I've just returned from ABC Kids in Las Vegas. It's the biggest tradeshow of the year for baby and kids decor, gear and accessories and there is so much to see. I'm going to be sharing tons of new products and new companies in the upcoming days, but first I wanted to share some of the standouts:
Best Newcomer: RouxRoo
RouxRoo may be new on the scene but you'd never know it from their fully realized concept and the flawless execution of their idea. Combining the visual stimulation of black and white with artsy prints and patterns - primary colors have never been so appealing. The line includes blankets, bibs, burp cloths and a plush tangram toy.
Best Collaboration: Mamas & Papas + Donna Wilson
My heart fluttered when I saw Donna Wilson's instantly recognizable work adorning the Urbo2 stroller (shown here with the carrycot and car seat) and I was surprised to hear that I was one of the few booth visitors who were familiar with her. But hey, that means it's a great opportunity to get Ms. Wilson's terrific work in front of more people. This woodsy fox print is stellar as are the knit blanket and stuffed fox which is Wilson's bailiwick.
Best Problem Solver: SURESHOP stroller bag
You're out running errands and maybe picking up dinner supplies. You start hanging bags on your stroller and it's okay at first but then you become loaded down and, doh, your kid gets out of the stroller and, plunk!, your stroller has tipped and is lying on the sidewalk like a beached whale. The SURESHOP bag prevents this by tethering to the sides of your stroller - smart!
Best Looking Booth: Messy Marvin
I wasn't surprised to learn that Rebekah Woodard of Messy Marvin is an interior designer because her booth had the warmth and welcomingness of a friend's living room. Her line of wipeable, rinseable goods (sofa and chair covers, splat mats, etc.) protect your furniture, in a stylish way, from active kids and pets.
Best Christmas Gift: Kids Play Kitchen by Sprout
Not only is this play kitchen adorable and well-priced ($135), it assembles and disassembles in minutes. Many of my friends and I are in the same boat of having an older child outgrow a play kitchen that we then have to store until a younger child is ready for it. This solves that problem beautifully.
Best Pattern: Moby Wrap in Lotta Jansdotter's Redig Print
I can't remember ever seeing so many baby carriers at ABC before and one of the best ways to keep a product looking fresh is to change up the colors and prints. Moby Wrap smartly licensed the Redig print by print maven Lotta Jansdotter which walks the line between a bold graphic and a sophisticated organic motif.
Best Edgy Piece for the Home: Empire Rocker (without rocker base) by MDB's Nurseryworks
The Empire Rocker has been around for awhile so it was fun to see it re-imagined as a chair for anywhere in the home and with a very non-babyish camo print. This chair is not for everyone and that's exactly what I like about it.
Cutest: Play Table Chairs by Oeuf
If these chairs don't put a smile on your face you might have a heart of ice. Cute without being cutesy, young but not juvenile, in the moment without being too trendy. They actually come with adorable decals to decorate the chairs with faces and other details, but I love them best plain.
These were some of the standouts - lots more ABC Kids coverage to come!
(Images: Carrie McBride)