After two days at the ABC Expo, I feel quite underwhelmed with this year's offerings. There are hundreds (thousands?) of vendors, but a lot of it feels like rows and rows of more of the same. There are a *spectacular* number of cloth diaper vendors at the show this year, and I have to say, I can appreciate how overwhelmed new parents must feel when they walk into our stores. I went to the show expecting to pick up some new cloth diaper brands, but at this point, I'm starting to feel like adding more variety to our already great selection of cloth diapers might actually do a disservice to our customers.
Seeing cloth diapers in person at a show like ABC gives me a chance to properly evaluate them. I was on the fence about the new Tiny Socialite collection from the folks at bumGenius, but seeing them IRL offered some reassurance that preordering them was a smart move. While they not be to everyone's taste, the prints look quite different in person than they do online -- I like them, all of them! The Flip diaper system now includes an optional newborn insert, a smart add-on that parents can buy to make the diapers fit small newborns better.
Bummis debuted a few new prints, both in their Super Whisper Wraps and their Super Brite covers. They're also introducing a new 'economy' cover, we ordered some, though I tend to think the term 'economy' as applied to a diaper cover is somewhat of a misnomer as all cloth diapers can be considered 'economy' when compared to their throwaway counterparts. We got a preview of a prototype of a product still in development, it's always exciting to get a sneak peak of what's coming up, the process of developing a new product is not a quick one, it requires lots of testing and tweaking! Suffice it to say, when this particular product is rolled out, I think it will be well-received!
At this point, the only new product we've picked up is a line of bamboo breastpads from Bamboobies. The breastpads are trim, absorbent, and leakproof. I've had my eye on them for a while, their daytime breastpads are very discrete under clothing, and they offer a more absorbent breastpad that's great if you leak overnight. We currently stock the bamboo breastpads from Mother-ease, but they are b-u-l-k-y!
We're considering a few new products that I'm still undecided about. Tegu magnetic wooden blocks are a novel approach to traditional wooden building blocks. The blocks are magnetic, so kids can create all kinds of configurations, however, the price point is a little high. $60 for 26 assorted blocks. Too high? Just right? I know we're not a toy store, but it's nice to offer something for the big brothers and sisters out there.
Another product up for consideration (and this is where I totally have to eat crow, mmmmm!) is the Woombie swaddler. We receive requests for a swaddler quite often, and the Woombie brand is a frequent request. Yes, it looks like a straight jacket, but for a baby who likes to be swaddled, I can see the appeal. Have any of you actually used this swaddler? Thoughts? Yay or nay???
There a plethora of nursing covers here, another product that customers frequently request. I'm not opposed to the idea of a nursing cover, I think any product that makes a woman feel comfortable nursing is a welcome addition to our store, however, there are so many different kinds of nursing covers, it makes my head spin. Bibs, shawls, shrugs, and the list goes on! It's time I just pick one and order it...
A major disappointment at the show is that Infantino has debuted some new carriers, a knock-off of Ergo, and a knock-off of the standard Mei Tai. Infantino's poorly-designed bag sling was responsible for the deaths of three infants, resulting in a recall and causing people to question the safety of babywearing in general. Infantino's new slings look shoddy and in person, I hope people are able to see past the low suggested retail price and realize that you get what you pay for. As attractivec as a low pricetag might be, it's not worth compromising the safety of a child.
Today is my last day at the show, I've put in loads of reorders to our existing suppliers, and now I need to make a final decision about the products I'm on the fence about. There are many (many!) bizarre new product offerings this year, suffice it to say, there will never be a shortage of stupidity when it comes to trying to suck the money out of new parents' wallets.