Tuesday, March 29, 2011

From the Show Floor: Playtime New York

The second edition of Playtime New York, held March 5-7 in New York City, brought together exhibitors, buyers, media and industry representatives to collaborate among the newest products in the juvenile industry. This year's show saw a 14-percent increase in the number of participants and a 25-percent increase in the number of visitors.

Didn't make it to the show? Check out these photos from the event, and plan your trip for the summer edition of Playtime New York, taking place July 30-August 1.

Photos courtesy Playtime New York.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The March Issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor is Now Available

Dear GGD Reader,

Welcome to the March digital issue of Gift, Gourmet & Decor Magazine.

GGD March Cover
This Month's Featured Content:
• Zen-spirational
• Dear Ol' Dad
• Time for Tabletop
• Garden State

• Natural Designs
• Shelftalk
• Calendar

New Feature:
Enchanced Page Zooming Feature Now Available-Zooming is now easier then ever!

Please Note:

GGD Digital requires NO special downloads or applications to view in its entirety.

Please click HERE to begin reading now!

We hope you enjoy this issue and all future digital issues of GGD. Feel free to contact us with your thoughts and feedback at gwnplus@talcott.com.

The GGD Team

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Review: Tutu Pour Mon Deux

Tutus are all over the place, but we were surprised when Tutu Pour Mon Deux sent us one of their tutu shirts. The shirts aren't your average pink, frilly, over-the-top tutu. These tutus could be a part of a child's actual wardrobe; they might not be school-appropriate, but with a cute pair of contrasting tights, they're adorable for family get-togethers, birthday parties or playdates.

The tutus are attached to a tank top (ours had a cupcake embellished on it) or a long-sleeved shirt. Parents can choose the color of the shirt, embellishment, tutu color and coordinating ribbon. Even sweeter than the outfits is the story of the owner, Erika, whose daughters, one born with a congenital heart defect, inspired her to create the shirts and give back to the community. Tutu Pour Mon Deux gives one-third of its proceeds to Children's Hospital Boston.

If you've got a girly-girl that won't change out of her make-believe princess dress, tutu shirts are an easy compromise. And really, who can resist a little girl in a tutu?

Photo courtesy Tutu Pour Mon Deux

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Words with Retailers: Green Genes

We took a moment to get to know Green Genes, an eco-friendly retailer with products ranging from organic baby clothes to cloth diapers, wooden toys, books and more. Even cuter than the items Green Genes carries is the Chicago-based storefront, which was designed using sustainable bamboo and low-VOC paints.

Baby & Kids: What's the mission of Green Genes?

Heather Muestermann, co-owner: Our mission encompasses many things, but overall, we hope to help consumers realize that every small change can add up to make a larger difference in the big environmental picture. We have many people who come to us seeking answers, and we embrace the opportunity to help educate whenever we are able to do so. Our customers are eager to learn about things like organic cotton, BPA and why it should be avoided, reducing their use of excess bags and food containers as well the importance of buying locally and sustainably made products. We hope that if babies and kids are exposed to this information early on that making eco-friendly choices will become second-nature. And honestly, we love providing fun, fashionable and useful items that just happen to help make the world a bit greener!

B&K: What's the story behind founding the company? Have you been involved in the youth retail industry before?

HM: Over the years, I've spent a fair amount of time in the land of retail. My early jobs in high school and college breaks included plenty of time working retail at Disneyland. During graduate school, I was a personal shopper at FAO Schwarz toy store, and in between jobs that actually pertained to my career of art therapy, I managed a Baby and Kids GAP store, as well a local children's boutique. It became clear that the personal interaction and specialty customer service provided in a small boutique was very important to me. Combined with consistently expanding environmental choices at home, I realized I wanted to start my own business along with my partner, Tina. We wanted to be a one-stop-shop for many of the necessities as well as fun items that go along with kids and babies. The piece that sets Green Genes apart from other kids' stores is that all products are chosen with the bigger impact in mind — clothing is made from organic cotton, bamboo or other sustainable materials. Toys are typically wooden and locally or domestically made whenever possible. Since adults deserve green goodies, too, we also provide a selection of organic soaps, lotions, reusable totes, water bottles and paper goods.

B&K: What are a few of the bestsellers at Green Genes?

HM: We are definitely known for our whimsical, funky and sweet graphic onesies, and people come to us to see what's new in onesies. Additionally, people can't get enough of Sophie the giraffe, a natural rubber teething toy made the exact same way in France since 1961! Adults and kids alike have become huge fans of Green Genes' exclusive one-of-a-kind Sweater Dude and Friends line. Locally made, these toys are all hand-stitched using repurposed wool sweaters.

B&K: What are your plans for the future?

HM: Our brains are always going in a million different directions. We'd love a second location eventually, but that's still farther down the road. We are looking forward to our third birthday celebration April 2–3!

Photo courtesy Green Genes.