The Next Big Thing National Product Search Finalists Announced

Dallas Market Center, the world’s most complete wholesale marketplace, today announced the finalists of The Next Big Thing, a national product search contest – IV Pole Pals, The Feeling Bag and The Pillow Bag. The finalists will exhibit before an estimated 50,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 78 countries during the upcoming FINDS Dallas Temp Show, June 23-26, which coincides with the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, June 22-28.

IV Pole Pals are cheerful decorations that attach onto IV poles adding something special for patients needing their spirits lifted. The “pals” come in many shapes, sizes and themes and snap on and off any standard IV pole. They are made of durable plastic and have a convenient clip that wraps around the pole to secure it in place.

Deric Salser of Sunnyvale, Texas, founder of IV Pole Pals, was inspired by his 8-year-old daughter, Alexandra, who was diagnosed with an incurable disease called LCHAD. To take the fear out of needing an IV, Salser’s wife crafted homemade decorations and attached them to Alexandra’s IV pole. The decorations were the inspiration for the product line that now consists of more than 40 different “pals.” Visit www.ivpolepals.com for more information.

The Feeling Bag is a small, plush bag to help children express their feelings that includes a special book to help them understand their ever-changing emotions. Some bags also include flash cards describing different feelings. The Feeling Bag is great for parents, teachers and counselors to help guide a child through a difficult time or simply their day-to-day life.

Jennifer Griffin of Edmond, Okla. created The Feeling Bag in hopes of helping her daughter through tough times. She began creating more bags and feeling flash cards after receiving encouragement from family and friends. Visit www.thefeelingbag.com for more information.

The Pillow Bag is a unique way to carry your favorite pillow in style when you travel while still keeping it clean. Great for a sleepover or a weekend getaway, The Pillow Bag will keep you and your children from sleeping on an unfamiliar pillow. These bags are made from carefully selected fabrics and ribbons.

Founders Lynn Byrd and Chris Ziebach of Monroeville, Ala., saw the need for a convenient way to tote their daughters’ favorite pillows and blankets to sleepovers. To learn more about The Pillow Bag visit www.thepillowbag.com.

The Next Big Thing contest received applications from throughout the country from product designers, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, and other creative minds. The contest allows up-and-comers, whether companies or individuals, to show their product(s) in front of domestic and international retail buyers at Dallas Market Center.

Information and images of the finalists’ innovative products are now available at www.dallasmarketcenter.com/contests/thing
along with voting instructions. Voting begins April 12 at noon and ends June 24 at midnight CDT. Once you review the products visit www.facebook.com/dallasmarketcenter to cast your vote by clicking on the “poll” tab. The winner is selected based on a combination of judges’ feedback and popular vote. The winner will be announced on June 25 during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market.

Judges include members of the media and industry experts and will help select the winner based on the finalists’ product design and salability during the Market. The winner will receive a prize package worth more than $12,500 including a $2,500 cash prize, exhibit space at the January 2012 Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, a profile in one of Dallas Market Center’s award-winning custom publications, consultations from leading industry experts regarding branding, public relations, visual merchandising and much more.

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