Feature Articles: Behind The Brand

Beba Bean began its business by solving a piddly diapering problem parents of boys know all too well — avoiding getting showered by the fountain of youth! After the birth of her second child, Alex, Lisa Malcic noticed that no product existed to prevent wee willie’s weeing all over her and her husband, Peter. Thus, she was inspired to create the Pee-pee Teepee™, the topper that conveniently contains old faithful’s trouble that starts with a “P”!

Alpha Industries sets the standard as a leader in cutting-edge apparel design. From flight decks to civilian sidewalks, Alpha stands on the frontlines of quality and fashion. Alpha is tried, tested and proven, and will remain part of the American culture. A youthful twist on that fashion history and tradition has now been brought to the children’s market under the Alpha Kids tag. Danielle Nestor, Director of Design and Marketing for Alpha Industries’ Kids Division, shares with us a Behind The Brand look at both its 50-plus year worldwide legacy and the birth of its newest creation, Alpha Kids.

Manju Mumar, jewelry designer, spinner of nature-inspired tales, and owner of Charming Hawaii Kids takes our imaginations to the land of sunshine, cool breezes, lush foliage, glimmering waters, and families that live in harmony. Manju tells us about the journey that brought life to her collection of jewelry for children and keeps her on the path of happiness in a business that she loves. Through her sharing, she makes us believers in her vision of paradise and all the good that the simple pleasure of wearing a Charming Hawaii necklace can bring. Mahalo, Manju!

Mommy Toolbox was launched by Mary Kay Holms in the Fall of 2008 after several years of watching her friends use less than ideal tools to attach things to strollers. She says, “I’m always looking for ways to make life easier and being able to strap things onto a stroller or your body leaves your hands free to take care of the kids.” Inspired to help other parents, she created the convenient Carabean clip. Mary Kay, based in Los Angels, gives us a “Behind the Brand” look at the tools of her trade and how she crafted her handy dandy company.

Bill Cook is known as the “Bullfrog” of Frogs Frills and Daffodils, a unique children’s clothing company with an equally non-traditional approach to design, brand collections, merchandising and sales strategy. Together with his wife and designer Mary, these grandparents have brought an original and successful approach to specialty stores that want to do business in a different, and for many, a better way. Innovations include $100 minimum orders, no pre-packs, and mix-and-match combo orders for styles, brands, and seasons.

Here’s a sweet success story, inspired by both the fond childhood memories of a friend, and the wallabies who carry their young in a front-facing pouch! Eric says, “The same night we decided on the name myWallaby, we learned that Miriam was pregnant!” Miriam continues, “Given the ever-expanding shape of my belly during the months that myWallaby started to take shape, we can’t help but think that my growing belly was at least in part some inspiration for the myWallaby pouch!” Eric and Myriam share with The Giggle Guide® how it all began and how their myWallaby Agile Doll Carrier has grown, along with their daughter.

Lisa Lloyd, owner of Treasure Chest Pets, went swimming with The Sharks at a time when her business was treading water. On October 6, she appeared on the ABC show, Shark Tank, and confidently negotiated a deal with two of the “shark” investors, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John. The investment contract will provide her business with the supportive experience of the investors, substantial investment capital and improved distribution and manufacturing services, in exchange for equity in her company.

Just as bad can mean “good,” and hot mean “cool,” the same formula holds true for Icky Products, as this brand connotes cute, comfortable, and clever children’s products. A mess of great stuff for babies and toddlers! Kate Somerset, the founder of Icky Products, may have first been inspired to produce products that helped with the “icky” aspects of child rearing, but over the years the brand has grown to be known for its quality, craftsmanship, clean designs and class. Kate shares with The Giggle Guide® how Icky started and what Icky means today.

Nicole Johnson has logged countless hours creating her cozy, colorful and playful New Jammies organic sleepwear collections. The sleepless nights that were spent making bedtimes better for children have resulted in sweet dreams for her business. Join The Giggle Guide® as we take a look “under the covers” and reveal how New Jammies has successfully managed to expand its product lines, sales force and national appeal.