Kids' Vendors Shine at Record-Setting Atlanta Gift Show

Indy Plush

New York isn’t the only place for amazing trade shows. At this time of year, it makes sense to head south! The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, which ran from January 5th through the 13th at the AmericasMart campus in downtown Atlanta, is an impressive forum for new and established businesses of all kinds to introduce their products and court new customers. This year’s show brought out hundreds of vendors and thousands of guests, setting new records for sales volume.

In such a large venue that features businesses from so many industries, it takes a lot for a children’s product vendor to stand out. Indy Plush, Zoocchini, Paper Punk and Just Born all made their mark on the Atlanta scene this year for different reasons. Whether offering tried and true infant gift ideas or offering breakthrough ways to learn and play, these companies are sure to be remembered long after the convention has left town.

Indy Plush

Indy Plush
Starting a business that focuses on plush toys can be a challenge. Plush toys are among the most popular children’s items in the world, and the market is chock-full of soft, squeezable plushies of every style and material. It takes a designer with a fresh, unique vision to wow customers with their stuffed creations, and the makers of Indy Plush seem to have the magic. Indy Plush toys resemble colorful, funky cartoons come to life, because that is for the most part, what they are.

It all began when artistically gifted kindergarten teacher Franceil Masi had her students do an end-of-the-year project. She asked them to draw a picture of an animal and she would create stuffed toys from the images. When one her students, a little boy names Luke, brought home the stuffed toy that was based on his drawing of a dog, his parents were very impressed. Like Franceil, they both had a background in art and design, and after a little while they decided to approach the teacher with their idea to go into business together.

Now Plinio Garcia and Andrew Ruesch work alongside Franceil to create inspiring toys from sustainable materials. A portion of the proceeds from sales goes to wildlife preservation and other worthy causes.

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Love it or hate it, bath time is a part of every child’s life. While some kids may balk at the idea of getting into the tub, there are many things a parent can do to help make the experience a little happier for everyone involved. Bath toys are the best-known way to bring a smile to the face of even the most bath-averse kid, but you can’t underestimate the power of a good fluffy towel.

For some children, the bath itself isn’t the problem, it’s getting out of the tub – and into the relatively chilly air – that bothers them. Having a nice, warm, absorbent towel to wrap up in can make all the difference, especially if that towel is clearly made just for them, with themes and images a child can relate to.

Zoocchini is a New York-based company that aims to make bath time fun and cozy for all kids. The brand makes a range of bright hooded towels in a variety of friendly characters that children are sure to fall in love with. Tigers, owls, giraffes, dogs… little ones will be happy to get wrapped up in this colorful menagerie. The ample-size and high absorbency of the towels make them a great practical choice as well.

In addition to towels, Zoocchini also offers a line of super-comfy pajamas made from sustainable organic material.

Get wrapped up at

Paper Punk

Paper Punk
In days past, paper was used to make all kinds of interesting toys and crafts, the most popular being paper airplanes and paper dolls. These handmade toys helped kids while away the hours and encouraged them to be handy and creative. In these days of electronic entertainment, some are under the assumption that paper toys are a relic of the past, but Paper Punk is here to prove them wrong.

Paper Punk projects begin as flat-pack, one-dimensional paper cut-outs, and with some strategic folding end up as amazing 3-D designs including robots, buildings, animals, vehicles and more . Paper Punk allows for a great deal of creativity and gives users a goal to work toward. It helps increase manual dexterity, improve spatial skills and logical thinking, and best of all, it’s just plain fun! Adults and kids alike can enjoy using Paper Punk, so it makes a great parent-child endeavor.

Paper Punk is the brainchild of artist and educator Grace Hawthorne. Grace has an extensive academic background with a focus on design and creativity, and her art has been shown in some of the nation’s top museums. Paper Punk is part of her unique vision to help boost creative capacity in people of all ages.

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Just Born

Just Born
When there’s a baby on the way, nesting syndrome begins. This is true throughout the animal kingdom but is most entertaining to watch among humans. Mom – and sometimes dad, but definitely grandma – experiences a need to create a safe, warm, and loving living space for the new arrival. This usually involves lots of shopping. From the moment the nursery colors are decided, there’s a flutter of planning and activity, finding the perfect bedding, sleepwear, and décor.

Just Born is a one-stop shop for infant bedding, bath and sleepwear. This popular company offers an impressive variety of options from one-pieces to swaddlers to bath towels, all in high-quality fabrics with a modern-classic style. They’ll look great in just about any nursery, and make excellent baby shower gifts.

Parents can be confident that Just Born has their baby’s safety in mind, as well. Their Safe Sleep collection features wearable blankets, swaddle sacks, and crib liners designed to keep baby cozy while allowing for free breathing.

Just Born is a division of Triboro Quilt Manufacturing, a company that has been making superior quality blankets and apparel for over 80 years. They stand behind their products and are proud to continue offering families the very best for their babies.

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