JANUARY / February 2021
Pajamas for Peace makes a statement with our organic, sustainably-produced, mission-driven products. Our collections push the seams of kids’ fashions. Pajamas for Peace’s mission is to further innovation and inclusivity and to spread peace and positivity with our Buy One, Give One, Empower One program. Pajamas for Peace styles are a canvas for learning. The prints create truly teachable moments.
Star Gazer features real constellations. Sign With Me proudly showcases American Sign Language. Worldly Animals features geographically-accurate animals. Phases of the Moon is inspired by the night sky. And the word “peace” in languages from all over the world is printed across our Universal Peace style. From showcasing classical piano music or featuring the ABCs in a new way, Pajamas for Peace is on a mission to inspire young minds. Join us in creating a more peaceful world, one pair of Pajamas for Peace at a time!
Discovering new frontiers
scene and heard
What’s new, fab and made us smile this month
Children’s wellness author and travel blogger Lana Katsaros’ must-haves
Pantone Colors of the Year
Embrace the chill with these statement-making fall trends
Skip into fall with these shoe wardrobe staples
LET’S TALK STRATEGY
Future-proof your business with these impactful insights
Prepping for market in a pandemic, Mark Jeynes reveals the lessons he learned in 2020
Earnshaw’s JANUARY / February 2021
Keep your hands clean
This page and cover: Molo
EMEMBER WHEN HARRY POTTER read The Daily Prophet newspaper for the first time? The idea of moving images and changing text before his eyes left him taken aback. While I don’t consider myself a Potterhead, I admit I couldn’t stop thinking about that concept while we were building this issue. When you were reading our February issue this time last year, it was likely the print edition. But just as many of you have adapted to the current world, so have we. That whimsical detail imagined by J.K. Rowling is the kind of “magic” we worked hard to create for our readers with Earnshaw’s first-ever interactive magazine!
Unlike Harry Potter’s newspaper, building this issue didn’t include any real magic. This easy-to-navigate, click-worthy content came from weeks of hard work from our award-winning creative team, dedicated to serving our industry in the best possible format during these unprecedented times. What’s more, this is just the beginning of what Earnshaw’s will offer in 2021. I believe becoming a more interactive resource is the next chapter in engaging with our industry. In fact, we already started building more “magical” features into the upcoming Baby Issue! So, without further adieu, I invite you to begin this month’s interactive read. I look forward to hearing what you think! Noelle Heffernan
In presenting this month’s curated selection of top trends and new business approaches, we have pivoted our digital platform to offer an immersive, shoppable experience for buyers. You’ll find most navigation will be through small arrows on either side of the page, moving left to right through the book like you normally would in a traditional digital format. However, some articles will have additional pull quotes, videos or information that can be expanded in the click of a “+” sign. There are also larger feature stories where you will dive deeper into the topic by scrolling down. For added convenience, each story on the “Contents” page is clickable, so you don’t have to waste time flipping—just jump to what you’re most interested in!
THERE WOULD HAVE been no way to predict the volatility and unprecedented times of the past year. I have been in the fashion trade industry for 20 years, and I’ve seen and experienced many challenges, from market crashes to the nightmare of 9/11. But I have also seen how we as an industry have overcome those challenges. This pandemic will be yet another obstacle that will make us stronger in the end. One of the best ways to move forward is to learn and level up. And just as many of you have adapted to the current world, so have
we. What you are currently reading—our strategy issue—is more than just a themed issue detailing business approaches and trends. It is the unveiling of Earnshaw’s latest iteration, an interactive digital experience. With this new format, we can offer advice, spark conversation and drum up new business like never before through intuitive navigation, easy-to-share content and shoppable ads. In this edition, we identify the trends that will shape the next normal. We talk to innovators, from different areas of the retail and tech world (from virtual experiences to augmented reality), to
find out the next driving forces in our industry. We also tell the powerful stories of business owners who managed to not just survive but thrive during these unprecedented times. So, as we venture into this new frontier together, please let us know what else you’d like to see in Earnshaw’s or if you’d like to lend your voice to a guest editorial and share your expertise. It is the exceptional people that make up our industry that sustain my hope for a better tomorrow. Here’s to making deeper connections and sparking more inspiration in 2021!
With this new format, we can offer advice, spark conversation and drum up new business like never before through intuitive navigation, easy-to-share content and shoppable ads.
Noelle Heffernan Publisher
scene & heard
Joules + The Gruffalo
Enter Julia Donaldson’s world with this charming collection.
JOULES HAS ENTERED a licensing partnership with The Gruffalo (terrible tusks, purple prickles, and all). On offer is a line across boys, girls, and baby that brings all her characters to life. Full of fun and whimsy, it’s a collection that will delight both little ones and parents with products ranging from outerwear, accessories, and irresistibly adorable wellies.
Who says you need to be old enough to drive to have a great business idea?
KIERRA PERKINS IS the founder of Kandles By Kierra and the 2020 winner of Idea Tank for Kids at Home, the nation’s biggest entrepreneurship competition for kids age 8–13. “I was comfortable doing this competition because it was for kids like me, and I was also excited to meet other kid entrepreneurs and hear their ideas,” the young CEO said. She began Kandles By Kierra after making a candle for her dad for Father’s Day when she was 11 years old. Her sweet-smelling candles are more like confections with candle “flavors” like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Milk, It’s Your Birthday, and Citrus Mango Smoothie. Each candle is poured, wicked, and labeled by hand. She has been featured across many local news outlets and is a regular vendor at Modernoire’s small business showcase in Murfreesboro, TN.
love at first sight
To highlight their Valentine’s Day collection of graphic apparel Brokedown Clothing featured mini fashion lover Piper Kennedy, from @pipers_picks, on their IG page and website.
Tulip + Olive’s Galentine’s collection shines in sun-drenched photos for their social media posts.
HEARTS ON HER SLEEVE
HEARTS ON HER SLEEVE
here comes the sun
Fritz and Gigi The Children’s Shop in Concord, MA, entices customers with a dreamy balloon heart created by balloon specialists Fig & Balloon.
love is in the air
Hearts, roses, and balloons galore were all on display as retailers and brands celebrate the season of love.
United Legwear Adds Tic Tac Toe to its list of brands.
UNITED LEGWEAR & APPAREL CO. has acquired children’s legwear and accessories brand TicTacToe. The move allows ULAC to offer a wholly-owned brand to retailers who want to give their customers top-quality children’s apparel and accessories. The acquisition precedes the brand’s plan of developing a global licensing program across all categories in the kids’ market, from layette, infant, and toddler sets to baby blankets, underwear, toys, and more. TicTacToe has served the children’s market in the three decades. It’s been a go-to brand for infant socks, booties, grip-bottom socks, knee-socks, tights, school uniform legwear, and athletic legwear. In recent years, ULAC has also designed and manufactured two and three-piece toddler apparel sets and has plans to continue this program under a licensed model.
MERCHANDISERS USED SWEET design elements and cute props to create stunning displays and captivating Instagram posts. We’ve gathered a few standouts in terms of creativity and execution that is sure to drive sales and help gain brand equity. What’s not to love?
Meet the Mom
Lana Katsaros Children’s wellness author, travel blogger of HappilyCuratedChaos.com, and certified vegan nutritionist. Mother to: Atlas (8 years old)
This Tiny Cottons sweatshirt is a graphic reminder that we are always better together.
Candylab’s toy cars are the coolest!
Dream of travel with this squeezable globe from Haptic Lab.
Take a soothing ride with the Lush Love Boat bath bomb.
Wall art from Kawaiian Lion is made of hardy stonewashed cotton.
“This the book I published, but I promise it’s awesome.” Yoga For Littles (Sounds True)
This year Pantone Color Institute chose two colors as Color of the Year. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow come together to create a harmonious color pairing, combining a tranquil mood with the optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day.
Pajamas For Peace
7 A.M. Enfant
Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope.
–Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute
Tia Cibani Kids
Tia Cibani Kids
Wolf & Rita
Modern flair pairs with tried and true styles to cover some serious ground.
FLEET OF FOOT
A bumper crop of seasonal tones that evoke nature’s bounty.
We return to the decade of “normcore,” but with fresh new details.
Quilted and puffer styles offer fashion-forward warmth.
BET YOUR BOOTS
The classic Chelsea boot gets an update with animal prints.
These trail-ready shoes and waterproof styles will take them anywhere.
Perfectly primed for winter, shearling linings will keep their toes toasty.
See Kai Run
Baby Got Sole
FOOTWEAR PREVIEW: FALL/WINTER ‘21
ATLANTA’S PANDEMIC-PROOF MARKET PLAYBOOK
By Atlanta Apparel Market
The coronavirus pandemic has been a learning experience for even the most seasoned retailers. With a bit of preparation, market season can be the perfect opportunity to reorient your business with a new set of priorities. The Atlanta Apparel Market reveals how they adapted to help buyers discover the same great products for babies, kids, and parents.
Masks and social distancing were just a few of the new protocols in place.
Developed with a top epidemiologist, Atlanta Apparel outlined procedures for every part of the market experience. Read them at TogetherSafely.com as inspiration for your protocols. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was required for everyone. Combined with social distancing, temperature checks, and frequent hand washing, face masks helped to make the market safer for all attendees. “We rely on IMC staff serving as “mask ambassadors” to make the message clear that wearing a mask at Atlanta Apparel is about protecting our whole community,” says Caron Stover, Senior Vice President of Leasing, Apparel for International Market Centers. Anyone who arrived on campus unprepared received a kit that included a mask and personal hand sanitizer. Sanitizer stations were plentiful throughout the building.
Making market decisions early lead to a smoother experience in Atlanta. Pre-registering was required as it allowed for contactless entry. Setting appointments with the brands was greatly encouraged. This communication helps showrooms prepare to effectively and efficiently staff to serve your needs. With 900+ baby and children’s lines at Atlanta Apparel, a plan of action in place was a must! Atlanta Apparel’s markets feature the latest looks in contemporary, young contemporary, ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, and more, plus specialty categories such as children’s, plus-size, bridal, and social occasion. The February Atlanta Apparel Market took place February 2 – 6, 2021. More information is available online at Atlanta-Apparel.com.
TOGETHER SAFELY PROTOCOLS
THE KEY TO A PRODUCTIVE MARKET IS PLANNING
IGTV (@AtlantaApparel) is the new hub of Atlanta Apparel content with four original programs scheduled to help buyers stay on top of trends. @Sell_Eat_Love’s Lindsey Rozier shares quick shopping tips and tricks in “Market Tips” and Atlanta Apparel’s Fashion Office showcases curated trends in “Trend Insight.” For can’t miss advice and trends check out City Peach blogger, Mireille Beckwith in “Fashion Insider”, and “Sips & Snaps”, digital fashion shows featuring childrenswear, new exhibitors, and young contemporary.
While in-person events and education are still on hiatus during the pandemic, virtual adaptations of Atlanta Apparel’s signature programming made it more accessible than ever. The day before market consisted of a full day of education with three live webinars: “The Colors and The Trends Driving The Apparel Industry in 2021” featuring the PANTONE colors of the year; “5 Steps for Content Batching on Instagram” and an insightful conversation about “Diversity in Retail.” Find information on these webinars and more online at Atlanta-Apparel.com/Events.
Virtual Class in Session
The IG Connection
Fine dresses with flourish from Little English ready to be showcased.
Trade Show News
Let’s Talk Strategy
AS CONSUMER BEHAVIOR shifts, ensuring retail resilience in such a volatile time will require a whole new game plan. Fashion companies and retailers will have to tailor their strategies to fit their unique priorities, market exposure, and capabilities. We have compiled research, consulted experts, and studied trends to give you strategies to stay adaptable and make the most of the bright spots in this proverbial storm.
By Jessica Torres Cooper
Direct access to your consumers via loyalty programs, email lists, and social media is a privilege. But this access also generates a significant amount of data that helps you gain a 360-view of customer needs. This wealth of information has the potential to drive real revenue. Technology startups, such as Narvar and Lily.Ai, that support access to shopper insights and analytics have the understanding and experience to work with disparate data sources to generate relevant insights. This method derives a rich fact base to support business decisions for all critical retail business processes. “In the face of unprecedented market shifts, business leaders require an ever-increasing access to data to accelerate innovation and forge new paths to a post-COVID-19 world,” said Rita Sallam, VP Analyst from Gartner, the retail research and advisory firm.
Retail analytics can deliver valuable intelligence to inform every aspect of your retail business. This includes sales and marketing to supply chain, inventory, and customer behavior. You can use transactional and loyalty data to inform merchandising, pricing, promotions, and inventory management decisions. Every in-person interaction, because there may be fewer of them, needs to count and serve the purpose of engaging the consumer long term. For example, suppose a specific in-store display was particularly successful at getting customers to buy an item. Using this information, you can find ways to replicate the results to drive sales of another product. With an understanding of what makes your customers tick (based on their behavioral data), you can tailor the types of messaging to use in your marketing and advertising campaigns. Retail analytics can also help improve your operations and processes. An excellent example of this is seen in foot traffic analytics, which can shed light on a store’s peak hours and traffic trends. Store owners can then use that data to optimize staffing and ensure that they have the right amount of associates on the floor at the right time. Leveraging retail analytics can lead to better resource allocation in your business. You’ll be able to devote more time, energy, and funds towards the strategies, products, and initiatives that are driving growth versus the ones that are draining your cash.
Data Is Beautiful
Acquiring the right data at the right time will help you turn consumer insights into retail success.
AS THE PANDEMIC transformed nearly every aspect of life, people turned to previously niche technologies. Tools like augmented reality (AR) and voice-enabled devices saw a surge in adoption. As confinement orders became prevalent, consumers were left craving immersive, real-life experiences. Enter augmented and virtual Reality (A/VR) technology. Early examples of this technology allow shoppers to virtually try out (and on) products from home or on the go. These experiences allow for risk-free ‘try-before-you-buy’ scenarios and smarter decision making for consumers, especially when purchasing new or unknown products. Users won’t have to rely on AR tools to try products after stores fully reopen, but they may choose to. “This marks an important inflection point in AR trajectory, not only in retail but in mass adoption,” said Helen Papagiannis, author of the book Augmented Human. Social apps like Snapchat and Instagram make it easier than ever to create AR tools through filters. In stores, AR technology, like navigation apps or electronic shelf beacons, will change conventional shopping dynamics by providing ramped up retail experiences that blur the physical and digital environments. Consumers will adopt augmented store technology if it alleviates time and provides seamless interactions.
Augmented reality is quickly transforming into an essential technology for retailers. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift.
Virtual Reality Check
IF THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC If the global pandemic has inspired anything positive, it’s a sense of togetherness. Communities everywhere have banded together to close the social distance in any way possible and provide support to the most vulnerable. Shoppers have a strong pull to support small, independent businesses with unique offerings and personalized customer service. This is especially true for moms and dads. According to a Shopify’s Market Insights report, parents of school-aged children are the most supportive demographic of local shops—64% said they are likely to seek out small businesses in their communities (vs. 54% among non-parents). Make the most of this sentiment by leaning into your strengths in your communications: how is your shopping experience or product special? Use your independence as an advantage and focus on specialty and authenticity. Think of your customers as guests; obsess over what will delight and surprise them, and then deliver on that again and again. But first, you have to make sure local buyers can find you. Most consumers learn about local businesses through recommendations from friends or family, while others find them on social media. Influencers and social communities are indispensable for shop local initiatives. Look for parenting groups on Facebook for a cache of new customers. For brick and mortar stores, attracting passerby traffic is critical—so many buyers find out about shops in their area by walking around in their neighborhood.
The initiative to shop local is here to stay and will help businesses thrive in communities big and small.
• Start a customer referral program to capture word of mouth recommendations. • Target local buyers through Facebook ads. Partner with local celebrities or influencers to tout business. • Add your business listing to local shopping directories and small business associations.
How to Attract Local Buyers
EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL WAS an emerging trend that hit a massive roadblock during the pandemic when brick and mortar locations were forced to close temporarily. Camp, the family experience company that is part toy store, part playground, had to adapt quickly to replace the in-store events, like birthday parties and arts-and-crafts sessions, that were such an integral part of their business strategy. After Camp closed its doors in mid-March last year, it rolled out free, virtual events, including daily 30-minute birthday parties on its website. Tiffany Markofsky, chief marketing officer for Camp NYC Inc. gives us insight into how the company changed course to outlast the pandemic. How has the pandemic affected your business? How have you adapted? We worked very hard to pivot in the early days of the pandemic, but at the same time, we consider ourselves extremely lucky to have grown our
More than ever, the experience of shopping is as important as the products that are purchased. But what happens when the doors are closed?
Experience is Everywhere
business so much throughout this past year. We quickly started offering online virtual celebrations the week of March 16, 2020, which evolved into an online virtual events platform offering both free and private virtual events. Soon after, we partnered with brands to develop custom programming for families online and later on when restrictions eased in some markets, on-the-go outside, in safe and socially distanced formats. We are now in this perfect position to meet our families wherever they are, providing them with the same magical experiences in-store, in communities, and online. Are there any business practices you adopted in 2020 that you would like to carry over 2021? Yes! In fact, all of the new products that we developed due to the pandemic were built to endure and exist in a post-pandemic world. We were mindful to invest in things that we already had plans for. The pandemic accelerated our
timeline or created new products that would serve our existing customer base and expand it and complement our in-store operations. Since experience is so ingrained in the CAMP brand, what was the process to ensure your virtual experiences measured up to in-person experiences? A few things stand out in our process. All of our events we ensured were designed to be fun, interactive, and playful. A key success factor was having our Camp Counselors (in-store staff) host these new virtual events. These Counselors are the same faces and personalities families would seek out in our physical stores each time they visited one of our physical locations. Having this consistency and presence ensured that our experiences had the same feel. Another thing that we solved for was providing consistency and reliability with our online product offerings. CAMP is very much about ritualistic behavior and community. Our families would know that they can reliably tune in at the
same time each week to enjoy another CAMP virtual experience. Lastly, we always personalize the experiences, call out Campers’ names and provide feedback and playful interaction, so we don’t lose that real connection. How have the virtual experiences been received, and how have they helped your retail sales? It’s been incredible to stay connected to our families, reach new ones, and know that we provided families with a solution, especially around missing out on birthdays during the pandemic. We celebrated over 20,000 virtual birthdays and brought so much joy to families at a time when they really needed it. We expanded our customer base way beyond the neighborhoods of our five brick and mortar stores and also developed new brand partnerships with customized virtual parties and experiences over the last year. It’s been a very natural process that feels very CAMP! We are here to help families answer the question “What should we do today?” and our virtual experiences are one other way in which we are delivering on that promise.
“WE WERE MINDFUL TO INVEST IN THINGS THAT WE ALREADY HAD PLANS FOR. THE PANDEMIC ACCELERATED OUR TIMELINE OR CREATED NEW PRODUCTS THAT WOULD SERVE OUR EXISTING CUSTOMER BASE.” –MARKOFSKY
DEEP UNDERSTANDING of your business’s numbers—from revenues to your inventory levels and expenses—is essential so you can effectively gauge the health and performance of your business. But, numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. To be effective, this data must be analyzed and interpreted in a user-friendly way to attain meaningful insights. In some cases, multiple data points and metrics need to be connected to glean actionable steps.
E WANT TO PUSH 2020 away, right? Confine it to the back of our brains with padlocks on and no combination code. It started so well, as all new years do—full of hope and that list of promises we always make to ourselves. I recall going to Hong Kong with the co-owner of Vignette in December 2019. We discussed this supposed new virus with our manufacturer, and we sat there asking ridiculous questions like, ‘Can you imagine if this really became a big thing?’ The entire world gradually fell into lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, and retailers were left with surplus inventory and worry. Governments were panic-stricken, the travel industry almost collapsed, the arts and sports worlds ended overnight, and we all hunkered down. But during that time, something a bit magical happened. The whole world came together. Not to take away at all from the sadness and unfair loss many have suffered because of this virus, I do admit noticing a silver lining in the dark cloud above us. Families with and without kids have never spent so much time together. People became kinder, more helpful and genuinely neighborly. As the owner of Me & Henry, I can say that definitely came from our customers; the parents, grandparents and boutiques who buy the line. The past year happens to have been one of our best for sales. We’ve passed 35k followers on Instagram. We have more new accounts than ever and more love from existing accounts than we could ever have imagined. We’ve had determined, outstanding reps across North America continue to be there for our boutiques and still operate market weeks and embrace technology to do virtual appointments from their showrooms.
It was a shock at first, but once you get used to doing business virtually, it’s not so bad. It was great to meet with so many non-market accounts that way. We were connecting with boutiques in states that usually do not travel to our typical markets in Dallas and Atlanta. To sell to them as we would if we were in front of them at a showroom has been invaluable. Another thing to appreciate, during this weirdest of times, is the local store that stayed open. It’s amazing how much the pandemic has given customers a new appreciation for their local boutiques. The boutique that did curbside pickups, walked you through their lovely store on an iPhone and set up a transactional website overnight—they deserve our love and affection now and forever. Looking ahead, I see retailers continuing to offer alternative forms of safe purchasing, like curbside pickup, free delivery, virtual shopping and attractive, easy-to-use websites. This is definitely going to last a few more years—if not longer. So, if you haven’t optimized your online prescence, I strongly suggest you put that on your to-do list this week.
Take this opportunity to learn, adapt and grow in ways you never thought possible. Your hard work will be rewarded. A baby boom is on the way. A vaccine that would typically take years was safely created in 12 months. We have a way out and a way forward. The future may look different, but it is still bright.
THE LESSONS I LEARNED IN 2020
Owner of Me & Henry shares gratitude and wisdom gained from a tumultuous year.
By Mark Jeynes
The cotton blazer with elbow patches showcases timeless styling.
It’s amazing how the pandemic has given customers a new appreciation for their local boutiques.
Provides long-lasting hydration with aloe vera and glycerin.
The wellness company, Olika, and the beloved kids clothing brand, Tea Collection, have introduced two limited-edition collections of hydrating hand sanitizers. The refillable bottles boast sustainable formulas and globally-inspired designs to ensure everyone’s hands stay very, very clean.
GOOD CLEAN FUN
French inspired collection consists of delicate hand beaded dresses using only the finest luxe fabrics, embroidery and pearls.
Click Here to Order
Made locally in Los Angeles. Limited editions dropped monthly. Click Here To Order @paigelaurenlosangeles @inplayshowroom
Clothes for the modern baby. “Crazy soft, luxe, and look more polished than your average baby clothes.” —Vogue
get in touch!
For advertising opportunities, email NoelleHeffernan@9Threads.com or call 917-886-6669.
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