Stinky McGee

050813_StinkyMcGee_01How could you not wanna learn more about a company called Stinky McGee?

I’m a huge fan of lifestyle designer family Novogratz, so when the bow tie-loving boys Five and Major wanted to wear Stinky McGee bow ties on a recent Today Show segment last fall, I not only wanted to see the segment, I wanted to know more about this fun, hip company.

Made in Brooklyn, for boys everywhere.

For your little stinker. Stinky McGee designs bowties and neckties at the company’s New York home base, sourcing from the Garment District and all 50 states – for a stylish, creative yet fun look, where cool fabric accoutrements are attached with an adjustable slider and a soft plastic clasp.

We here at Stinky McGee believe every little boy deserves and wants hip, stylish, comfy accessories.

050813_StinkyMcGee_04Perfect for special occasions and everything in between (neckties at the beach?) – I especially like the Mini McGees – long or short sleeved one-pieces made from 100% certified organic cotton, which come with a snap-on-snap-off bow tie.

Choose Friendship Company

Choose Friendship is not only the name of a family-owned company from Michigan, but a way of life and daily affirmation that is spreading like wildfire.

Specializing in crafting kits, Choose Friendship Company is taking traditional crafting to the next level, making it easier, all-inclusive and travel-ready … the kind of  “no-muss-no-fuss” that crafters of all ages appreciate.

The company that David Crorey started while babysitting his granddaughters -trying to perfect the old-fashioned method of creating friendship bracelets he introduced the patented innovation My Friendship Bracelet Maker®- goes above and beyond to provide a helping hand worldwide.

050213_ChooseFriendship_02The team started with initiatives that encouraged crafters to create bracelets for those touched by cancer (Pink and White, Kids Join the Fight), diabetes awareness (Embracing You With a Circle of Blue), and military families (Red, White and Blue, Kids Serve Too).

Last year Choose Friendship Co. partnered with Mad Habit Media, a local teen artist, and over 100 Michigan kids to create a flash mob style music video, featuring the song “Inside Out” that inspires others to choose friendship rather than empower bullies. The profit raised from iTunes downloads and t-shirt sales were donated to Defeat The Label, a local anti-bullying organization.

Touched by stories of those devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Choose Friendship Co. donated products to independent toy stores on the coast and the Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.). Other recent contributions include Maiden Nation’s cause of helping survivors from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to build a new life.

Plans are underway to work with Wish Upon a Teen to help teenagers with developmental or medical conditions.

050213_ChooseFriendship_01Today, the Choose Friendship family business has gone global, continually expanding its product line to an ever-widening audience with exciting innovation to both traditional and new crafting techniques. Their mission is to engage kids in creative self expression, while continuing to promote the message of friendship.

With 18 awards and counting, Choose Friendship Company products consistently win ratings for entertainment, originality and educational value from parent and industry experts. As compact, travel-ready imagination starters, all of their products come with everything kid crafters need to unplug from digital distractions and explore their connections to each other.

Froufrou & Company

From “America’s Finest City” comes a new girl’s swimwear line for summer.

050113_Froufrou&Company_01Selena and Analia Reif tell me they’ve always had a fancy for frills and a knack for design. They’re both very passionate about their new venture together, Froufrou & Company, a chic brand of baby swimwear for girls ages newborn to four years.

Our bathing suit designs are for the un-apologetically girly-girl with a love of fun, frills and fashion.

Made in the USA. The high-quality swimwear includes handmade touches and whimsical details that make the suits truly couture. The San Diego, CA-based Froufrou & Company baby swimwear is designed and manufactured by the sister team in Southern California. From linings in contrasting colors and patterns to hand-sewn bows adorning all the suits, their high standards for craftsmanship, as well as attention to detail and an eye for design set Froufrou & Company girls swimsuits apart – fur shur.

050113_Froufrou&Company_03Included in the Summer 2013 collection are one-piece swimsuits, bikinis, swim caps and headbands, to add charm and nostalgia. The swimsuits are available in a range of sizes from 0-6m to 3-4T. Accessories are available in all sizes.

Purchase online at upscale boutiques. All items in the collection are ready for immediate delivery to retailers for the Summer 2013 season. Retailers can contact

050113_Froufrou&Company_02Froufrou & Company celebrates the innocence and girliness of childhood with posh swimwear that is unparalleled both in style and quality.

One Dynamic Duo. As little girls Selena and Analia were inseparable, and found many outlets for their creative energies; one of their favorite pastimes was playing dress-up in their mother’s most glamorous skirts and scarves.

050113_Froufrou&Company_logoReminiscent of their childhood days, the sisters created Froufrou & Company out of a love of all things sweet in life. Their collective degrees in economics, fashion and graphic design make them one dynamic duo ready to make waves with their design début this summer.

kissy kissy

One of the premiere American brands of layette, the kissy kissy label showcases fine Pima cotton.

Award-winning kissy kissy is a charming collection from New Jersey-based Tatiana and Company, owned and managed by women. Featuring what’s considered the world’s softest fabric for babies, the line is made from Peruvian Pima cotton.

We pride ourselves in creating quality products with infinite attention to detail, resulting in Earnie Awards for Design Excellence. Known for our trademark softness, we use only the highest quality Peruvian Pima cotton so that the most luxurious and gentlest fabric touches a baby’s skin.

Named after the Pima Indians, Pima cotton originates on the Peruvian coast. Prized the world over for exceptional softness and brilliant luster,  Peruvian Pima cotton is especially durable and highly resistant to pilling.

012913_kissykissy_01Tatiana and Company’s operation in Peru includes a team of local artisans -mothers and grandmothers who make by hand the embroideries that set kissy kissy apart from many other lines. Garments are produced in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Business Alliance for Secure Commerce (BASC).

012913_kissykissy_TatianaCompanyLogoTraditional layette with an innovative twist. Timeless details, whimsical prints and splashes of color characterize this 15-year-old brand, which has grown to include kissy kissy Premier, featuring delicate hand-embroideries; Besos by kissy, hand-made Christening outfits; Simply Kissy, comfortable, basic layette and accessories and Qt-Qt by kissy kissy, with fresh color combinations, textures, geometrical designs, stitches, ruffles and new shapes.

You can find the kissy kissy line in department stores and specialty boutiques around the world.

  • Children’s Retail Today publishes new posts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you want to get the word out about your innovative, imaginative and inspiring products for children, contact me today!

New Wendy Bellissimo collections début in June

Fans can expect innovative, streamlined apparel and fashion-forward creations made from high quality fabric reminiscent of the favored Bellissimo lines originally launched in 1997.

Wendy Bellissimo Media, Inc. and 5 Star Apparel Group recently announced a licensing partnership that includes the marketing, production and distribution of the Wendy Bellissimo Baby & Kids apparel line. 5 Star -which owns and licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including kids lines Mecca, Akademiks and Rocawear– is heading the creation, production and distribution of favored Bellissimo brand lines including layette sets, sleepwear and clothing geared for boys and girls ages 0-7.

With the re-launch of our Wendy Bellissimo Baby and Kids apparel designs, the consumer will have an opportunity to enjoy my designs and the products that have become so well-loved on a mainstream level. With the support of 5 Star, we hope to bring these creations back to the consumer for Fall 2012.

-Wendy Bellissimo

The mother of four daughters, Wendy Bellissimo is widely known as a successful entrepreneur with a passion for creating products that families love. First perceived as an authority on products for growing families, Wendy’s sincerity and approachability enable her to connect with other women who see her as either the mom they are or as the mom they would like to be.

A celebrity favorite designer as well as a sought-after television personality, Wendy is hard at work designing new collections for apparel and room décor, scheduled to début in June.

In the meantime, enjoy one of Wendy’s videos!

kangacoo designs at SAG Awards

The youngest actor to ever receive Screen Actors Guild recognition wears a kangacoo designs original. Congratulations!

When the cast of ABC’s Modern Family accepted the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, little Lily Tucker-Pritchett was wearing a kangacoo designs original dress.

The character Lily, daughter of her two loving adoptive dads Mitchell and Cameron, is played by Aubrey Anderson Emmons who, along with her mom Amy Anderson and agent Carlyne from Dramatic Artists Agency, requested a simple, chic dress for the event. Designer Katie Nguyen delivered -adding a little sparkle as well. Aubrey completed her look with black tights, black patent leather shoes and an itty bitty purse. Katie’s longtime friend stylist Brooke Lee gave Aubrey a pretty side bun with feather clip and light makeup.

In 2008, Katie founded kangacoo designs, creating fun and functional clothes for kids using two basic principles: Creativity is King and Life is an Occasion, Dress for It!

My ruffle leggings are my signature piece and I have built a made-to-match collection around the leggings. My design is inspired by the fabric I find so you can always expect to see interesting fabrics and textures in my collections.

-Katie Nguyen  

Where the runway meets the playground. “I believe that clothes should be fun and unique,” Katie says, “but also wearable and washable.” The line includes dresses, leggings, play clothes, swimwear and more and Katie tells me the business has grown with a lot of love and hard work. Fans can buy the handmade/custom collection as well as a wholesale line carried in almost 50 stores nationwide and abroad.

Cupcake Pajamas from The Baby Bunch

You’re probably familiar with The Baby Bunch, one of Martha Stewart’s favs.

I’ve been a fan of The Baby Bunch ever since I first saw the lovely gift bouquets full of soft baby essentials. The thoughtful packaging just seems to enhance the elegant contents within.

The Baby Bunch combines practicality with presentation. We wanted to create a gift that was attractive yet useful and offers everything a baby needs to get the best possible start in life.”

-founders Bryony Boxer and Simon Martin

If you haven’t seen these cute little morsels of baby happiness, here’s your chance. The company is now serving Cupcake Pajamas in pink for girls and blue for boys. Each box contains a 100% cotton top and matching striped bottom rolled to look like cupcakes, suitable for a child 12-18 months or up to 22 lbs. (remove the decorative elements before putting clothing on child). Each box is tied with a ribbon and bears a gift tag.

By the way, Baby Bunch gifts delight parents, too!

Fresh Find for Valentine Inventory

An imaginative artist captures the “cute” in a playful collection of jewelry and artwork inspired by his original pop art.

Looking for that one last Valentine’s Day find sure to capture the hearts of little girls- and their moms at the same time? Oakland CA, USA-based artist Mark Poulin combines his passion for metalworking and pop art to create a quirky, modern twist on the classic charm. From dogs and cats, groundhogs and squirrels, to stars and Martians, his playful sterling silver charms are hand-cast from wax models of his original drawings.

The Mark Poulin Jewelry collection is a real find- a modern, affordable assortment of handmade rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, coupled with unique plaques and prints featuring cartoons of endearing animals and bold graphics created from his original sketches, kiln-fired into enamels.

Mark’s work also features bright, bold colors in unique shapes and designs, perfect for any age. With four distinct looks:

Charms – affordable sterling silver treasures

Cartoons – sketches of favorite creatures

Botanical – a modern slant on nature

Modern – simple bold color for men and women

My designs express two distinct sides of my personality.

-Mark Poulin

Mark Poulin’s work is featured in jewelry, children’s and art stores, including SFMOMA and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Available wholesale.

Handmade in Texas

Muddy Feet Boutique is a fresh new children’s clothing line handmade in Texas.

A mix of traditional and trendy, the line recently débuted with a Spring/Summer 2012 collection at the Dallas Market Center. Founder and lead designer Jessica Sherrill tells me it was welcomed with a tremendous response. Each garment is handmade to order, with a production time of approximately 7-10 days.

Jessica and her team use sewing machines to construct most garments and finishing/trim work is sewn by hand. All draping, patternmaking and samples are done in-house. “Muddy Feet Boutique started while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree with aspirations of law school,” she says. “I realized I loved creating clothes way more than arguing law cases.”

There are many positives to this slow design approach. If you would like to add a sleeve or lengthen a hemline, this is available for little to no charge. Many color options are also available, some at no extra charge, too.

-Jessica Sherrill

After attending Parsons The New School of Design, Jessica worked at a very high-end children’s wear company before returning to her Texas home and venture out on her own. Contact her for custom designs, or find Muddy Feet on Facebook

New Children’s Book Celebrates the Christmas Spirit

A magical sleigh ride helps bring a family together in time for the holidays.

Author/illustrator Alan Anderson loves everything about Christmas – the lights, the music, the decorations, family, snow, giving gifts, the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus. In The Christmas Sleigh, he weaves his fondest memories into a children’s story book that illustrates when we care about others, life becomes richer.

Published by WestBow Press, The Christmas Sleigh introduces readers to Anya, a young girl who is out on the town celebrating the season with her parents -who are separated – putting aside their differences on behalf of their daughter for this one evening. While on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, friendly driver Tommy tells them a wondrous holiday story about his own life, which transforms their lives forever.

When Anya comes to learn Tommy’s secret, it becomes a story that can have great affect upon anyone willing to listen; Happiness can only be found as one puts forth sincere effort to make others happy.

-Alan Anderson

Thinking of writing a children’s book for your store?

WestBow Press is a strategic self-publishing alliance of Thomas Nelson, Inc., the world’s largest Christian publisher, and Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI), a leader in the popular self-publishing industry segment, distributing products in more than 100 countries worldwide. Through this partnership, authors benefit from the rich publishing heritage of Thomas Nelson and the speed-to-market advantages of the ASI self-publishing model. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication under the Thomas Nelson imprint. For more information, or to start publishing today, visit or call (866)-928-1240.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!