy Kissy line; bolder statements from Kissy Kissy’s Qt-Qt; christening apparel in Besos by Kissy Kissy; and hand-embroidered and smocked garments from Kissy Kissy Premier. The line runs from preemie through size 4T. Parents, grands and friends continue to request by name the brand’s crave-worthy Pima cotton softness and beloved age-appropriate aesthetic.

Founded in 2007 and based in Los Angeles, Mixed Up Clothing is a multiethnic children’s clothing line inspired by the textiles, cultures and people of the world, to develop friendships through fabrics. Sonia Kang, founder and creative executive, infuses ethnically diverse styles with cultural twists, blending materials and designs from all corners of the world. The collection of peasant tops, capris, jumpsuits, rompers, sundresses, tank tops, flouncy skirts, shorts, camp shirts and more for infants to size 7 have an appeal that blends cultures and showcases diversity.

Bibi & Mimi

Nostalgic parents who grew up in the ‘70s and ‘80s may fondly (or not-so-fondly, depending on the source) remember getting hand-me-downs or homemade clothes for holidays, birthdays and changes of season. It was a time when there weren’t trends for those below the age of 21 and kids’ clothes were made simply to be both cute and practical. Olive Loves Alfie, a children’s store in London, was established in 2006 to bring that feeling alive by featuring hand-picked selections of inspiring and imaginative children’s clothing, housewares, toys and games.

Wham! Zam! Get a load of the A-MAZING monkeys and their pals on fresh and fun eating items from the workshop of Jane Jenni. The ten-inch cake stand shows a maze with adorable monkeys curling their tails while they figure out how to get into the action. The 16-ounce ceramic mugs are a perfect complement to the set for holding a cup of warm cocoa now that fall is in the air. A funky monkey adorns both a cup and an eight-inch birthday bowl that begs to welcome a dollop of ice cream.

This fall, stylish mothers-to-be can seize the season dressed in ultra-chic duds from the Pour Deux, Maternity for Two collection. Aware that expectant moms want to look fab throughout pregnancy, this company offers numerous options for work through weekend. Fall’s neutral and noteworthy color palette in black, many shades of grey and antique white is accented with pale pop colors such as purple haze and opal. Other items in warm camel are accented in softly becoming tones of henna and pale copper.

Bows Arts
Wiggy Studio / Angel Toes

Parents know all too well the familiar struggle of getting kids to sit and eat a healthy lunch. That struggle is intensified when one adds picky eaters to the mix. It’s hard enough at home, but when their little one starts packing a lunch for school mom and dad are not there to monitor, and are left to wonder if their child is just dumping that sandwich. One innovative mom took matters into her own hands and invented The Lunch Punch to encourage her three, energetic young boys to sit down and eat a healthy meal.

Mindtwister USA works to play a part in the importance of family game nights. Its initial game, Pentago, originated in Sweden. Two professional skateboarders thought the unique game would also be popular in the United States. They formed Mindtwister and introduced Pentago to the U.S. in 2006. By 2011, they had sold over one million games worldwide.With Pentago as its base, Mindtwister USA has expanded to include an entire line of original games and toys. The company is rooted in the idea that playing fun games is essential to strong relationships with our family and friends.

Cities like Milan, Paris, Seoul, Tokyo, and New York are meccas of fashion. New York City is a destination spot for kids’ clothing with a distinctly elegant feel; rich colors, elegant earth tones, and fashion-forward prints mingle with revisionist takes on what it means to be a classic. New York designers know that they are catering to parents who desire clothing that speaks to the heartbeat of the city’s fashion scene, while still providing for comfort. Aioty Kids New York is known for its multi-patterned boho pieces: rich colors matched with exotic patterns that mix great together or as separates.