Last month’s ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas was the fourth largest event in the show’s history. Total attendance was 12,462, including 5,339 retail buyers. Retailers from 65 different countries participated, with a total of 969 manufacturers exhibiting. Exhibitors and retailers all gave the show high marks and they and the ABC Kids Expo team look forward to the ABC Spring Conference and Trade Show to be held April 30 through May 1, 2015, at the Rio Hotel & Suites, Las Vegas. Among the exhibitors that interested The Giggle Guide® were Spbang, Creepy Crawlers, Cozy Cocoon and Andy & Evan.
Playtime NY took place August 2-4, 2014 at the Metropolitan Pavilion. Each year the show has a unique theme that influences the décor and ties the various displays together. This time the theme was Luna Park, in honor of the famed Coney Island theme park destination. As a nice break from work-related activities, all Playtime participants got their pictures taken in a fun photo-shoot featuring backgrounds by the graphic design firm Colorium. Among the smiling faces were representatives from Be Lucky Kids, Two and Two Kids, poème & poésie, and Luna & Stella.
From August 3rd through 5th, 2014, ENK International hosted Children’s Club, at New York City’s Pier 94. Over 650 brands ranging from traditional to contemporary; ready-to-wear; swimwear; footwear; accessories; and gift items for infants to pre-teens participated showing Holiday, Resort and Spring 2015 offerings. More than eighty first-time exhibitors were on hand. Among the many outstanding labels, Leesa Valentino from The Giggle Guide® was especially taken with Dress Rags Playwear, Bonnie Baby London, Tokyo Baby Cafe and mbaby by Munchkin, making its debut at the show.
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and this holds true for the Dallas PBJ: Play Baby Juvenile Trade Show, held March 27th and 28th in the Dallas Market Center. The Market Center is a large, impressive venue that’s home to a number of vendors year round and also hosts special annual events like the PBJ. Out of the thousands of products and companies on display, the handful that caught our attention had a common thread: they’re designed to make life easier. Buggy Bench, InchBug, Nizo Wear and SnapFlaps all offer families functional and attractive products that make daily tasks more convenient and fun.
The March Playtime New York was themed beautifully around light through trends spaces, art installations and exclusive entertainment. Playtime New York continued to grow, selling out this year while hosting 120 international collections. This show is known for bringing together the best brands, both new and established. Here are a few that caught the attention of Editorial Director David Gaunt: California lifestyle brand Mini & Maximus has international appeal. Urban Infant carries the load for kids and parents on the go with convenient backpacks and lunch bags. Newcomer Mon Petit Atelier focuses on fancy dresses that inspire nostalgia. OmamiMini wows with modern outerwear and apparel from L.A. that complements a range of styles.
Last February’s KIDShow Las Vegas showed me a lot to love. The event continues to be the largest collection of children’s fashions and accessories west of the Hudson River, and offers a wide assortment of mid-tier to high-end apparel in a comfortable setting where buyers can review lines and write orders to assure well-stocked shelves and strong sales. Here are some of the brands and people that caught my eye and renewed my interest in the children’s business: We The Beautiful, Jo Ann Farese and all the brands she represents, GlitterTots Sparkle Screen and Ultimate Apparel, well represented by Karen Grasso.
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.
This February, with celebrations of Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, thoughts turn to personal achievements, leadership and, most of all, the loves and motivating passions of our lives. Passion, leadership and love for the children’s industry can all be found at KIDShow Las Vegas, at Bally’s on February 17-19, 2014. A sampling of KIDShow exhibitors shared with me about their own personal passions and what motivates them to be a leader in the children’s business: No Slippy Hair Clippy, CIRCUS 212, Le Top/Rabbitmoon, Coral & Reef, and Wee Ones.