From Dan: Once again, Millie and I made the trek to the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. If you can imagine ten gazillion square feet of convention space on two floors jam packed with cribs, strollers, diapers, gadgets and gizmos--that's where we were.
We got a chance to catch up with a lot of our favorite vendors, including Moby Wrap, Ergo, Beco, BumGenius, Thirsties, Babyhawk, and Green Toys. Sarah from SoftBums (yeah SoftBums!) was there for the first time, too. (Although on the day we were there the booth next to her was using a large, mostly naked Sumo wrestler to demonstrate their diaper rash cream, which was somewhat distracting.) We got to see lots of new offerings from many of these companies, several of which will be arriving in our store soon.
There were a whole bunch of new cloth diaper companies on exhibit, which was incredible. There must have been 24 different companies where just a few years ago there were only 2 or 3. Cloth Diapers are really reaching mainstream proportions. We have quite a few choices for new products to add, but we'll probably need to greatly expand our diaper section first--a project which is already very much in the works (more later on that.)
Like last year, there were quite a few "green" vendors, some of whom understood the concept better than others. We asked one company what kind of plastic their product was made with and they said "um...plastic plastic." One the other hand, the rep from another company had a whole report on the low estrogenic affects of his baby bottles versus other similar products, complete with cell growth data. We'll probably be ordering from him.
As always, the Bad Idea Fairy was busily at work this year. We saw a motorized stand for an adult to stand on behind a stroller that propels both adult and stroller (so, who's getting any exercise now?). We saw a special bag designed to lower a baby out the window of a burning building (this might be something we've neglected to worry about so far). And, although we love babywearing, we're not sure about Kindergartner wearing. Yes, there was a contraption designed to carry a 5 year old on your back, standing on a small platform near your waist. It looked somewhat uncomfortable.
All in all, we had a great time. It was a pretty intense 2 days, but we really enjoyed talking to our suppliers and other shopowners. And, next year the show is in Kentucky! See you later, Las Vegas!