What’s the one dream all kids have in common? To be a super hero, of course! When Holly Bartman’s son turned four he wanted a super hero themed party, but he wanted something a little different. So Bartman jumped behind her sewing machine and started making capes as a take-away gift for all of the party attendees. Upon seeing the creations one of the moms said, “You need to make these to sell!” So Bartman gave it a try. The process was slow to start, but grew through the years. Now, eight years later, Superfly Kids has 18 employees and is making thousands of capes every week.
At every stage, finding the right furniture, bedding, and accessories is important, not just for aesthetic purposes but to create a sense of security and happiness. Children will end up spending lots of time in their bedroom (even more for those who get grounded frequently!) so décor and atmosphere count for a lot. Help your customers create the bedroom of their dreams with stylish furniture and décor from Lil Dreamer, Pine Creek Bedding, Muniré Furniture, and 3 Sprouts.
Capitalizing on the importance of a child’s imagination, Box Play for Kids offers eco-friendly kids stickers to repurpose recyclables into fun, new toys. The company was inspired by owner Janette Harwell’s 2-year-old daughter and her love for stickers and a “penchant for playing with empty boxes.” Harwell continues, “I had an ‘aha’ moment that lead to the invention of Box Play for Kids.” Fortunately for Harwell’s daughter, both her parents are designers who have specialized in package design, branding and advertising for over 20 years.
“‘Sweet, chic, animal lover, fancy, funky, international, free spirited.” In time this list created by a group of 10-year-old girls turned into Sugar Lulu: a company dedicated to giving tween girls the products they want. Owner and developer Shari Kaufman was inspired by her tween daughter’s struggle to find clothes that were not too babyish, sophisticated, or inappropriate. Sugar Lulu has a modern vintage look with products that inspire girls to express their style, explore their creativity and just embrace their love of beautiful things.
When Jennifer Toenjes, owner of Sweet Baby Bowtique, gave birth to her baby girl, she was so ecstatic for the bows and ruffles that were about to enter her life. But all the bows and hair accessories Toenjes found at local retailers were not up to her standards, so she taught herself how to make her own. “My daughter Abbie is the entire inspiration behind my business!” says Toenjes. Sweet Baby Bowtique is mainly an online retailer specializing in baby headbands and offering baby hair bows, big girl larger size hair bows, tutus, leg warmers, bloomer/ diaper covers, hair bow instructions and a soon-to-arrive Mom’s Corner.
With the unblinking glow of screens just about everywhere, many families are turning towards simpler times… and simpler means of entertainment. Simple toys like marbles and wooden cutouts encourage creativity. Simple craft projects inspire kids to explore their artistic senses and then utilize their personalized artwork in imaginative play. The attraction of simple toys and games lies in the ability to gently challenge, bring people together, and entertain. Companies like Maple Landmark Woodcraft, House of Marbles, eeBoo, and Seedling New Zealand are bringing some of the best in children’s products to generations of families.
Hollow Woodworks began in a barn in 1985 with a mission to provide high quality personalized name stools and puzzles. Over the years, Hollow Woodworks has made significant additions to their product line, mostly due to the inspiring customer suggestions they receive. The company takes great pride in producing products with innovative designs and styles, while providing quality customer service. Attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and superior customer service have created a large customer following, not only in the U.S.A., but spanning worldwide.
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.
It’s time to PLAE! This unique shoe company is at the forefront of design and function, offering customizable shoes that look great and promote healthy foot development. One look at this fancy footwear will make most kids beg to have a pair, and will have grown-ups wishing that they’d had shoes this cool when they were young. What’s so special about PLAE shoes? They look great for many reasons, but it’s all about the tabs. All Velcro shoes have fastening tabs, but PLAE takes it up a notch. Customers can purchase additional fastening tabs in a mind-boggling variety of colors and prints, so that they can create a whole new look for their shoes whenever the mood strikes.
Summer in the city inspires and informs the latest look from British brand Tootsa MacGinty. The company, which offers distinctive, unisex designs and high-quality knitwear, has nailed good looks with colorful appliqués that draw from vibrant city streets around the globe including New York, London, Barcelona, Rio and Paris. Brand-new looks for this summer include six city-themed embroidered patches created by artist Jennie Maizels.
“Time to get clothes out for tomorrow!” It seems like an innocuous phrase, but in homes across the world, it’s really the call to battle. Dawn Farver understands this type of combat only too well: the Indiana mother of four is a veteran of many closet conflicts and has extended a helping hand to desperate families. She founded Girls Looking Cute with a strong desire to promote children’s budding style choices while still allowing for parental guidance. GLC delivers the dream: a life-sized (48” or 56”), laminated wooden doll that is ready for the child to dress in her (or his) own clothes.
NY NOW, the Market for Home & Lifestyle (formerly the NY International Gift Fair), ran from August 17 to August 21 in typical grand style at the Javits Center. New companies as well as seasoned veterans basked in the updated venue. The LIFESTYLE Collection featured the Baby + Child category, where over 100 companies congregated to show the freshest ideas in the market. The Wind & the Sail, Hickies, PishPosh Mommy, and Fluf were just a few of the in-demand product providers that exhibited at the show.