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Five Entrepreneurs Conceive of New Maternity Show

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
July 18, 2006
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By Hil Anderson, Senior Editor

Los Angeles, CA – The first trade show aimed at the growing maternity market will be held in the heart of Los Angeles’ garment district next winter.

The MOM2B show will be borne Jan. 23-24  at the Cooper Design Space, across the street from the California Market Center.  The show  will unite maternity retailers with the designers and manufacturers that have been turning out increasingly large and varied lines of clothing and accessories for expectant moms. Besides stylish clothes, the show  will also feature beauty products, pregnancy snacks, energy drinks, books, videotapes, baby shower gifts and new gadgets for moms-to-be. It is billed as the show where the maternity buyer will find the “hip, the chic, the fun and the functional.”

“Maternity has experienced such a rise in popularity over the last year that a show like this is an absolute necessity,” said Amy DeCamillis, who is president and CEO of Bella Mama,  a line of luxury body care products  made specifically for pregnancy. Her products were originally available in only two stores and catered to celebrity clients such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Melania Trump. Now the product line is available in over 147 retail stores.  DeCamillis is one of the five women who have been friends since junior  high school or college and have teamed up to stage the event. Their backgrounds range from graphic design to law. Kristi Audette of All the Details in Boulder, CO is handling the logistics.

The show’s venue,  the Cooper Design Space, features 22,000 square feet of event space in a multi-floor loft-like setting that has been a frequent venue for fashion events. It will take place following the Jan. 19-22 L.A. Gift Show.

Kristen Tait, a Denver retailer and one of the five partners of the event, expects the show to feature  between 100 and 150 exhibitors and draw about 1,500 attendees. “During our research, we found that the maternity market is actually quite large,” Tait said.”If we get an overwhelming response, the show could have 200 to 250 exhibitors. However,  we are being fairly selective about the people we’re targeting.”

Maternity clothing has seen a sales boom in recent years. The marketing research firm Mintel Group says U.S. maternity sales have grown 36 percent since 2000 at a time when overall women’s clothing sales have shown single-digit growth. However, maternity is largely a niche in the overall fashion industry and a small fish in a big pond when it comes to the major fashion and gift trade shows.

MOM2B’s organizers combed  baby magazines and Web directories to compile a mailing list of boutique owners and other prospective attendees. The vast majority of the target audience is concentrated on the West and East coasts of the United States, which raises the possibility that MOM2B could launch a second show in New York or some other eastern city in the near future. “If this goes well, we plan to launch  a second show in the fall,” Tait said. “Whether it will  be in Los Angeles or on the East coast hasn’t been decided. We’ll have a better sense of that after the first show.”

Reach Amy DeCamillis at (303) 516-0882 or info@bellamama.com; Kristin Tait at (303) 733-2288; Kristi Audette at (303) 544-0359 or kristi@allthedetailsinc.com

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