By now, all merchandisers who have an ear cocked to the public pulse show lots of green products. Sustainable fabric, environmentally-friendly packaging, and companies that truly embrace their workforce are good for everyone. Some green companies may have taken their path to differentiate themselves from others. They may find setting a positive example makes customers think more highly of them. Often, the company really likes making and selling goods that don’t harm anyone, either in the making or the end usage. The Giggle Guide® presents four companies with green profiles and offerings: Winter Water Factory, Bright-Brained Toys, trash-á-porter, and Dot&Co.
Happy Earth Day! Initially started to call attention to the necessity of protecting the environment and natural resources, Earth Day has evolved into a celebration that highlights the grandeur of nature and the various ways that we can all pull together to make the world a better place. Of course, many children’s companies have strong environmental policies they practice every day of the year. Companies like Prince Lionheart, Simple Nature, BooginHead and Tiny Tater Tees are bringing useful products to families while helping to build a better world.
With the intense competition in the marketplace, many business owners have turned to manufacturing in other countries in order to save money. However, overseas manufacturing has led to recalls of products that were found unsafe, and has hurt the United States economy with the resulting job loss. Manufacturing products in America helps to rebuild our economy and provide jobs for American residents. Customers that buy American made products know that standards and codes are in place to help ensure products are safe. Elizabeth Cate, UnBOWlievable, Fat Rat Family and PunkinWrap are four companies that are committed to manufacturing their goods in America with great pride.
“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has gone on to sell over 2 million copies since its initial publication in 1972. Now, even younger audiences can enjoy this Judith Viorst classic. Released as a board book for the 6 to 9-year old set, the new version contains the same text but focuses on images of Alexander.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over thirty years ago, seven university students graduated and vowed to develop a company that would make a positive contribution to society. One graduate, Vitool Virapornsavan, was both an architect and the future founder of Plan Creations Co., Ltd. Since Plan Creations began, PlanToys has created innovative playthings for kids produced to meet the highest quality, safety and environmental standards. Today, the company employs over 1000 people, operates two subsidiary businesses, and is the first company in the world to manufacture toys from reclaimed rubber wood.