Some of us see a piece of material and dream of all it can be. Lena Aboo made those dreams a reality. By simply finding a piece of leather from her mother’s skirt and witnessing the skills of an Indian shoemaker, Aboo was inspired to create her first pair of leather baby shoes. The experience of hand-making something as personal as a baby’s first pair of shoes brought Aboo closer to childlike creativity, a time with no rules. And from that feeling, she created Sonatina. The result is the kind of display-worthy, high-quality leather shoes that will become heirloom pieces.
Yoga has enormous benefits for kids. It’s soothing which helps calm them down and it energizes so they get a boost when needed. Mompreneur Jensen Wheeler Wolfe had taught yoga for years so when her daughter’s preschool teacher needed an activity, she stepped in faster than you can say “downward dog.” First, she cut up regular adult yoga mats into four. seeing how enthusiastically the kids took to the child-sized mats, she converted her clever idea into a business: The Little Yoga Mat.
Most of the time, clothing designers are inspired by the work of other designers, or sometimes by the shapes, colors and textures they encounter in the world around them. In some cases, however, clothing designers have a more story-driven vision behind their clothing, one that imbues each collection with its own individual “personality” chosen from a cast of original characters. This is the case with Gardner and the Gang, a children’s clothing company based in Singapore. From punk rock bulldogs to DJ camels and beyond, these funky friends have their own rich pasts, hopes, dreams and hobbies.
Getting good buzz from the right sources isn’t easy, but some companies just have the right combination of solid products and good connection to garner plenty of positive attention right out of the gate. marin + morgan has buzz in the bag. This children’s clothing maker officially launches their line of sophisticated miniature couture in July 2015, but they’re already being talked about in glowing terms by industry insiders, and have been nominated for Earnshaw’s annual Earnie Award for best new product. marin + morgan’s style is inspired by parent-child fashion matching habits often seen in high style magazines and on the streets of some of the world’s swankiest neighborhoods.
Just launched: Galante Baby, springing from the luxury brand Galante Studio, is making this new arrival a proud part of an eighty-year heritage. The company offers hand-crafted, limited-production items that are charmers for babies whether purchased as gifts or by adoring parents. Crib puffs are hand-sewn using the finest, softest nylon so baby can be snuggled in style and comfort. Puffs, a serious seller, are appliquéd with either the Lazy Bear or Happy Duck in pink or blue with trim to match.
Once upon a time a Texas gal grew up adoring her Marlborough man-handsome dad who melded ranching with designing cowboy boots. Inspired by him and wild about all things Western and Native American, Adrian Layne developed Cuddlestar, a line of Western wear for babies and toddlers. There are one-piece garments decked with images of cowboys, ponies, and Native American themes like the Thunderbird and Dream Catchers, all cute and very wearable for that Western vibe.
As Digital Natives grow up with everything electronic, there’s a growing trend of going backward to a simpler time. As we see a resurgence in 80s fashion and throwback cartoons have become kitschy cool (how many handsome leading men weren’t even born when the heroes they play splashed across our TVs on Saturday mornings?), organizations like Jam’n Products are riding the wave. Fostering close relationships with historic vendors like Mattel, SpinMaster and more, Jam’n has cornered the market on old-school cool.
K’NEX Brands, the US construction toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love®, is excited to introduce Mighty Makers; a line of construction toys designed to empower girls through creative and stimulating building ideas! Created by an all-female marketing and design team, the Mighty Makers building set line encourages girls ages 7+ to build BIG ideas. Each Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (“STEM”) based set features colorful rods, connectors, panels, engaging story-based instructions that follow the life of the included female figure.
There’s nothing like the freedom and exhilaration a bike can bring, and while fashion isn’t everything, having a high-quality bike (or other wheeled ride-on) definitely adds to the biking experience, making it safer and more enjoyable. Morgan Cycle is one of our country’s premier makers of bikes, trikes and other wheeled toys. Founded 20 years ago by bicycle engineer Sylvester Yen, the company prides itself on its fine craftsmanship.