Even if they don’t bend your ear about it, your customers probably wish there were simple ways to teach kids the value of money. Raise the subject of time spent with TV or video games and watch the attention shift to you. Then, show them a system that uses today’s technology to get across the concept of managing time and money. My Job Chart is an online system in which a parent either registers online or downloads an app, inputs information about the family and assigns chores to kids with a reward value for each job.
Last February’s KIDShow Las Vegas showed me a lot to love. The event continues to be the largest collection of children’s fashions and accessories west of the Hudson River, and offers a wide assortment of mid-tier to high-end apparel in a comfortable setting where buyers can review lines and write orders to assure well-stocked shelves and strong sales. Here are some of the brands and people that caught my eye and renewed my interest in the children’s business: We The Beautiful, Jo Ann Farese and all the brands she represents, GlitterTots Sparkle Screen and Ultimate Apparel, well represented by Karen Grasso.
Newport, Rhode Island is one of the most popular tourist locations in America. Known for its historical sites as well as its shopping and entertainment, this seaside town’s cozy inns, trendy shops and gourmet eateries draw thousands of visitors each summer. If a business wants to stand out in Newport, it has to offer something unique and interesting. In that department, Groovy Gator delivers. While the Groovy Gator has been open a relatively short time compared to some of Newport’s old standbys, it has made an impression on locals and tourists alike with its charming collection of children’s fashions, toys and accessories.
Sticky Fudge, a South African clothing company, provides families with pieces that encourage and enhance layering. It aspires to become part of all that is good about childhood, thanks to strong demand. “We had a very successful Spring/Summer 2013 Season,” explained Cheri Kroeger who handles marketing for Sticky Fudge. The company has its origins at an Organic & Natural Product market in Stellenbosch, South Africa; demand for the clothing outstripped the on-hand supply, so Frinette, the designer and creator of Sticky Fudge, expanded the business to meet customer needs. Almost every piece in the collection is crafted in Cape Town, South Africa.
Every parent who has traveled with a child in tow has watched with horror as their little one falls asleep in the car, slumped into a grotesque shape. Fixing this while speeding down the highway never works and is a major safety hazard. Drivers search for something to keep those little heads from banging into the car door but never have the right item on hand. A safer, easier and more effective alternative to a folded jacket, BoosterPalz is a perfect travel companion. The pillow has a soft cushion to provide non-confining support around a child’s neck. Furthermore, it offers a supportive plush body to keep kids from hunching forward or falling sideways, no matter which way the child falls asleep.
Johnny Joker is an assortment of products meant to help children develop their sense of self-esteem and to master important life skills. The materials include books, plushies and interactive games designed to reach kids in ways they understand and enjoy. Johnny Joker books address five categories: This is Me, My Body and Me, My Feelings, You and Me, and World Around Me. These categories cover self-care and hygiene, managing emotions, identifying preferences and talents, interacting with others and much more.
Imagine a whimsical medley of vintage and modern urban and you start to get a vision of what AlbaBabY has to offer. AlbaBabY is a Danish brand for 0 - 8 year olds, designed with inspiration from the designer Majken Bankes’ own childhood. With cool details for extra comfort and easy use, the Summer and Spring collection features 3 distinct and yet complementary styles: Urban & Casual, Active & Carefree, and Innovative & Nostalgic.
Toy Fair -
New York City, New York (2/16/14 - 2/19/14)
The American International Toy Fair was held at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center in NYC on February 14-17. The Fair is the largest industry show of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, drawing thousands of presenters from across the world. Companies that put new twists on classic toys got a lot of attention at the Fair this year, making their way into the hearts of buyers with products sure to charm even the most fickle kids. Flybar, InRoad Toys, Walrus Toys and Mingo all have something unique to offer the industry, and the Toy Fair was their time to shine.
NY Now -
New York City, New York (2/1/14 - 2/6/14)
NY NOW™, the Market for Home + Lifestyle (formerly NYIGF®) made BizBash’s “New York’s Top 100” list for 2014 — little wonder, considering the strong impact the show has had. The show attracted over 30,000 attendees from more than 80 countries. The February show ran from the 1st through the 6th at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Not all companies with great products took home awards, but both new and veteran retailers did show a stellar uptick in orders. Companies like Anaïs & I, Scentco Inc., EFL Sales (Fiona Walker England and Albetta), and Calisson Inc drew a lot of attention.
What do you call a one-piece that is made from super-soft cotton and comes in patterns that radiate both style and a sense of humor? If you are Little Green Radicals, these charmers are Babygrows, available in a host of patterns. The Bella design is a cheery red, pink, purple and brown stripe with Bella the bunny appliquéd on the front, and snug ribbed cuffs on both arms and legs to keep little ones warm. Skin care is the newest LGR passion with offerings including Sleep Balm and Nappy Balm, as well as Shampoo and Body Wash, Scalp Oil, and Massage Oil, each formulated for tender young skin.
Being on-trend and in style are more than just adjectives decorating the “About Us” page: these words form the foundation of successful children’s businesses. Rapidly changing attitudes and tastes mean that companies need to be innovators. Which suits Florian Berger’s Donkey Products just fine, as the company is “always ahead of the curve – always on the hunt for the new and the different.” The German company is known for developing unique pieces that surprise and delight. As a family business, there is a strong focus on fostering the creativity in design that captures the imagination.
Tiffany Dekel and Laura Burch both have impressive resumes. Tiffany has a background in clothing design and launched three successful online agencies; Laura is an illustrator and art educator at a major university. While they’re both proud of their accomplishments, Dekel and Burch hold a special place in their hearts for handmade crafts, and they want to make the art fun and accessible for more people. In 2012 they launched lullubee, a company that takes a unique approach to crafts and crafting supplies.