Beginnings Baby Store preps soon-to-be parents for stork deliveries with snuggle-worthy swaddlings, baby-sized bedding, and informational parenting classes. Clients can acclimate future acrobats to new heights with the elevated assistance of Phil and Ted’s Me Too hook-on high chair ($49.99) or get a head start on clown-college applications with the primate-taming experience afforded by the Tiny Love Gymini Monkey Island ($64). Lighting nurseries with the glow of a starry night sky, such as the constellation projections of the Cloud B Twilight Turtle Nitelight ($29.95), sends baby calmly to sleep and reduces the risk of boogeymen infestations by 70%. Cotton onesies ($17–$19) protect limbs from pea-purée fallout while keeping tots nattily attired.
The founder of online baby boutique California Cozy is a mother of two herself, so she carries products she's personally tested and adored. Perhaps not surprisingly, that's left her store stocked with items from award-winning brands such as Aden + Anais, Barefoot Dreams, and Melissa & Doug. Her celeb-approved collection has been featured in People and Us Weekly, particularly perennial favorites such as Little Giraffe's chenille baby blankets—which snagged Most Ridiculously Soft Baby Blanket in the 2012 Cribsie Awards. The diverse selection also includes mealtime essentials, furniture, and toys, which no doubt led to California Cozy's selection as a finalist for Red Tricycle's Most Awesome Baby & Maternity Shop award in 2012.
Whether someone wants a custom T-shirt, calendar, or iPhone case, Zazzle helps them get it. The online site helps customers express their personalities through original creations. Customers first select a template, such as a blank mug or even a skateboard, and then add their own designs. They can then choose to upload photos to items; for example, invitations to a child's 9th birthday party can sport pictures of that child's 8th birthday wish not coming true. Zazzle is also a hub where artists can sell their designs for customers to use on blank templates.
Iso Beauty ships tools of the hairstyling trade to heads across the continental United States, providing everyone access to the innovative products by brands such as Ionix and Proliss that have lined celebrity gift bags at red-carpet events. Proliss straighteners arrive to doorsteps with vibrant animal prints and ceramic-plate technology to reduce hair's exposure to heat, and Twisters harness infrared technology to shine and curl locks without cooking the cuticle. In-depth video tutorials grant users a step-by-step glimpse into the inner workings of the products and provide fashionable styling tips so that customers don't go out on the town confidently sporting last season's 'do or attempt to use freshly cooked turkey legs to curl their hair.
La La Land Indoor Playground enchants future adults with an open floor filled with slides, tunnels, and toys and surrounded by a panoramic mural depicting a magical forest. During open-play hours, particularly feisty tots can get their wiggles out in the Excitement Zone, a netted enclosure where scampering legs can bounce on a small, cushy trampoline, and the space beneath a rainbow-patterned slide provides a concealed venue for under-the-table popsicle exchanges. Tiny conveyances and wobbling hobbyhorses pepper the playroom in the form of dogs, dinosaurs, and tricycles, as their Lilliputian riders emulate stoic cowboys or swashbuckling knights on their way to La La Land's medieval castle façade.
With ample seating, an open space with few blind spots, and WiFi spiraling throughout the room, La La Land offers supervising adults a chance at relaxation better than making the babysitter read Zen poetry aloud. The Indoor Playground also hosts kid-tailored classes and throws raucous birthday parties.
Cynthia Harvey has been designing fashion-forward ensembles since she was a kid. “At 9 years old I literally and figuratively looked up to my aunt, a professional model who made most of her clothes. She encouraged me to use the scraps of fabric to make my Barbie doll clothes and eventually my own clothes," says Harvey. Her interest in current trends led Cynthia to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA, where she studied and eventually ascended to the post of professor. Though she's spent her time doling out fashion tips to the likes of George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, and Janet Jackson, it was her time as an educator that inspired Cynthia to cofound The Sewing Studio. She aimed to counteract a decline in local arts programs, due largely to the great popsicle-stick and glitter fire of 1996. She explains, “I wanted to offer fashion sewing classes that are fun and affordable, with an emphasis on looks inspired by current fashion designers."
Her classes, which cater to the novice seamstress and advanced sewing student alike, achieve that aim. Led by Cynthia and other experienced teachers, the sessions range from introductory classes where pupils of all ages learn basics and stitch together totes or dresses to fashion design and sewing programs. Camps, workshops, and other learning sessions culminate in handcrafted apparel and accessories that students can take home and incorporate into regular wardrobe rotations.