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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: December 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Feature with WoodToyShop

Tell us little about yourself!
I have two daughters ages 9 and 12, who help me a lot in the workshop. It's great having them around and they give me a lot of great feedback for my toys. I have a BS in Finance and MA in Economics. I have worked in many different fields including finance and as a consultant in economics. I have also worked as a software engineer and a flight instructor. I like making toys the best and have been doing it the longest.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I started making wooden toys when my first daughter was two and I made her a locomotive. It was a big project and looked beautiful. It kind of lit a spark for me that eventually became a full time job.

What inspires you?
I like to make toys that do things. My favorites are rubber band powered vehicles and catapults.

What got you started working with wood?
I started out taking a woodworking class while in grad school. I made an end table. After that I built my own house, and built the cabinets for it during the winter before we broke ground.

Tell us more about your "off the grid" work space?
My workspace is the basement of our house. So my commute is down the stairs. We aren't off grid, but we do have thermal solar panels that makes our hot water and photovoltaic panels that produce about a third of our total electricity consumption.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
I have been on Etsy for 1 1/2 years and it's been great. Orders trickle in during the year and stream in at Christmas. It's a nice place to get exposure both for retail sales and linking up with wholesale clients.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?
Keep at it, your business will build over time and don't be afraid of nurturing wholesale accounts.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

The natural kids group has been very helpful. The efforts as a team I think have made a big difference for me. Also there is a lot of very good advice that team members provide.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
I'm not sure if I have good thoughts on this subject, however I have seen plenty of eyes twinkle when kids(young and adult) pick up a catapult and imagine the trouble they can get into.

Your items can be found where:

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard

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