I just got back from the International Toy Fair in New York and I got to see a lot of really cool toys and games and find out what my favorite brands are rolling out in the next few months. Better yet, I met some AMAZING mompreneurs. As a mom blogger, I have a special place in my heart for mompreneurs. They’re real moms, just like us, that during the struggles of motherhood had an “aha!” moment and then put in blood, sweat and tears to bring their solution to the rest of us.
If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek at some of the smart products from mompreneurs that I am excited about. Here’s the full list of my favorites from the mompreneurs at Toy Fair. By the way, I loved these products so much, this post is completely free of affiliate links and sponsorship (i.e. I am not being paid to promote them).
The Bunny with the Basket
The Bunny with the Basket is the brainchild of three friends who wanted to create an Easter tradition that would help them celebrate the spirit of the holiday with their families. They named their company “Just Three Chicks” which I think is adorable not only because it perfectly captures how down-to-earth and likable they are, but also because I love the clever use of “chicks” which is a great tie-in for Easter.
Exactly 12 days before Easter, the Bunny with the Basket arrives with a golden egg in the basket. Within the egg is a note from the Easter Bunny. Kids can write back to the Easter Bunny and each night the Bunny with the Basket takes the messages back and forth while the children sleep. On Easter Sunday, the children are rewarded with a basket of goodies. Think Elf on the Shelf, but for Easter.
The Bunny with the Basket kit includes a hardbound children’s book, a plush bunny, and a golden egg (for transporting messages).
I can’t wait to start this tradition with my family this year! In fact, I’m so impatient to start, I’ll be celebrating the tradition early so I can share more details with you in time for you to decide if it’s right for your family this Easter. Keep an eye out for my review in the next two weeks.
EQtainment was founded by a mom of three kids who realized that despite the research showing that emotional intelligence is an important component of future happiness and success, there weren’t many affordable products or resources that were accessible to everyone. So, like a true mompreneur, she created them and then surrounded herself with a team of moms to help grow the company.
The foundation of EQtainment is Q the monkey who also happens to be a genius but lacks emotional intelligence. Kids develop and practice emotional intelligence by helping Q learn within a Candyland-style board game called Q’s Race to the Top. There’s also an On the Go Pack that you can bring with you anywhere, a storybook with a CD, and a coloring book.
My favorite product though (beside the board game) is the Q-Time Buddy. At first, he looks like any other stuffed animal, but like all of the other products in this line, a lot more thought went into him than that! He’s slightly weighted so that you can have him lay on your child’s stomach. Why? So you can teach them how to belly breathe by instructing them to breathe so that he goes up and down. Do you know how many yoga classes I went to before I figured out how to properly belly breath for relaxation? I could have used one of these toys!
Side note, I really wanted to hate this product because all the moms that run it are super smart and ridiculously beautiful, but it turns out they are really wonderful people too. Let’s just hope they have messy cars so that they don’t ruin my belief that nobody’s perfect.
IAmElemental was started by two moms who wanted to create a positive, empowering female action figure and fuel strong character and self-confidence in children in the process.
The created the superhero Courage inspired by Joan of Arc. Courage has seven elements of power, each represented by its own mini action figure: Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, Persistence, and Fear.
This summer, they are adding a new superhero, Wisdom and her seven elements of power: Creativity, Ingenuity, Curiosity, Logic, Exploration, Mastery, and Oblivion.
Obviously, I already have a thing for superheroes (see my blog name and mascot). I love that IAmElemental has found a way for to help our kids feel amazing and powerful with “superpowers” they can actually develop and possess. I’d much rather my child pursue persistence and ingenuity than wish she could be invisible.
Kenson Kids was started by moms just like us trying to balance busy schedules and family life. They wanted to have responsible, self-reliant kids and they wanted to help other moms do the same. I’m a big believer in teaching my kids to be independent, capable individuals so I was immediately a big fan of Kenson Kids.
Kenson Kids offers several different charts and accessories for everything from potty training and tooth brushing to chores and daily responsibilities. Charts for younger children have illustrations and stars, while charts for older kids look more like a traditional checklist and come with behavioral contracts and registers for tracking allowance.
I’ve always done something similar for my kids, using a printable sheet that I keep in a page protector but I wish I’d used these instead because they are so sturdy! The boards themselves are very durable and come with strong magnetic strips and hang tabs. Plus, the velcro task squares and stars are designed to hold up over time.
I truly loved all of the mompreneurs I’m highlighting in this post, but my absolute favorite was Nicole from Renegade Made. Not only did she create an entire product line devoted to teaching kids altruism, but she made random acts of kindness more creative and fun than I’ve seen before. Renegade Made also leads by example. A portion of all sales is donated to charity.
The company is brand-spanking new so the products are still in production and not ready for purchase yet, but don’t worry, I’ll make sure to shout it from the rooftops when they are because I think these products are so amazing. Plus, she’s designed something for almost everyone.
The Random Acts of Flowers Kit comes with materials to create 12 tissue paper flowers and a vase, with instructions to place the vase somewhere where people will see it. As strangers take flowers, they will find leaf tags that explain that the flower is a gift and encourage them to do something nice for someone else.
The Fairly Painless Tattoo Lounge for Charity Kit comes with everything a child needs to set up a temporary tattoo parlor, including a money box for donations that will be donated to charity. I love the new spin on the traditional lemonade stand, especially with the focus on having fun and giving to charity.
Renegade Made has other products in production too, but I’ve chosen the two most diverse to highlight the point that there’s something for everyone. I expect many more amazing ideas to follow from this witty, sarcastic, altruistic mompreneur.
Finally, I have to highlight my personal favorite mompreneur (who also happens to be my best friend) because I get to be wowed by her on a daily basis. Yikes Twins was founded by my friend Wendy when she discovered she was having twins and decided she needed to find a way to make money working at home since childcare for two kids was going to be expensive. Since, unlike me, she’s creative AND crafty, she started designing adorable hooded towels for kids.
13 years later, she’s developed the line into 19 different styles, added some matching slippers that are so cute that everyone who sees them immediately smiles. Don’t believe me? Go get a mirror, then look at the picture below and check out your expression.
It’s hard to tell from photographs, but these aren’t ordinary hooded towels. They are much bigger, thicker, and softer than anything you’re thinking of when I say “hooded towel.” My 8-year old is still using these and the towels come down to below her knee when she’s wrapped up in it (she’s the one sporting the towels in the pictures above the slippers photo). Because of the quality, you won’t find these towels in discount department stores, but you will find them in stores like Barney’s and children’s boutiques. The price may seem steep, but this is absolutely one of those cases where you get what you pay for. My daughter ONLY uses these towels, she uses them every day, and she’s had most of them since she was two years old.
I’m sure you can see from the stories above exactly why I was so taken by these mompreneurs. Each of these mompreneurs found a way to help other moms do their jobs better, whether through making it easier to instill our own values or by helping us make everyday responsibilities and learning fun. I hope you’ll check them out and show them some love on social media to help get the word out if you love their products as much as I do.