This week we take a close up look at BirchLeaf Designs in our talk with owner and creator Wendy.
Tell us about you!
We are BirchLeaf Designs! We are a family of four, living, homeschooling, and making natural toys off the grid. We use solar power to run our homestead along with chickens and pigs that help “power” our gardening efforts.
Tell us about your business!
BirchLeaf Designs was created when our children decided that we should start making toys and sell them at the festivals. So that is exactly what we did – our first festival was in the summer of ’06. We then opened up our Etsy shop, hoping to fill in the gaps in-between festivals and farmer’s markets. We came up with the name “BirchLeaf” by combining our children’s middle names.
What do you make and how long have you been creating?
We make fun toys that inspire imaginations and feed creative souls. Toys made from natural materials like wood and silk that will last and be passed down to even littler creative souls! Our children were the wind behind our sails and our inspiration to begin. Examples of some of our stuff include playsilks, swords and shields, poi, and bug boxes. We also make other items for the home, like cuttingboards, rice paddles and spatulas and items for babies and mamas, like teething rings, baby spoons, tie-dyed onesies and baby-carrying slings, and mama teas and baths for labor and birth.
Where do you find inspiration?
Our inspiration stems from the children, oh to see them smile! Oh, to see them interact with each other! Oh, to feel the love and happiness!
What’s your favorite thing you have ever made?
Hmm. That’s a tricky one. I think my most favorite toy is Poi. Not because the process of how it is made, but because how addictive it is to do! It is such a great exercise in upper body strength and coordination.
How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
We entered the world of Etsy in December of ’07 and we *love* it! Sales have been decent and we have networked with so many interesting artists. Having an online presence and being on Etsy’s NaturalKids Team has been invaluable to us as a home-based business.
What do you hope to gain or contribute to the Natural Kids group?
We hope to give to the NaturalKids team, by sharing our knowledge of our space in time and we hope to gain the same beauty and reverence of other team members.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
The depth of this topic is intense! It basically boils down to OnePeopleOneEarth. We have one life to live and one Earth to live it on…let’s do what we can to keep the Earth clean and feed our creative souls in the process!
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