I am looking forward to attending the ABC Spring Educational Conference at South Point, Las Vegas on May 7-9. After attending so many trade events over the last 30+ years, I enjoy learning more about the children’s business, and especially seeing new things that may take me by surprise. The ABC SEC is one event that allows buyers, manufacturers, reps and media to get to know more about each other. The element of surprise is always part of new experiences. That’s why I asked several exhibitors these questions: “What would someone be surprised to know about you?” and “What will buyers be surprised to see in your 2013 line?”
Most children of the ‘70s and ‘80s have memories of the giant blow-up bop toys that were so popular. Bop toys are still around today, but now more and more parents are disappointed with these kinds of playthings because of the unnatural materials contained in them. Pueri Elemental is a company that offers earth-friendly toy choices for kids. Their Eco-Bonk line leaves the bop toys of old in the dust by introducing new and improved designs and ecologically sustainable materials.
As parents can attest to, kids change constantly. The bookworm becomes a glamour-puss, while the boy who was glued to his electronic device suddenly opts for active sports. Retailers need to offer a range of items that capture the mercurial nature of youngsters and be prepared with items that can change, increasing the play factor. Dolls that morph from one personality to another; games that get kids up and around; action figures with variety built into them; and makeup that helps girls experiment safely are a few currently hot items. Get in on the action with selections from Playhut, ParkZarz, BackSlapz and Luna Star.
Don’t miss this amazing sale to stock up on customer-loved snack bags with a rare 25% off special. This is a one-time event to say thank you to our wonderful retail partners and to celebrate the success of the Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens™ Reusable Snack & Everything Bags.
We are pre-approving reduced MAP pricing of up to 25% off on both sizes of snack bags for May 2013 for our accounts, so you can decide if you want to pass the savings onto your customers or enjoy the extra margins yourself.
Earth Day isn’t all about singing and turning off lights; it’s also about buying earth-friendly products all year long. Help the world and clean your shelves with these natural items. Want to offer diaper bags as hot as handbags? Evie Bett bags are cool in croc while being vegan-friendly. With the green start® line by innovativeKids, parents can make good decisions without sacrificing fun. Say an earthy “heyyy” to Hello Kitty muslin swaddles, towels, blankets and bibs through a joint effort of aden + anais and Sanrio. Never has “batteries not included” been as welcome as it is with Pure Play toys. Kids can make their own fun while parents can bask in noise-free sun.
Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in celebrating Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge our planet and take action to protect it. Earth Day gets many thinking about their carbon footprint, and no footprint seems bigger than clothing, shoes and beauty products. Upcycled fashion goes upscale with Kallio, where vintage clothing is collected and repurposed into chic children’s clothing; better beauty is a matter of herbs and essential oils at Matter Company; Bento licenses the newest in ecowear with Carta Vetrata; and Oh Baby! provides oh-so-sweet organic cotton outfits and accessories for kids of all ages.
Causes that help needy children are always close to people’s hearts and your customers are no exception. Make yours the go-to shop by stocking well-made items that look amazing and do great things for the earth and its people. You can be a retail superhero by carrying soaps and socks that save the world. SoapBox Soaps donates one bar of soap to a needy child for every bar purchased. PACT picks a different cause each season and for this spring/summer, it has teamed up with Whole Kids Foundation to develop sustainable gardens.
What really moves a product or service? Is it the fancy packaging? Or is it the utility of the item? When it comes down to it, what makes something a great buy depends on the individual. The power of a product to move one person is what makes it great — the appeal to the uniqueness inside. When a product can speak to many different kinds of people, then you have a profitable winner. Specialty clothing companies that design just for children — such as Indikidual — focus on the fact that each child is unique. With adult fashions currently trickling down into the children’s market, Indikidual goes beyond the trendy to target the individuality of the child. Focusing on primary colors and eco-friendly fabrics, newcomer Indikidual delivers edgy clothing with lots of personality.
Long before backpacks, students in early America often shared books so the need of a way to tote them was not part of the picture. Fast forward to today when, despite the electronic revolution, most kids carry masses of books not to mention phones, game players and personal treasures to and from school each day. Hence the popularity of the student backpack. At first, backpacks were simply functional, but now style is critical. Kids like packs that make them stand out, are easy to get into and can take the wear and tear they are subject to on the bus, in lockers or just sitting on the floor. Some of our favorites are from Uanyi, Herschel Supply, MadPax and Apple Park.
The age-old question every parent hears is, “What’s for dinner?” It seems as soon as baby starts on solids, things get much more complicated and parents find themselves questioning if baby is getting the right mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, essential nutrients and more. This is an area where guidance and great options are such a lifesaver. All these companies were founded by moms interested in nutrition, value and convenience: Sage Spoonfuls, Wean Green, BooginHead and Happy Family help families make mealtimes easier and nutritious.