American toymakers and clothing designers may appreciate tradition, but they also love innovation. They can integrate the best of old and new to produce products that are unique and functional. 3 Marthas, Two Bros Bows, Papersalt, and The Beaufort Bonnet Company are all very different enterprises. A clothing company reaching its silver anniversary, a business that makes a rugged outdoor sport safe and fun, a publisher that helps to inspire family values, and a designer who recreates novelties from the past. Each one embodies the American spirit in its own way and makes us proud.
For some girls, collecting hair clips is practically a hobby. While fancy hair clips are fun to buy, they can run a few dollars more than many moms and dads are comfortable with paying. Florida mom Nabetsi Torres and her friends found this to be true, and they wanted to do something about it. In 2010, Nabetsi founded Three Bears Hair Bows, a company that sells reasonably-priced hair bows that are as cute as anything you’ll find in stores.
Lolli Living is a textile company specializing in nursery gear. It offers parents the best of both worlds when it comes to nursery decoration; it allows them to choose complimentary pieces from various collections in order to create their own look. All the collections are designed to layer so there’s no worry of striking out when choosing a combination. Customers can go subtle and staid or artsy and exotic. Either way, it’s bound to look great and put-together.
Michele Keeler is a triple threat in the design world, creating clothing, shoes, and items for the home. This is quite the impressive resumé for someone who became a professional designer by “accident.” It was 1996 and Michele was a single mom of two young children. Like many moms, especially those living on a single income, she faced the challenge of keeping her little ones in clothing that looked good and fit them well. Luckily, she had sewing skills and a good eye for fashion, so making clothing for her kids wasn’t just a task to endure, but a pursuit that made her happy.
The rise in allergies has had a dramatic impact on the landscape of families and fun time. Gone are the days when classroom cupcakes were the norm and children painted with whatever was handy. Glob founder Ashley Phelps understands sensitivities. As an artist, she suffered through skin irritation from paints, but just bore the trouble as part of her trade. However, life was about to get better: a friend who was developing a house paint from plants inspired her to investigate new, safe ways to color her world. She started Glob, and has been helping families with her non-toxic, environmentally-positive products ever since.
By Stephanie Hanlon - Thursday, February 27th 2014
Few milestones are as important to parents as a child’s first steps. What’s on their little fearless feet during this time is crucial for development and safety. As studies continue to show the importance of keeping tykes toddling in soft shoes or socks, some can be too tight or too slippery. These four companies can keep little feet rocking without compromising security or fashion: Zuzii, Bubysums, Snowflakes and Sunflowers and Vs. Stuff.
There’s nothing like a celebrity endorsement to bring a company more attention and business. Problem is, these endorsements can be difficult to obtain, not to mention expensive. Luckily for children’s clothing company Busy Bees, they got a super star endorsement for absolutely free. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned them in her blog, saying that their clothing was the kind that her children “love to wear.” This shout-out was among the many reasons that Busy Bee is enjoying so much popularity right now, and with top-quality products and lots of good feedback, they’re likely to stay on top of their game.
Often, when a company does good deeds or creates life-enhancing products, they benefit by getting increased media attention and positive word of mouth. It’s Business 101; when customers feel good about their experience with a company, they’re likely to buy from that company again and to recommend it to others. It also helps if your products are interesting and unique. Seeds of Happiness and Peace Passion Positivity are two companies that are getting plenty of good buzz right now.
REDONDO BEACH, CALIF. (February 24, 2014)—Kikli Design continues its quest to inject the excitement of travel into every little girl’s wardrobe. After a successful launch collection brimming with the colors and patterns of India, the line heads to Great Britain for Fall ’14. The line’s custom prints recall the textile and wallpaper design style made famous by William Morris, while others reveal a fondness for the legendary Hidcote gardens. And, of course, no British floral collection would be complete without the iconic English Rose.
Spring is just around the corner (it just doesn’t feel like it in some places!), and soon the air will be full of birds’ songs and croaking frogs. Green shoots bring back new hopes for a fresh start, and one great way to kick off the season is with earth-friendly pieces. Fred’s World, a Scandinavian company that produces attention-grabbing, comfy children’s wear, is poised for another blockbuster year. Part of the company’s attraction has been its very strict dedication to creating clothes that are wearable, adorable, and gentle on the planet.
Shark Tank has been a Friday night viewing tradition of mine since its premier in August, 2009. Many children’s businesses have been on the program, so it is also a favorite for our industry. Recently, Betsy Johnson and her brother Berry Wanless pitched the “Sharks” to invest in their SwimZip brand of protective designer sunwear for a $60,000 investment and a percentage of equity ownership.
It’s a familiar tale with tip-toeing parents, a sleepy baby and a squeaky door. In 2007, Gail Calderon and Darlene Garcia came up with a solution born from necessity while combining their business acumen and sewing skills. The Original Cushy Closer Door Cushion answered the need to close doors without a sound, letting baby sleep. Without turning a doorknob or handle, Cushy Closer allows parents to enter or exit a room while keeping children from locking themselves in or out of their room.