Love, Linda

091614_CRTPost_LoveLinda_DanceFashion meets health with kids being the winners.

After working in the entertainment industry for many years, Linda Brukman Brown pursues her love of knitting, selling her own knit designs during her lunch breaks to stores on trendy Melrose and Montana Avenues in Los Angeles, California.

Later, with products in over 150 stores nationwide –and a love of books and book art- Linda decides to re-launch her line as Love, Linda – The Art of Reading, curating unique children’s illustrations by fine artists from all over “to bring their creative imagination into your homes.”

091614_CRTPost_LoveLinda_DogGlassesMade in the USA. The Oak Park, CA-based company, now in their twenty-second year, produces a full line of tees, one pieces and more designed with art from children’s book illustrators such as Mary Jane Begin, Jennifer Goldfinger, Daniel J. Mahoney, Amy Schimler and others. Her newest collection is a line of Allergy Awareness clothing.

091614_CRTPost_LoveLinda_ImDairyFreeImagine walking into a school knowing that about 5.9 million children under the age of 18 have a food allergy such as dairy, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy. This is the world Linda found herself in when she began to research why she was having bronchial infections and other related illnesses that have plagued her for almost 12 years.  Frustrated that doctor after doctor could not help her, she turned to an Acupuncturist who is trained in both Eastern and Western medicine. The doctor suggested giving up dairy, focusing on other types of food allergies as well, which led to not only immediate relief and subsidence of Linda’s symptoms, she began a quest for information and a passion to give children, especially those too young to advocate for themselves, a way to tell others about their allergies

091614_CRTPost_LoveLinda_Hugs“My hope is that no child or parent will have to fear going to school or a play date and worry that their allergy will turn their day upside down,” Linda says. Her Allergy Awareness collection features kid friendly designs and slogans, as well as a line of stickers to adorn lunch boxes.



Salvage Maria Clothing

Up-cycled, reclaimed children’s clothing label débuts in Pop-In@Nordstrom nationwide.

091814_CRTPost_SalvageMaria_02Salvage Maria, considered a “tragically hip” collection that launched earlier this year in Los Angeles, uses a mix of salvaged and new fabrics to create ready-to-wear looks for style-savvy kids. The clothing line’s mission is to breathe new life into old favorites – every Salvage Maria piece is proudly Made in the USA from salvaged, upcycled, reclaimed and new fabrics carefully chosen by designer Janeesa Joseph, a native of Dallas, TX with Mexican heritage, and her mother, Maria -who occasionally travels to Mexico to source unique fabrics. Salvage Maria works closely with local vendors to ensure keepsake-quality designs and they also take custom orders, reinventing customers’ personal pieces for their kids.

091814_CRTPost_SalvageMaria_01A few years ago, Janeesa gets inspired by a friend who makes her sons’ play pants out of her husband’s old t-shirts and decides to try her hand at up cycling her own creations. She quickly receives custom orders and a warm reception for her reclaimed, handmade styles. Busy after the birth of her son, Janeesa puts Salvage Maria on the backburner, hoping to revisit her passion project when her son starts preschool. However, the tragic death of Janeesa’s younger brother on Christmas Eve is the catalyst for reviving Salvage Maria as a way to honor her brother’s memory.

091814_CRTPost_SalvageMaria_05“My mother Maria had packed some of his clothes to be donated,” Janeesa says.
“Fortunately, I was able to save some t-shirts and other pieces. With what we had, we designed tees, pants, cardigans and pajamas for my little guy. We also set aside some of my brother’s other items for my sisters whenever they have children. It was bittersweet, intimate and such a special process. It truly encompassed on a personal level the power of ‘Salvage Maria.'”

J091814_CRTPost_SalvageMaria_04ust a few short months after the February 2014 launch, Olivia Kim, director of creative projects at Nordstrom, handpicks Salvage Maria via Instagram to sell its one-of-a-kind creations in Pop-In@Nordstrom at eight flagship locations including Seattle, San Francisco and Dallas, and online at nordstrom.com until October 12. The month-long event is part of an ongoing series of themed pop-up shops curated by Olivia, showcasing an eclectic mix of rising stars in the design world. Salvage Maria’s distinctive handmade fringe vegan leather jackets, hand-distressed jean jackets, fringed vests and reworked vintage tees are available for sale. Salvage Maria is also offering special giveaways at all eight locations.

What a fantastic way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through October 15, sí?


Rum Punch

091114_CRTPost_RumPunchLife_03Mindfully handmade designer apparel for the entire family.

Lifestyle brand Rum Punch is a delightfully colorful and vibrant apparel line made from super soft, luxurious, organic and sustainable fabrics like hemp and bamboo and features a modern fit. Kids and baby collection Petit Punch recently launches with more to come for the rest of the family.

Our lifestyle brand is for people who think differently, who go against the grain, who say what they feel and dare to take action. People who want to make a difference in the world and who want to live the Life they Love.

091114_CRTPost_RumPunchLife_04Sold exclusively at RumPunch.com. The vibrant tie-dyed goods with inspirational messages are designed and made in Los Angeles, CA USA by designer Sybile Kohn-Deutschman. A wardrobe stylist in an earlier llife, Sybile believes that clothing is not only a reflection of how you feel about yourself and the world around you, but fashion can also change you from the outside in. She gets her inspiration from growing up on islands like Tahiti, St. Barths and the Dominican Republic, as well as sailing the Caribbean with her family. “You’re never too young to inspire others and you’re never too old to live the life you love,” she says. She appreciates the importance of slowing down, staying connected and keeping the colorful spirit of the islands in her everyday life.

091114_CRTPost_RumPunchLife_05Sybile has created an empowering, uplifting and environmentally conscious brand that encompasses a love of life, a respect for nature, the spirit of adventure, excitement for the unknown and the belief that giving is just as important as receiving -the company works with The Teen Project.

091114_CRTPost_RumPunchLife_02And since life is more than just bringing up kids, check out Sybile’s blog. For her, it’s a Rum Punch Life!

Incidentally, all of the Rum Punch product shots are taken by photographer (and Sybile’s husband) Robert Deutschman. View more of his work at www.robertdeutschman.com.



Little seats for little peeps. 

One look at Seattle artisan Bruce Hanamura’s whimsical-yet-modern chairs perfectly proportioned for children will have you wishing for a smaller behind, perhaps … just so you, too, could enjoy sitting on the soft, smooth surfaces he creates from solid Mahogany, Western Maple, Walnut and Birch.

You’ll have to be happy to let your kids dream of a forest where magical animals frolic and play – while they sit on a moriko. In fact, the name moriko means, “forest child,” and the children’s furniture line includes little seats that resemble a rabbit (usage), fox (kitsune), beaver (biba) and squirrel (risu) –all uniquely hand-crafted, heirloom-quality solid wood seating that is Made in the USA. Currently moriko’s ship in three to four weeks.

Each chair evokes the personality and character of the animal it represents, and is a loving and unexpected detail for any child’s play space.


Not to worry. Bruce also designs custom furniture for adults (and the size of their behinds) through his company The Design Pallet. He likes to use reclaimed and local lumber giving it a second life as desks, tables, chairs, headboards, night stands – anything your adult imagination can dream up!


Lolly Wolly Doodle

Brandi Tysinger-Temple is sitting with her niece Lolly while setting up an account on eBay to sell her homemade clothing for kids.

090414_CRTPost_LollyWollyDoodle_03“What are you going to call it?” Lolly asks Brandi.

“Well I don’t know, Lolly Wolly Doodle,” Brandi answers using Lolly’s nickname, “what do you think I should call it?”

Right then and there, the two realize they already have a great name! Lolly Wolly Doodle is entered into the eBay form and voila – Brandi’s got herself an account.

That was about six years ago. While Brandi is selling her creations on eBay, she decides to offer them on her Facebook page on a lark – and this is when the business turns into something even more special.

090414_CRTPost_LollyWollyDoodle_01Recently featured on ABC World News, Brandi’s clothing business has grown out of the house and into its own production facility, realizing $11 million in sales a year – and Lolly Wolly Doodle (LWD) has become one of the largest employers in her town, Lexington, North Carolina. “We’ve created jobs for more than 100 people,” Brandi says on her website. “Lexington was once a thriving manufacturing and textile town but now has an unemployment rate of 10.7% (one of the highest in the country), with almost all of the manufacturing work having moved abroad. Creating meaningful work for our great LWD team of people – every one of them with an incredible and often heartbreaking story of their own – has been without a doubt one of the greatest blessings of building this company.”

090414_CRTPost_LollyWollyDoodle_04Lolly Wolly Doodle makes apparel, holiday clothes and accessories for girls, boys, babies, ladies and families – just recently, LWD launched DESIGNEDbyMe, where you have the chance to design your own clothes, made by the LWD team in North Carolina and delivered to you in three weeks.

Some folks say Lolly Wolly Doodle makes the cutest kids clothes on the planet, and I say they’re also making a lot of dreams come true.


TrailHoppers by Cozey7

Introducing the first performance blanket for your little explorer.

090214_CRTPost_TrailHopper_08Perfect for an Errand or Adventure. In a world of multitasking, everyone could use an extra hand – especially parents. TrailHoppers are a hands-free way to keep your little ones bundled up, cozy-warm, while you walk the dog, carry the diaper bag or push a sibling on a swing. Made from warm, breathable, recycled Polartec,® TrailHoppers are an extra layer to keep the chill away, but they don’t blow away or get run over by the stroller! TrailHoppers integrate with all baby gear and fit between the buckles of car seats, strollers, backpacks, front packs and swaddlers, plus kids can wear them over a diaper or snowsuit.

090214_CRTPost_TrailHopper_05Jill Winckler, a mom from Colorado and founder of Cozey7®, found that a regular blanket requires both hands free to keep little ones’ legs and toes covered while out running errands or enjoying a hike in nature. It’s easy to keep them cozy with a sweater, hoodie or jacket, but legs and toes stay cold. So Jill invented this functional blanket that’s easy for parents to use and even easier for kids to wear.

“TrailHoppers are made for life with the wee set. Whether you’re running errands, bopping around the zoo or kickin’ it on a new trail, this blanket keeps your hands free and gives you peace of mind that your little explorer will be ‘cozey’ and stay tucked all day, down to their toes.”

090214_CRTPost_TrailHopper_02Super Convenient. TrailHoppers’ Polartec® fabric is produced in the U.S. and is the highest quality fleece. The Denier spandex trim has an unbelievable feel and is quick drying, keeping little explorers’ chins from getting chaffed and soggy. The zipper’s anti-jam system makes it easy to zip’em up and off you go. The easy open-toe flap saves you from back-tracking to find a lost sock or shoe or opens to let kids explore.

Made in the USA. “Bringing apparel manufacturing back to the U.S. is a big issue,” Jill says. “A few years back our designers left the U.S. for cheap labor. Young and old were exploited in the factories overseas and at the end of the day, it’s not the best practice. At Cozey7, we have sourced our materials in the U.S. and are manufacturing the TrailHoppers right in Colorado. This has given us the opportunity to build a strong relationship with our manufacturer and see that the production crew is compensated fairly and has a safe work environment.”

Available in a modern array of colors, TrailHoppers are suited for newborns and children up to two years of age. To see the blankets on active toddlers, look through Cozey7’s online picture gallery or Facebook page. Buy on the website or select specialty stores.


Sniffie Clippies from Sweet Julep’s

082814_CRTPost_SniffieClippies_03Innovative hair confections, each with a fun fragrance.

From popular couture hair accessories brand Sweet Julep’s come Sniffie Clippies, scented hair clips, bands and bows, plus bracelets and necklaces with a unique, fun fragrance that will last up to 12 months, then slowly dissipate. Each Sniffie is individually packaged in cello wrap and given a fragrance name. Recent additions are mango, passion fruit and kiwi.

082814_CRTPost_SniffieClippies_04Made in the USA. Creator/designer Alice Hardin, a former Hollywood nanny, originally opened for business as Ruby’s Closet, before changing the name to Sweet Julep’s in 2012. Alice’s hair accessories have a “no-slip” interior called Silly Grip, made from the same material as baby bottle nipples and proven to out-perform all other types of grip. Each design is made with components that are held to high safety standards and are environmentally friendly. Wholesale available.

082814_CRTPost_SniffieClippies_05Children’s Retail Today publishes new articles each week about innovative, imaginative and inspiring products for children. Contact me today with your great idea!