Makers in the USA: Best Children & Families (2016)


These 10 makers in the USA, nominated by a panel of maker movement gurus and voted the best by USA TODAY and 10Best readers, craft creative items geared toward sparking the imaginations of the next generation of American makers. 

  • Mason Dixon

    Mason Dixon
    Baby Booties

    Based in Philadelphia, Mason Dixon fashions a boutique line of hand-crafted, made-to-order derbys and baby boodies made from European leather and hand-cut laces. Heather Holiday, the maker behind Mason Dixon, also craft fine leather handbags for mom.
    Photo courtesy of Mason Dixon Made

  • Little Goodall

    Little Goodall
    Clothing for Kids

    Little Goodall specializes in whimsical handmade children's clothing. Molly Goodall, the woman behind the sewing machine, found inspiration when her two-year-old refused to wear a hood in the cold. To get him on board, she designed the original Ferocious Felt Lion coat, and suddenly wearing a hood became fun.
    Photo courtesy of Hoyoung Lee

  • Bannor Toys

    Bannor Toys
    Wooden Toys

    Jesse and Stacey Bannor started Bannor Toys in their basement in 2011. Today the duo has upgraded to a full workshop, where they craft wooden toys made from organic wood, paint and finish. Blocks, rattles, teethers, push toys and tiles are all durable and designed to last for life.
    Photo courtesy of Bannor Toys / Etsy

  • Lovelane

    Play Wear

    Inspired by her imaginative adventures in the woods as a child, Lane Huerta began designing children's play wear meant to fuel creativity. Lovelane's American-made, hand-sewn capes, crowns and dragon wings are perfect for sparking the imagination of any child.
    Photo courtesy of Lovelane / Etsy

  • The Magpie Co.

    The Magpie Co.
    Clothing for Kids

    Elizabeth Conner, the maker behind The Magpie Co., began sewing as a teen. Today she designs a line of handmade clothing for kids that's at once fashionable, modern and comfy for kids of all ages.
    Photo courtesy of The Magpie Co / Etsy

  • Leather Head Sports

    Leather Head Sports
    Sporting Goods

    Paul Cunningham grew up in Cooperstown, N.Y. where he and his pals used to gather after school to play baseball, football and basketball. Fueled by a love of sports, Paul started Leather Head Sports to create heirloom-quality sporting goods worthy of being passed down from generation to generation. 
    Photo courtesy of Leather Head Sports

  • A Summer Afternoon

    A Summer Afternoon
    Wooden Toys

    Based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, A Summer Afternoon crafts eco-friendly wooden toys made with all non-toxic materials. Aaron Nuland hand crafts all these kid-approved items, including cars, blocks, games and wooden teethers finished with food-grade beeswax to help sooth a baby's gums.
    Photo courtesy of A Summer Afternoon / Etsy

  • The Wishing Elephant

    The Wishing Elephant
    Baby Costumes

    From a studio in New Hampshire, The Wishing Elephant makes imaginative baby clothes and costumes. Designed by Carolyn Caffelle, costume options include a baby deer, cactus, fairy, marshmallow man or tuna sushi.
    Photo courtesy of The Wishing Elephant / Etsy

  • Prim Society

    Prim Society
    Heirloom Baby Goods

    Elyse Wigen, a graphic designer living in Memphis, uses her design background and love of sewing and quilting to fashion creative items for kids and babies. Colorful items from Prim Society include color swatch baby teethers, mini quilts that double as play mats, patterned bibs and kids decor.
    Photo courtesy of Prim Society / Etsy

  • Opposite of Far

    Opposite of Far
    Felt Masks & Play Wear

    From a studio in Central Indiana, Jessica Near hand cuts and sews every single item for Opposite of Far. Made from merino wool blend felt and eco-felt, amusing masks, tails, ears and paws are designed to inspire imaginative play. A line of endangered animal masks helps teach children about the importance of environmental stewardship.
    Photo courtesy of Opposite of Far / Etsy

The top 10 winners in the category Makers in the USA: Best Children & Families are as follows:

  1. Mason Dixon - Baby booties
  2. Little Goodall - Clothing for kids
  3. Bannor Toys - Wooden toys
  4. Lovelane - Play wear
  5. The Magpie Co. - Clothing for kids
  6. Leather Head Sports - Sporting goods
  7. A Summer Afternoon - Wooden toys
  8. The Wishing Elephant - Baby costumes
  9. Prim Society - Heirloom baby goods
  10. Opposite of Far - Felt masks & play wear

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Suzy Ekman (Makers Market), Erin Godbey (Makers Collective), Dayna Isom Johnson (Etsy) and Sid Orlando (Kickstarter) were chosen based on their expertise of the makers movement.

Other nominated makers included Baby Jives Co, Broderpress, The Family Stone Tattoo, Fink Toys, Fresh BiB, Iris Skateboards, Petit Collage, Phoebe and Egg, Strawberry Moth and Xenotees.

Congratulations to all these wonderful winning makers!

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AlertThe Experts

Suzy Ekman

Suzy Ekman

Suzy Ekman

Erin Godbey

Erin Godbey

Erin Godbey

Dayna Isom Johnson

Dayna Isom Johnson

Dayna Isom Johnson

Sid Orlando

Sid Orlando

Sid Orlando