Though I rely a lot on the old faithfuls of a children's bookstore, your Melissa and Dougs and Folkmanises, I think it's important to venture a bit outside my safety zone and bring in new vendors. I've been updating our vendor database (this is an entire post on its own) and there was at least one Schwartz buyer who seemingly brought in two or three new gift vendors per week. I simply don't have the energy for that.
Rich Frog is a kids' stuff company based in Vermont. You probably know that from those rulers that have historical figures of Native America or women's suffrage. Apparently that was there first hit item. Most of their expansion has been in plush and baby toys. I really like these knit plush items; I think there are six animals altogether.
We also brought in their tooth fairy pillows. After they arrived, I thought they would be more appropriate for Little Monsters, which is opening on Farwell in August, being that it's located underneath DeWan Dental Wellness. Oops, no returns or exchanges on gift stuff for retailers. At least it gave me reason to talk up the new store, which will have children's clothing, gifts, and toys and is run by Andie, the beloved manager of Boutique Bebe.
One question we get is whether we have any gift items that are not made in China. It's a hard problem to solve, as what I often find then becomes out of the price range for the prospective buyer. However, I just brought in a wonderful vendor, Holgate, that fits the bill. They offer wood baby and toddler toys made in (I can't even believe I'm saying it) the United States.
We're got baby blocks and lacing beads and a rocking ring stacker and a toy boat and a toy train. All are brightly colored--we were very excited to see purple in their color palette,
One item I am particularly intrigued by is the spinning typhoon. Here are it's charms:
1. It's brightly colored, and the colors vary from item to item
2. It seems pretty sturdy
3. You spin it. Or rather, even a toddler can spin it.
Hello. This is my blog for the Boswell Book Company, located on the East Side of Milwaukee at 2559 N. Downer Avenue at Webster Place, Milwaukee WI 53211.
Our store phone: (414) 332-1181.
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Our Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM.
Sunday hours, 10 AM-6 PM