By Carolyn Kavarnos - Tuesday, September 18th 2012
In a time when outsourcing is common, it’s a valuable point of differentiation to find companies that produce quality merchandise in the U.S.A. For expertly crafted, handmade children’s clothing that’s made to order; darling hats, headbands and other accessories that are hand stitched with love; and diaper bags and totes that are stylish as well as functional, consider this trio of brands all under the Gracious May corporate banner: Gracious May, Snugars and Bushka.
The 5th edition of Playtime New York (August 4-6) will offer a selection of merchandise showcasing 90 American and international children’s brands. Vendors will exhibit infant and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories, baby gear, toys, and deco/design products. The theme of this summer edition is “DREAM,” which will be explored in exhibitions, events and trend spaces to provide fantastic creativity throughout the event. Several companies are participating in Playtime New York for the first time, in addition to returning favorites. The Giggle Guide® previews a few must-see brands, including Rayil, Hazel Village Toys, Sammi & David and Sweet Petunia.
The creative vision for Cameo by RUX comes from RUX Design, a Manhattan based multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2008 by Russell Greenberg. The inspiration for a truly personal and unique baby gift came to Russell when his wife was pregnant with their son Kingston. The Cameo by RUX baby rattle is the ultimate baby gift for new parents. Each beautiful rattle is a custom family portrait. The ends of the rattle are hand carved in their workshop to match the unique contours of the baby’s parents’ faces. The handle of the rattle is etched with the baby’s name.
Bringing art and play together is Long Pond Company’s mission. Long Pond Company creates unique, heirloom-quality wood toys, furniture and other personalized gifts for children. All Long Pond creations are custom made to order. They use furniture-grade hardwoods and hardwood laminates finished with a durable gloss acrylic for lasting beauty and cleanliness. Customers can customize their orders with Long Pond’s original art and characters, and hand-painted personalization is available at no extra cost. All Long Pond Company toys and furniture are made in the U.S.A.
Buying children’s shoes used to be a chore, but with the popularity of easy-fastening systems and styles that practically dance out of the store, the experience is a lot easier and far more fun. The children’s shoes of today are as jazzy and comfortable as manufacturers can make them. Shoes from Kirsten Licet, Zooshuu, Zooligans and Lelli Kelly take a cue from the animal world to come up with captivating designs that attract kids’ attention. When shoes have child-appeal in the design, and make sense to adult shoppers with fine materials and top quality construction, the bottom line will show the results.
Shoppers who want the last word in a bicycle now have a way to avail themselves of a totally customized fashion bike that will be unlike anyone else’s. To design a bike at Villy Customs, a customer can click on the “design your bicycle” link on the homepage and select the perfect frame from the Villy Brougham, Villy Deluxe, Villy Woman’s Brougham or Villy Onassis (two styles for men and two for women). Then the fun really begins! Founder and entrepreneur Fleetwood Hicks has capitalized on the growing trend for customization, well aware that almost everyone wants to stand out.
Coloring books, crayons and markers are great fun for kids of all ages and allow them to express artistic creativity. However, when all the pages are colored, there is no magic wand a parent can wave to reset the book back to its original state, so the child can begin all over again. Glenn Rudin, founder of Always Been Creative, Inc. is well aware that times are tough financially, and he feels that parents and creative individuals will appreciate a toy that stimulates creativity, but can be used over and over again. Glenn is the inventor of blankZ, a new series of stuffed toys that are a blank canvas for kids to color, with included watercolor markers.
In spring, buyers shop for back-to-school clothes for next fall. For children, comfort is at the forefront for every season — if their clothes are not easy to wear, they distract from the work at hand. Of course, it helps to be decked out in cool duds, which is where these brands come in: Grubbie Style, Jelly the Pug and Hudson Threads. Each makes great looking fashions, using easy-to-care for fabrics that stay looking fresh through thrills and spills. Shoppers search for clothes that don’t look run of the mill, and these vendors are miles away from any thought of herd mentality.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most important person of all? You are, especially when you’re a kid. Youngsters are the centers of their own universe which is why I See Me! books are such a huge success. Introduce your customers to these books that enhance little ones’ sense of self as they learn to recognize letters, spell their names, celebrate holidays and accept new siblings into their families. Nothing stimulates the desire to read more than reading about yourself — the most famous celebrity of all. For a young swashbuckler, display a set that includes the My Very Own Pirate Tale, a personalized storybook about life on the high seas
Spring is a time for new beginnings; as the snow melts and the sun begins to shine, flowers begin to sprout and it’s now time to showcase your spring wardrobe! Moxie Couture is proud to announce two new designs that are sure to be a staple in your daughter’s spring wardrobe!
Moxie Couture is an up and coming juvenile girl’s clothing line, their very popular collection of TuTu One Pieces were a hit in 2011 and with sales up 32% the first six weeks of 2012; they are proving to be a “must have” item among baby girls.
Creations by You sold their first craft kit in 1992. Since then, they have developed a complete line of activity kits and programs for kids and young adults that inspire creativity. Their multi-award-winning kits and school programs include the materials needed to assist young people in making creations that can be sent in for professional production, resulting in treasured keepsakes. The effort put into these kits is rewarded when the finished product is received, and also serves to build self-esteem, an appreciation of the arts and memories to last a lifetime.