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.
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.
Few things evoke images of softness and warmth like cuddly bunnies, so it’s easy to understand why Kasia Pysiak went with the moniker Zaikamoya (“my bunny” in Russian). Pysiak’s initial line was all about softness and style. Zaikamoya’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection was launched at Playtime New York to rave reviews. “I hear a lot of ‘I wish it was in my size’,” says Pysiak. Pieces in the collection are spun from organic cotton and revel in a neutral palette. It fits “bunnies” ages 0 to 4, but Pysiak is already eyeing up expansion.
“They are very soft, daddy.” This testimonial by a small boy lasers in on the primary focus of Lucky & Me undergarments: comfortable, breathable foundational pieces that make parents happy and little kids want to share their enthusiasm. Rochelle Perera, co-founder of Lucky & Me, set out to create undergarments that were soft, comfortable, and safe. She found a ready audience. “We’ve had a great response from the customer – parents who appreciate high-quality products love Lucky & Me underwear,” Perera exclaimed. Lucky & Me undergarments are all about the child’s comfort. They are tagless and the elastic trims don’t tug or pull at the skin.
No Slippy Hair Clippy®, the premier brand of children’s hair accessories, boasts impeccable quality and design. When searching gift worthy brands, No Slippy Hair Clippy is a perfect fit! Hair accessories are popular impulsive add-ons, ones that can be reordered all year around. The attractive MSRP range of $4-$10 will keep your customers coming back for more!
The HALO SleepSack wearable blanket and SleepSack Swaddle replace loose blankets in the crib that can cover baby’s face and interfere with breathing. In addition to sleeping more safely, babies also sleep better in HALO products. Since 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested the use of wearable blankets, and currently over 1250 hospitals use HALO products to promote safe sleep.
Do crabs fly? What do dogs think about the secrets kids whisper into their ears? When a little one scribbles wildly colorful lines and circles, is there a hidden meaning? Run these thoughts by your customers and take note –– at first their eyebrows may rise, but once they get their hands on the whimsical clothes from Doodle Do, shopping will move into high gear. Children’s imaginations inspire every garment and accessory this British company produces. Designed to bring out the extraordinary that lurks in every youngster, these are clothes for youngsters who need to play, run and simply hang out in garments that are comfy no matter what.
Swedish company Little Jalo has its eye on developing the finest in children’s products. Started by industry veteran Marie Sammeli, Little Jalo brings the best of kids fashion into line with the finest in materials and design. But Little Jalo’s Euro-style is not only popular on the continent. “We have had a very good consumer response,” Sammeli explains. The mother of four has a strong vision for the company’s products — beautiful, earth-friendly, sustainable creations — and knows how to meld it with the durability and quality that parents need.
Some pregnant women obsess over chocolate and pickles, but not Johanna Franks. When she was pregnant, her cravings were more about cloth. After leaving her interior design job to stay home with her two children, she was itching for something creative to cling to. Instead of letting her diaper days get her down, Johanna found inspiration in her children. Their ceaseless curiosity and effervescent nature gave her the gumption to create Love Frankie. She took her love of kids and her love of color, mixed it with vintage fabric finds and great Scandinavian design, and founded a line of kids clothing your customers will love.
Fair Trade is basically the practice of paying “fair” or “appropriate” prices for products developed in other countries. It focuses on honoring the work of the laborers. It is not simply a way of doing business — it’s a conscious choice made to reflect business and personal values. Fair Trade is not about a handout: Fair Trade products are high-quality merchandise created with attention to detail. If these goods sound like the kinds of products you would like to provide your customers, then WeAreDAR, Aloetree Kids, 1 of a Kind (Pebble) and Almirah are excellent choices.
Hot times are ahead, so while it’s cold outside, start thinking about the coolest new products and fashions for vacation times. ‘Tis the season for children’s sunglasses, flip flops, beach toys, cover-ups and swimwear to be on buyers’ wish lists. Our Summertime Fun Spotlight is sizing up what will put more sizzle in your sales next summer. Here is a preview to give you a head start on 2014.
Happy Holidays and a promising New Year to all our friends and followers in the children’s industry from The Giggle Guide® team!
Satsuma Designs creates products that baby the entire family. Each new collection is designed to make caring for baby cozy, clean, durable and easy(ier!). That’s the goal of the new Global Baby and Gone Dotty groups in the company’s bamboo and 100% waterproof cotton collection.