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Dapper + Crown


New Seasonless Apparel Children’s Brand Launches 

Based in southern California, Dapper + Crown is a recently launched, family-owned children’s apparel brand featuring classic clothes for children that can be worn every day.

Husband and wife team James and Yves Homan are thrilled to have their entire line Made in the USA – manufactured in Los Angeles, California utilizing imported fabrics.

“My clothes were typically made by my aunt or mother and handed down with love from one girl in the family to another,” says designer Mom Yves. “I could wear them to play or on a stylish Sunday drive with my dad, who passed down his innate love of fashion to me.”

Born and raised in the Philippines, she is inspired by reimagining these handcrafted pieces to wear herself or by others. After the Homans had their own daughter, they wanted to bring Yves’ wardrobe tradition to growing families in America.

Inaugural Collection

Dapper + Crown pieces are timeless in design and ageless in quality. Everything is made to be dashing and unique, as well as comfortable and durable:

 FIONA –  100% cotton, three-quarter sleeve top with collar and button back closure with flounced bottom, available in Aloe with Storm contrasting Peter Pan collar and trim or Pearl Pink with Coral collar and contrasting trim.

WILLOW – jump skirt with ruffle trim and crossed back, available in Citrus (corduroy) or Titanium (100% cotton).

MACKENNA – three-quarter sleeve dress with Peter Pan collar, button back, and back tie, available in 100% cotton Periwinkle or Sand.

PIPER – classic, tailored chambray blazer with notched collar, tan elbow patches, and star print lining.

Made to be worn continuously throughout the year, the size run is 2 – 6 and are available exclusively online at www.dappercrownclothing.com. The Homans are also passionate about supporting local manufacturing. With the entire collection made locally, the family can be intimately involved in the entire creative process.

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JPMA Baby Show


The JPMA Baby Show is poised to become the industry’s premier trade show and leading consumer baby show franchise in North America.

The 2nd Annual JPMA Baby Show is March 20-24, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC. Part of The Baby Show Series created by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) in partnership with Family Media, LLC, this event provides a world-class trade show experience with three days of a trade show floor, two days of educational conferences and one of the largest consumer baby shows in North America.

Providing parents and caregivers with new, innovative, well-designed products at retail is essential to the health and vitality of the juvenile products industry. The JPMA Baby Show is where industry leaders discuss relevant safety issues, educate the industry, connect with consumers and provide a showcase to launch and sell new products.

Registration Now Open

The JPMA Baby Show is the only juvenile products industry event in North America that combines an educational conference, trade show and consumer day rolled into one event. Admission to the trade show/education conference is open to businesses in juvenile products and related industries.

  • manufacturers, their representatives and distributors
  • national and specialty retailers
  • social influencers
  • the press
  • licensors
  • service providers
  • entrepreneurs
  • standards organizations
  • child safety-focused NGO’s
  • non-profit organizations

Estimated 2,000 – 3,000 Attendees

JPMA member manufacturers are the leading sources of new and innovative products.

  • Learn what’s new, what’s trending and how you can drive your retail business forward to success through seminars and workshops at a JPMA University Session.
  • Connect with suppliers, designers, social influencers, media and entrepreneurs from across North America and around the world.
  • Discover new products, check out the JPMA Innovations Award-winning products and learn about the research findings that can change your business.

The Baby Show Series kicked off in May 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center with JPMA’s conference and trade show followed by the one-day Anaheim Baby Show for consumers. The inaugural event hosted over 300,000 sq. ft. of curated exhibit space. JPMA is an international trade organization of more than 200 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico – manufacturers, importers and distributors of prenatal to preschool products. Each year, JPMA sponsors Baby Safety Month in September to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of the safe use and selection of juvenile products. Family Media reaches over 120,000 families per month through print magazines, online platforms and local community events, including the New York Baby Show -the largest consumer show for new and expectant families in the country- and the New York Family Camp Fair Series and education recognition awards, among others.

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Little Hippie


Good Art Is Everything

Under the direction of founding artist Taylor Swope, lifestyle brand Little Hippie creates art you and your children can wear, enjoy in your home or send to friends and family. In her words,

We are adventurers, cosmic explorers, radical dreamers, and flower children. 
We are creatures made of love and we make the world our playground. 
We are artists, crafters and designers; every day creators.

Founded in October 2002, Little Hippie is known as a community voice, fostering creativity to nurture the magic inside all of us, at any age. As a long-time licensee of the Grateful Dead, Little Hippie has an expert understanding of a devoted fanbase, establishing a genuine connection with them as well as new fans who share their stories and are looking for new merchandise.

Little Hippie & The Jim Henson Company

Recently, The Jim Henson Company signed Little Hippie as apparel and home goods licensee, to create new lines of merchandise featuring beloved classic brands Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock. The lines include infant and toddler apparel, adult apparel, accessories and home goods for direct and online sales, as well as selected specialty and mid-tier retail locations nationwide. Apparel sizes range from infant, toddler and youth with coordinating adult styles. The home goods line will include Little Hippie’s signature woven cotton blankets, fleece blankets, tapestries, bed linens, posters; the accessory collection will include pins, tote bags and hats.

“As someone who grew up watching Fraggle Rock,” Taylor says, “I can attest to how much these characters mean to our existing customers who already want to pass on to their children Jim Henson’s valuable lessons of friendship, understanding of others and interconnectedness. No other creator aligns with our company values more, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Henson’s imagination through developing art from his characters.”

The collection launched this past July at the Museum of Pop Culture’s retrospective Jim Henson Exhibition in Seattle. Products are now available at LittleHippie.com with further retail placement throughout Fall 2017.

“Fraggle Rock was created to encourage and celebrate acceptance, tolerance and diversity in the world. Little Hippie is a perfect partner, sharing these core ideas and bringing a uniquely creative vision to these new merchandise lines,” Nicole Goldman, Executive Vice President of Marketing and PR for The Jim Henson Company, says. “Fans will dance their cares away with Taylor’s imaginative designs and products that reflect the joy and irreverence of this beloved brand.”

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National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources


Children’s retailers, are you suffering from inventory headaches? Five ways you’re triggering them.

Do children’s retail products inventory managers enjoy a good headache? Why else would so many waste time, drain profitability and divert focus away from core business priorities by mismanaging excess inventory? Whether you prefer a pounding or splitting headache, here are five surefire ways to trigger one now or later. By relying on these common strategies, you might as well just be banging your head against the wall anyway.

  1. Make like an ostrich…put your head in the sand!

Ignore a problem and it will surely go away, right? Just put off decisions about what to do with your slow-moving children’s inventory. You can deal with the growing inventory, expenses and taxes later.

  1. Lease additional space.

Out of sight, out of mind. Lease additional warehouse space and spend your company’s money by contributing to the profitability of storage and logistics warehouse companies.

  1. Liquidate.

Go ahead, sell excess inventory at a dime or pennies on the dollar. Or better yet, give it away to employees as a bonus, and watch it pop up on eBay or in other secondary markets. Then wonder why old inventory is competing against your company’s efforts to sell current stock, why everyone seems to be waiting for your next giveaway or price reduction, or why you’re fielding calls from unhappy customers because your inventory is cutting into their sales and profit margins.

  1. Continue selling it.

Do the same thing over and over again – maybe you’ll be the first person to get a different result. Children’s items are outdated and stale, sales are stagnant, but hey, maybe things will pick up.

  1. Send it to a landfill.

You must really be looking for a public relations headache. Because when the media finds out that your perfectly good merchandise is taking up space in a landfill, you’ll have a doozey.

Seriously, though, don’t you already have enough headaches?

Luckily, there’s a way to eliminate inventory headaches without even popping any pills, and it’s a solution that turns a problem like excess inventory into a positive – for the company’s reputation and bottom line.

IRC Section 170(e)(3), a little-known section of the tax code, allows Regular C Corporations to donate excess inventory and receive an up to twice-cost federal tax deduction. Donating your excess inventory to a gifts-in-kind organization not only will significantly reduce your tax obligation, it will get your excess, non-selling products into the hands of qualified, deserving nonprofits across the country.

Gifts-in-kind organizations solicit donations of valuable, new merchandise from American corporations and redistribute that merchandise to their members, which include schools, churches, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations in need of supplies. The donation process is easy, secure and flexible, and many gifts-in-kind organizations provide a range of free services to donors. They can accept shipments of supplies ranging from one box to dozens of truckloads, and in many cases, the freight charges to ship a donation to a gifts-in-kind program also are tax deductible. They also offer a great solution for companies that are consolidating warehouse locations. Gifts-in-kind organizations keep detailed records of merchandise donations and redistribution, so when tax time rolls around, companies know exactly who received their products and how much they received.

In addition, provisions in the tax code stipulate that donated product cannot be resold, bartered or traded and must be used in a manner consistent with the charity’s mission, which means your product won’t find its way back to the open market. Companies also gain brand protection through their donations. The allocation system for gifts-in-kind donations ensures that the products are distributed across a thinly closed market, providing protection from the brand and product devaluation that can occur when extra inventory ends up in the open market.

Typical Donation Items

  • office supplies
  • class materials
  • clothing and shoes
  • maintenance items
  • tools and hardware
  • toys and games
  • computer software
  • sporting goods, books, tapes and CDs
  • arts and crafts
  • personal care items
  • holiday and party items
  • janitorial supplies
  • and more

Many companies also take advantage of gifts-in-kind programs to manage items such as underperforming SKUs, discontinued models or colors, seconds, buybacks and returns.

Gifts-in-kind organizations offer a simple, pain-free cure for any inventory headache.

Guest Blog by Gary C. Smith

Gary is the president of the National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources (NAEIR), a gifts-in-kind organization based in Galesburg, Illinois. They like to say they are “in the Business of Empowering Generosity,” supporting communities by collecting merchandise donations from generous American corporations and giving it to those who need it most. For more information, contact NAEIR at (800)-562-0955 or donor@naeir.org, or visit www.naeir.org.

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Lelli Kelly Kids Shoes


North American Shoe Company to Relaunch the Footwear Brand in Spring 2018

Rhode Island-based North American Shoe Company is the exclusive licensee for Lelli Kelly Kids in the U.S. and Canada, planning a relaunch of the shoe brand with a new collection in Spring 2018.

Lelli Kelly is renowned for putting the fun and funky back onto little girls’ feet. Launched in Italy in 1992 by the Attilieni family, every little girl wants a pair of Lelli Kelly’s because the gorgeous sparkly collections feature detailed hand-sewn beads and sequined flowers.  A fast favorite with girls, parents are thrilled because each shoe is machine washable, ensuring these high-quality styles stand up to being their little girl’s favorite.

“We are thrilled to be relaunching this much beloved brand in North America,” says Jon Shapiro, director of sales for North American Shoe Company. “This is the first time in several years there has been a specific U.S. distributor targeting consumers in the States. This gives the Lelli Kelly brand the opportunity to be showcased to moms and daughters in a way they are accustomed to.”

Sparkle & Shine Guaranteed Year-Round

The new spring assortment will include 12 to 16 styles of canvas sneakers, Mary Jane’s, high tops, sandals and joggers available in girls sizes from toddler to youth. A new website will launch in 2018 (www.LelliKellyUS.com) and the line will be available to consumers in late January. The launch will be supported by a social media campaign across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with U.S.-specific platforms.

Jon tells us that the relaunch will not only appeal to established fans with easily recognizable looks, these designs will stand out from the crowd, creating new fans as well. “Children’s retailers across the country are so excited about the news and looking forward to having Lelli Kelly back on their shelves,” he says. “We’ve experienced such great response to the relaunch.”

Established in 1918, North American Shoe Company (NASC) is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. for Beeko, Foamtread slippers, Lelli Kelly Kids and Tundra Boots and also distributes Tingley rubber boots. NASC is the leading wholesaler catering to footwear retailers, catalogs, specialty boutiques and online retailers. The company is showing the Lelli Kelly line at the Atlanta Shoe Show, August 19-21, booth #127-133.

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Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small


First major toy launch for beloved little bunny character in the U.S.

Miffy, one of the most recognizable characters in the world, is capturing the imagination of preschoolers in the U.S. this summer.

This past fall, the beloved little bunny created by the late Dutch artist Dick Bruna made her début on Nick Jr. in a new HD CGI TV series, Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small. Children’s apparel lines by Uniqlo, H&M and Kira Kids followed, as well as a book series by Simon and Schuster.

This summer, Walmart rolled out a toy line based on Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small, exclusively, in stores and online, including:

Miffy 3” Family Multipack ($11.88 – Ages 2 and up) – This adorable family figure set includes Miffy, Daddy, Mommy, and Snuffy, each with moving, poseable features. Collect them all!

Miffy Little Red Plane ($11.88 – Ages 2 and up) Plush – Miffy is ready to take to the skies, fly to new places and have new adventures.

Miffy Little Blue Car ($11.88 – Ages 2 and up) – Take a ride with Miffy in her iconic blue car. Miffy is always ready to jump in the car and go.

6” Miffy, Melanie and Snuffy plush ($5.00 each – Ages 18 mos. and up) – Miffy and her friends are all here available in soft, plush format complete with embroidered features.

On August 1, Walmart adds to the Miffy toy line with feature plush, a Miffy house and several Miffy figurines.

 

The 411 on Miffy

Born June 21, 1955, Dutch artist Dick Bruna first draws Miffy to entertain his young son while on a rainy seaside holiday in Holland. The series of picture books which follow use simple illustrations and rhyming text to explore the universal experiences of childhood. Sixty-two years later, the Miffy books have sold more than 85 million copies; currently published in more than 50 languages. Merchandise is sold across five continents, several musicals tour year-round, plus The Miffy Movie and Miffy’s Adventures: Big and Small television series are introduced globally. The Miffy Museum in the city of Utrecht, provides an interactive space specifically designed for young children to discover the world around them – a dominant theme in all Miffy-related projects.