Kidorable's Ladybug rainwear set featured on NBC's Today Show. Raincoat, rainboots, and umbrella with custom ladybug shaped handle selected by Lucky magazine's editor in chief.
Kidorable has been regularly featured on Good Morning America. Umbrellas, coats, rainboots, towels, and knitwear have all been featured in over a dozen styles!
Suri Cruise, the tiniest fashionista, struts the streets of New York with Kidorable Fairy rain boots and backpack. Check them out here!
NBC's Today Show mother and daughter rainwear fashion show features Kidorable's Ladybug rain coat.
Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise were featured by People Magazine out on the town in New York City accessorized with a Kidorable Ladybug umbrella to add some imagination to their day.
NY1 network recommends Kidorable rain boots and knitwear as the perfect holiday gifts.
Kidorable Space Hero and Ladybug styles featured in Lunchbox Magazine.
TV Guide Network april showers fashion show features Kidorable Frog and Ladybug coats, boots and umbrellas!
Retailers Love KidorableHudson Magazine, Janet Munoz
Kidorable is a fun and functional brand of products that has been delighting children-and anyone who loves them for more than 10 years. The brainchild of Liping Yang and Jonathan Domsky, parent company ZM International Inc. is also the darling of children's retailers, thanks in part to a five-year-old Retailer Protection Program, which includes a Buy Back Program - now in its third year, and a Fresh Program, launched in 2010, which lets retailers continuously rotate the store's inventory and rejuvenate margins with a 5% discount on all orders. "Each quarter they can return whichever styles they wish to retire, and replenish new styles to their store without ever getting stuck with product they can't sell at full price," president Jonathan Domsky says. These strong initiatives keep retailers from being stuck with slow moving merchandise, always showing new product without ever having to mark any of it down. Actually, Johnathan guarantees retailers will be profitable with these programs from Kidorable. Headquartered in Niles, IL USA, the privately held company employs about 40 full-time people at its 31,000-squarefoot facility and a satellite office in China. Kidorable serves 15 distributors and 5,000 retailers worldwide. "Ninety percent of our customers are independent apparel, gift or shoe stores, but we are successful everywhere from zoo gift shops to florists," Jonathan says. "Kidorable is a crossover brand that sells well in nearly any store that caters to people who love children. And our products do sell very well for the vast majority of our retailers." Just log on to www.kidorable.com. Along with an ecommerce site, the company offers a comprehensive wholesale site that helps retailers with anything relating to Kidorable. Really, anything! Learn how to become a retailer, find a rep, review the sales programs, give feedback, download forms, artwork, logos and coop ads, see the company's history, read customer testimonials, take a survey - even offer up your own product ideas. The site is written with the retailer in mind, thoroughly explained and presented in a manner that gives insight into what Kidorable is all about: a creative, popular brand offering valuable service that doesn't waste a retailer's time, and promising real profit solutions. Retailers say: "The Kidorable display is very attractive in our family shoe store." -Tilton and Sons Shoes, Tecumseh MI "Kids love the various characters to choose from." - Lil' Step Boutique, Brooklyn NY "I was first attracted to the Kidorable Fresh Program for the discount. But the main benefit is that it provides a sense of freshness or newness to the store that customers enjoy seeing." - O' Child, Bloomington IN "Customers smile and - without hesitation - pick up a piece. Who doesn't know a child who wouldn't want a ladybug, frog, dinosaur or flower accessory?" - Fireworks Gallery, Seattle WA
Earnshaws: "Louis Vuitton of children's accessories"Erika Berg, Earnshaw's Magazine
Run by a designer who channels her inner child and an executive team that adheres to integrity, this Chicago-based purveyor of "fun, practical and unique" rainwear and accessories continues to flourish during trying economic times. In a sense, Kidorable is on its way to becoming the Louis Vuitton of children's accessories. The vendor's whimsical designs have been knocked off so frequently since the company sold its first umbrella seven years ago that a substantial part of President Jonathan Domsky's job is suing copycat companies for trademark infringement. "At any given time, we're involved in four to eight lawsuits," Domsky explained. When Domsky and his wife/designer Liping Yang started out, they were confident that their products would be well-received-in part due to Yang's ability to channel her inner child and translate those ideas into fun, great-looking product. "We knew we were doing something that was special, that was different," Domsky said. "We felt like there were dozens and dozens of kids' accessories, but there weren't a lot of cute things-everything looked the same." Still, the owners weren't prepared for the overwhelming response Kidorable generated from both buyers and competitors at their first trade event, Chicago's Women's and Children's Fashion Apparel Show in May 1997. According to Domsky, everyone who walked past the booth stopped to check out the brightly colored umbrellas and hangers with pop-up frog eyes, ladybug spots and 3-D bee antennae. After the show, Yang began creating more accessories such as raincoats, rain boots and backpacks to complement the umbrellas and hangers. Today, even in a difficult economy, Kidorable's profits have grown significantly. The company witnessed a 38 percent growth last year, according to Michael Henschel, national sales manager. "To grow 38 percent in an economy in which a lot of businesses are going bankrupt-that says a lot," Henschel said. Kidorable's accessories have a solid following with consumers at department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Lord & Taylor and their popularity is continuing to spread. "We've come to the point where people are going into stores and asking, 'Do you carry Kidorable?'" he said. "We're getting stronger and people are recognizing us as the brand, the leader and everything else is just an imitation. It is regarded as a very classy stylish and sharp line." Even in this soft economy consumers are still buying products that "make them feel good," according to Henschel, and Kidorable fits the bill. The new collection includes cold-weather accessories such as hats, scarves and mittens, and a warm weather line debuting for Spring '04 comprises T-shirts, swimsuits, goggles and towels. Also, Kidorable's "playground accessories"-which include waterproof purses and backpacks and wooden room accessories like bookends and hangers-are gaining market share. "We expect that in two years, we will be selling more rainwear than we are today, but it will be a small fraction of our total sales," Domsky explained. Yang's creations truly strike consumers heartstrings. "We want kids to have fun with everyday things that they use and to express themselves through our products," she said. Domsky concurred and added that grown-ups are just as likely to enjoy the line: "We create products that will warm a child's heart and that at the same time will make an adult smile and feel nostalgic." Although the designs remain at the core of Kidorable's success, Domsky believes that the company's commitment to integrity contributes to its bottom line. "We want our customers to feel satisfied and we want them to feel that they've been treated well," Domsky said. "We want to be fair and to be reasonable, not just from our company's perspective, but from the perspective of our sales reps and our consumers." Above all, Kidorable wants to make people feel good, according to Henschel. "In today's crazy world, it's really wonderful that we can bring products to consumers that will bring a smile to their faces."
Sunny Forecast for Rain Gear MarketDana Turner, Hudson's Magazine
There was a time when wearing a raincoat was associated with wearing basic utility wear. The colors were limited to school bus yellow or navy blue. But not anymore! Today the rain gear industry is booming with innovation. There's a new crop of designs that are redefining how much fun "singing in the rain" can really be. Within the past 10 years there's been a creative explosion in the rain gear market for kids. That's because designers have found that the key to kids actually wanting to wear their raincoats and boots is found in the fashion. Lisa O'Toole, President of Wippette Kids, says, "Twenty years ago we decided that we wanted to do cute, fashionable coats. At that time they only had the really basic parka look for kids, but nothing really fun. That's when we decided to take this flicker fabric and make some really cool, fun, fashionable coats out of it." Wippette Kids, founded in 1988, was on to something when they put together the formula of fashion meets flicker. Their designs for Spring 2008 include coats, boots and umbrellas with names like Dino Fright, Berry Sweet, Butterfly Bubbles, Funky Frog, Firefighter and Butterfly Stripe. Kids seem to have a special connection with whimsical characters they simply can't resist. In addition to coats, Wippette Kids also sells coordinates like bags, hats, umbrellas and rain boots. Rob Moehring, President of Washington Shoe Company, has found the same trends with his Children's rain gear lines, Western Chief and Chooka. "There's something about babies, kitties and puppies that elicits an innate attraction to them. The kids approach the boots like they are their friends rather than a utility item," he says. The Washington Shoe Company certainly knows the rain business. Located in the heart of the rain country, Seattle, WA, they've been manufacturing rain gear and rubber boots since 1891. Currently the state of the children's rain gear market is in a huge state of growth, despite the fact that retail is having a tough time now. "We've doubled in size and have been a profitable company the entire time - even in what I would call a desolate market right now," says Nancy Gut, Assistant Operations Manager for Kidorable. The first trend is that rain gear is now fashion wear worn in women's and older kids. The second major trend is that children's rain gear is expanding into the character market. Rob of Washington Shoe says, "Kids want fun and novel whimsical products and want to wear fun and whimsical stuff. We've found continuous growth here." The fact is that kids today want to be unique and manufacturers are taking notice. There are more companies than ever in this niche market. Part of the uniqueness is offering rain gear products that go beyond the basic coat. Wippette Kids is getting requests for coordinates, and Lisa adds, "We have a coat that has and applique horse on the front that is done in velvet with fringes on the sleeves. There will be lots of printing for Spring 2008." In fact, the market is growing so quickly that the industry is becoming flooded with copycat competitors. It's not uncommon, for instance, to see several different versions of a ladybug, frog or dinosaur children's raincoat in the stores. For this reason manufacturers are quick to point out that not every ladybug raincoat or boot is the same. "There is certainly a lot of competition," Nancy of Kidorable says. "I have had the opportunity to see a lot of our competitors' product and you just can't compare it. We have tremendous attention to detail, attention to quality and it's backed by a company that believes in customer service." Although weather is an obvious factor when selling raincoats, manufacturers in the children's rain gear market have found that kids will wear their product year round no matter what the weather is. Nancy continues, "We don't think of ourselves as seasonal. Kidorable sells because of its uniqueness and the fact that it's cute. The fact that it's practical is just an added bonus." Parents often write to companies with stories of how they can't get their child to take off their rain boots. Rob says, "I remember running into a kid in Seattle. It was 100 degrees out and the kid had shorts on with our Dalmatian boots. The Mom says, 'Tommy loves the puppy boots so much he wears them everywhere.'" The forecast for the future of the children's rain gear market is a bright one. Rob continues, "When you consider the bell curve and the growth of a product group, we haven't gone even half way up on the growth side." As global warming becomes an increasing factor, he also adds rain gear manufacturers will have ample opportunity to prepare for extreme weather, so to speak. "Just when you think you can't do anything else or anything new with vinyl, we find new things," says Lisa of Wippette Kids. "Whether it's using a new embroidered patch or heat seal, you can still have a lot of fun." In a time when kids are pressured to grow up faster than ever, nothing makes more sense than simply allowing kids to be kids. "I'm happy because we've had the whole 'dressing-your-kids-like-miniature-rock-stars' phase, and that has definitely affected our business," Lisa says. "There seems to be the trend now for kids to dress younger." Nancy of Kidorable says, "We basically have given them something that looks cool and they feel cool in, too. The kids get to splash around in puddles and Mom is okay with that."
TBS network takes a break from their movie to share some holiday gift giving advice featuring Kidorable rain boots, towels and umbrellas.