DALLAS–An illuminated outdoor lawn decoration called Lawn Lights is one of the finalists for Dallas Market Center’s The Next Big Thing, its annual national product search contest. Maggies, a patented magnetic textile fastener, and the Tady Tote, an indoor/outdoor cushioned area for kids, are the other two finalists. The three will exhibit at the upcoming Dallas Temp Show to be held June 20-23, 2013, during the Total Home & Gift Market (June 19-25), and one will win a prize package worth more than $12,500, including a $2,500 cash prize.
From founder Mark Halter, Lawn Lights allows people to create a nighttime display by unrolling the string of LED lights in arcs, loops or semi-circles and staking them in the ground; no tools, ladders, extension cords or staples are needed. While primarily used at Christmas, Lawn Lights (lawnlights.com) can also be used for weddings and other special occasions. Each set of 36 lights covers about 1,600 to 3,600 square feet.
With Maggies, consumers can hold together several layers of fabric, such as shawls, scarves and sarongs, as securely as stitching would. From founder Margaret Sinclair, Maggies (mymaggies.com) are easy to use.
Large enough for parent and child, Tady Tote (tadytote.com) provides a cushioned area for a child to play on. From founder Sharon Soloway, it converts from bag to mat instantly and has waterproof backing and a teddy bear blanket that is removable and easy to launder. Tady Tote also has pockets for baby bottles and snacks.
Judges from consumer and trade media as well as industry experts and a former The Next Big Thing winner will help select the winner based on the finalists’ products. In addition, the public will have a chance to vote to show their support for their favorite product on the Dallas Market Center Facebook page by “liking” the photo of the finalist of their choice in “The Next Big Thing 2013 Finalists” Facebook album. Popular voting will begin on Wednesday, May 1 and run through Wednesday, June 12. The winner will be selected based on a combination of judges’ feedback and popular vote.
The Next Big Thing winner will be announced on Saturday, June 22, during the Total Home & Gift Market. The prize package includes exhibit space at the Dallas Temp Show in January 2014, a profile in Dallas Market Center’s publication and consultations from industry experts regarding branding, marketing, public relations, visual merchandising and more.