Exhibitors are Tops at AmericasMart


“The response was amazing!” And that about sums it up for the The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. Companies that exhibited at the January 2014 market were unanimous in declaring that it was a hit. With more than seven million square feet of space for exhibitors, AmericasMart Atlanta can afford bragging rights. Its new app launched to rave reviews, scoring in the top ten business apps, according to iTunes. AmericasMart is host to the best in a broad range of categories. Smart businesses have been setting their caps on it every year as a place to launch new products, catch the eye of distributors from over 90 countries, and score the attention of the media. In January alone, new buyer rates went up double digits, indicating an increasing wave of interest. Companies that made their mark at the event include Livie & Cole, Fizoos, Night Buddies and FoneFace.

Livie & Cole: Luxe Doll Clothes, Furniture, and Accessories

Livie & Cole
“We decided to exhibit at the show because we have had an overwhelming amount of business owners requesting to purchase our product line at wholesale prices so that they can offer them to their customers,” said Ruth Ross, President and Creative Director of Livie & Cole. “After surpassing $1.5 million in online sales ourselves, it seemed to be the next logical and necessary step.”

Livie & Cole provides doll clothing that fits American Girl, Madame Alexander, and Our Generation dolls (18” dolls), as well as doll furniture and accessories. Ross, a mom who had a deep understanding of what delights little girls and had the desire to pass on strong ethical and social values, started Livie & Cole. Since the original designs were tested at home, retailers can know that the products are kid-friendly, mom-approved, and safety-tested.

Top selling products from Livie & Cole include the carrier tote that secures two dolls. “Our tote bags have always been the hottest product in soft lines and our gymnastic set has been the most popular in our play accessories,” explained Ross. “For furniture, bunk beds and doll trunks have always been solid sellers but our new loft bed, which is a complete bedroom for dolls, is sure to be our best seller this year.”

Heirloom-quality pieces for some of the top-selling dolls around: www.livieandcole.com

Fizoos Ties It Up

“I did a lot of research on the various shows, and most people suggested that we start at AmericasMart,” said Whitney Foley, mother to three boys and VP of Marketing at Fizoos. Foley knows good advice when she hears it, and the experience at AmericasMart was outstanding. What attracted all the attention to Fizoos at the show? “Fizoos is an easy and noticeable point-of-purchase item, and a lot of retailers liked its compact footprint,” Foley explained.

Never Tie Shoelace Charms make it a snap for busy families to get shoes on and get out the door. Fizoos slip easily on to shoelaces, where they keep errant laces from sneaking out and tripping up kids. In-demand pieces include the pale pink Ballet Slippers charm and the Pink Crystal Bling charm. No doubt that tweens would love these charms, which can be mixed and matched depending on the mood.

All kids win with Fizoos, no matter what they may like: the fiery Dragon charm would heat up any set of sneaks, while Pirate Ships can shiver some timbers. Sports nuts can load up on Baseball and Basketball charms, while the Soccer Ball charms would easily make great gifts for the whole team.

Charm customers with attractive solutions: www.fizoos.com

Night Buddies are a Bright Idea

Night Buddies
Returning exhibitors at the show had high expectations. Isn’t it great when the experience goes beyond those initial hopes? “Our response was more than I could imagine,” related veteran exhibitor Sally Connolly, the founder of Night Buddies. Night Buddies are beyond soft night lights: they are huggable friends designed with patented eye illumination that not only offers comfort in the dark, but promotes positive feelings.

Designed for children 3 and up, the Night Buddies collection tenders kids’ comfort and parents’ peace of mind. Night Buddies can be cleaned with the wipe of a damp cloth, and an automatic timer ensures that the lights switch off after two minutes (kids can re-squeeze to activate the lights again). Because the long-lasting batteries are sewn carefully into the plush toy, parents won’t have to worry about little ones getting their hands on them.

Night Buddies offers a range of cute companions, from blue dolphins and charming orcas to red and black race cars. “Our plush is trusted by moms and dads, safe, simple, and the perfect illumination –– a toddler’s night time best friend,” Connolly noted. Hot-selling pieces at the show included Ally the Turtle, Mark the Shark, and AC Airlines.

Tucking in tots can be fun and comforting: www.nightbuddies.com

FoneFace: Tweens Dial in to These Covers

Remember the craze about Beanie Babies? Greg Sanchez of FoneFace does, and thinks that his decorative covers for cell phones have a great chance at being “the next Beanie Babies for the digital age.” Kids as young as 2 either have their own toy phone or have occasional access to a cell phone, so it’s not a leap to understand why FoneFace is a popular pick.

“We are thrilled with the early success of our FoneFace products,” related Sanchez. “As of today, our products are selling in over 1,500 stores across the nation.” FoneFace covers are stretchable, making them ideal for a broad range of phones and PDAs. Originally invented by a teenager with the desire to protect his phone, the covers now come in many different designs. The cute pink bird-like Kreekor and owl-like Auntie Porie would be hits with younger kids, while the spiky blue Crash appeals to the older crowd. Busy kids with a lot on their schedules and parents could use the Ratchet, which is designed to be super-tough and durable.

Top sellers are all about light. “Our best-selling FoneFace covers thus far have been the covers with LED lights, and kids love the fact that all our covers have glow-in-the-dark eyes!”

For more information, visit www.foneface.com

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