by Tina Manzer
In February, representatives from nearly 75 dealer companies traveled to Braselton, Georgia, where 114 manufacturers presented and reviewed new products, marketing initiatives and promotional opportunities as part of the Educational Supplies Efficient Program Planning Session (EPPS).
This August, a School & Office Supplies EPPS will be held at the Hilton in Chicago. Next year’s Educational Supplies EPPS will take place from Sunday, February 11, through Wednesday, February 14, in Destin, Florida.
Here are the three winners of Ed Dealer’s Buyers Choice Awards.
Kid-sized gLovies by My Mom Knows Best received the highest number of votes from buyers. The latex-and-powder-free disposable gloves are perfect for classroom and home use whenever kids are getting messy. They are FDA approved and pediatrician recommended.
Josephine Geraci, founder of the Huntington, New York-based company, brought gLovies to market when her toddler “touched everything” in a public restroom. She heard other moms complain about the same thing, and knew she was on to something with gLovies.
Among the testimonials featured on glovies.com are these.
“I purchased these recently for the classroom. We were doing an external observation of crayfish with children ages 4 through 9. They worked like a charm!”
“My grandson has an egg allergy, but loves to crack eggs when we cook. The gLovies fit him well and prevent his hands from touching the eggs.”
“Thank you for providing a latex-free product for kids. I used them for a summer VBS art project and they gave me tremendous peace of mind to know that I wouldn’t have to worry about skin allergies!”
gLovies have an embossed surface to provide kids with a better grip, and they are described as being lightweight and comfortable. They come in packs of 50 and 100.
Now we’re cookin’
The second-place winner came from Steffy Wood products based in Angola, Indiana.
The easy-to-assemble 2-in-1 Kitchen includes all the details of a real-life kitchen island in one space-saving unit. A cooktop is represented by bold, screened graphics. Its large plastic knobs are perfect for small hands. The 8-inch-deep plastic sink offers opportunities for water play, and various shelves hold kitchen and food props. The top measures 19 inches from the floor.
As steffywood.com points out, Angola is a pivotal location at the heart of major transportation lines that extend from coast to coast, so the company has a reputation for on-time delivery. They’ve also built a reputation for well-designed, quality-crafted and competitively priced furniture for early childhood.
Eco-friendly, open-ended fun
Ed Dealer’s third-place Buyer’s Choice winner is no stranger to educational awards. YOXO kits have been recognized for the way they promote engineering thinking and design by Purdue University’s INSPIRE Institute for Pre-College Engineering.
Buyers in our industry chose the YOXO (“yock-so”) PBS Kids Build It Kit because it’s gender neutral and open-ended, teaches STEM skills through fun hands-on play; and the pieces are made using recycled materials and they’re recyclable. Everything needed to create a YOXO train, flower, cruiser, construction crane or something entirely new is in this set.
YOXO links connect household items like paper towel rolls, TP tubes and cereal boxes, as well as the pieces of other toy construction sets including LEGO. They’re made at a Windsource-powered workshop in St. Paul, Minnesota, out of recycled wood fiber.
The company offers a variety of kits at many price points. Visit yoxo.com.