Not Just Playing Around – About
I am thrilled that everyone who uses our toys knows they are getting an heirloom quality toy worthy of the most precious children in the world.
Before I created Handmade Happiness by Ruth, my boys, through normal exuberant toddler play, broke several of their cheap plastic toys.
Then one day a recall happened. One of my son’s favorite toys had lead paint. I was appalled. I vowed to design a toy that is engaging for children, won’t sit on the toy shelf collecting dust, and exceeds quality and safety standards above all others.
It turned out that the eco friendly materials that I felt compelled to use for their social responsibility were far more expensive than their non certified counterparts. The time required to stitch the intricate detailing required for a durable, quality toy was also of concern and I feared I was creating something that would have a price point that would frighten off all but the most ecologically and safety minded parents.
But then, after friends who had purchased my toys as gifts came back to purchase another for their own children, I realized I was on the right path after all, that I am not the only parent concerned about the health and safety of cheap toys.
I decided to set out to create the most captivating toys for the most imaginative children in the world.
It turns out, the road was more difficult than I imagined.
Suppliers of eco friendly materials that are durable enough for the rough play of small children were difficult to find and they have high buying minimums so I had to limit my design choices so I could sell the toys at a price point to which parent’s would happily agree.
Because of this, I limited my fabrics to only those that are 100% GOTS Certified Organic. These fabrics are guaranteed to be grown chemical free, dyed with only low impact fiber reactive dyes, shipped without any additional preservatives, and all made with ethical labor standards as part of the certification.
Finding a source for safe toy accessories that are regularly tested for chemical safety was also a headache, but I kept looking and eventually found the perfect accessories to enhance my handmade items.
To be sure that the toys I make are fully safe for children, I made the difficult decision to become compliant with all Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations and worked for nearly 6 months to set up the proper tagging and tracking system to make sure that only the best toys find a home with your children.
Through it all, we released our first products and the response has been exciting. In a world full of gadgets and gizmos and battery powered entertainment, watching a child come alive with excitement and curiosity and listening to little stories and imaginative play is the most magical experience in the world.
As an architect, I learned the fundamentals of good design. As a mom, I am constantly learning new things about the importance of play in early childhood development. As a toymaker, I am combining those two realms to create toys that encourage independent play, provide an imaginative play prompt, and foster an appreciation for beauty that they can touch.