Monday, December 15, 2008

Dallas Morning News

Below is the article that ran in The Dallas Morning News yesterday in the business section. The article included images of each of the finalists.

Coming soon to Dallas Market Center: The Next Big Thing
12:00 AM CST on Sunday, December 14, 2008
Maria Halkias

The economic downturn hasn't curtailed entrepreneurship. More than 100 people submitted new product ideas to the Next Big Thing, a contest sponsored by the Dallas Market Center. Next year, after thousands of wholesale buyers get a look, you may spot these products on your favorite store shelves. The three finalists are:

The Sipatiniz (pronounced sip-a-tee-neez) is a spill-resistant martini glass created by Rowlett resident Renee Williams. About 18 months ago, Ms. Williams said she started looking at her favorite shape drinking glass and decided even it could be tweaked for the better. She orders non-alcoholic drinks in a martini glass because, she says, "it feels so elegant." Her Sipatiniz glass is elegant and practical and "allows you to mingle with ease." An IT professional, Ms. Williams said she's had other ideas but never acted on them.

Good for You Girls says it's the first 100 percent natural skin care line for girls ages 9 to 15. Created by Kim Grustas and Grace Havasta-Petrarca of New Hartford, Conn., the kit includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer made of natural and organic ingredients. Products are made without anti-aging or other ingredients that are too harsh for young skin. The two mothers used only natural baby products on their girls but then couldn't find products for them as they got older.

Vintage Hem can make any skirt or dress more romantic or festive. Developed by Jennifer Young of Draper, Utah, the slips add layers and length in tulle, silk and other fun fabrics. Ms. Young made the slips to enhance her own wardrobe in an affordable way.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges from the wholesale market, and the winner will be named in January.

Finalists get airfare and hotel accommodations to attend the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market FINDS Temp Show on Jan. 16-19. They will show off their ideas in complimentary exhibit space in front of 50,000 domestic and international retailer buyers.

The winner gets to come back to the June show and receives a prize package worth more than $10,000 that includes time with branding, public relations and visual merchandising experts.

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