We have so many new and exciting things happening we'd like to share it with you. We're one year (and three months) into our business adventure and it hardly seems real. We'd like to share all the exciting things that have been happening with you. We also want to take you down the memory lane of how it all started.
New and Exciting News
Fast forward 12 months and we had outgrown all of our workspaces. We needed to spread out, so that started the fun mission of finding our first warehouse!
Of course, I wanted almost every warehouse I saw as the excitement of having our own warehouse was real... But thanks to my Mr. Practical, I've slowed down a bit and eventually found the space that was simply perfect for us!
We moved into our wonderful warehouse space in June 2020. To be honest, every time I unlock the doors to our space I have a big goofy grin on my face. It's amazing to see all that we have achieved.
Our team members are Steve, Genna, Nicole, Mum, and I. They craft our products with love and make the dreams come true! We love them dearly and looking forward to growing our team (aka family) this year.
Steve is still working as a boilermaker, and joining me here and there. Somehow we juggle being parents in the midst of it all (don't ask me how). Even though the juggle is real, we wouldn't have it any other way.
Our kids help us where they can at times: they stamp the boxes, count product components, mix up all the pieces (which is not very productive), play in the shredded paper, and occasionally rade the biscuit jar.
Let Them Play is a family gig and it's important to me to have it this way.
I am going to take you down the memory lane and behind the scenes. To be honest, I've been trying to write this blog for around 4 months now.
Our First Year
Firstly I wanted to celebrate our first year in business. Celebrating is so important for us and it helps us to reflect. We look at where we started, and what has happened along the way so far.
There are things like life, having 4 children, bushfires, COVID, homeschooling, and more. I mean, right this second I have around 10 min before I have to rush off to do daycare pick up, netball picks up, dinner, baths, and who knows what else...
My Partner in Crime
Steve and I are a team. We've made Let Them Play happen together and I'm grateful for the complimentary skills we have.
I'm a big picture visionary and Steve is very practical. I get an idea in my head and I cannot stop until I see my vision come to life. Sometimes Steve will roll his eyes and ask me to slow down. I always go to him with a creative light bulb moment so he can offer me a more practical perspective.
That is how we balance each other out. We sure have our moments when trying to problem solve but we stronger together.
My Four Kids
Meet the littlest members of Let Them Play Family. Apart from running a business, I'm also a mum of four: Rhys (13), Amelia (11), Lewis (3), and Henry (1). Fair to say my hands (and heart) are full.
My eldest two are from my first marriage. I like to say that I've redone things properly with the right person the second time around.
In March last year, we were delighted to find out we were pregnant with our 4th baby. It was a surprise as it happened so quickly. It took us over a year to fall pregnant with Lewis, so we thought we had plenty of time. But, Boom, here we go.
Let Them Play
I was running my family daycare for 8 years. I decided to close it so I could take some maternity leave with Henry. I've started to let the families know to give them plenty of time to find great new educators.
As all families were founding their new places I was left with a lot more time on my hands. More then I expected. I used to always raid the branches that Steve trimmed from the large amounts of trees from around our home. I used tp to make natural resources for the daycare from them.
So I thought to myself - “perfect, now I have some time, so I can make some toys and a little money before the baby arrives”. Little did I know...
My first product was our Log Hammer and Log Blocks and I made them being five months pregnant.
Natural and Open-Ended
I always knew the benefits of plastic-free, nature-based, and open-ended toys from running the daycare. Little did I know that I had just stumbled into a niche. I was NOT prepared for what was to come.
How It All Started
Take a guess, have a go, hope for the best. I started an Instagram page as the next step without thinking too much about it.
I launched my online store soon after and I can still remember the moment I received my first sale - 2 log hammers! I was over the moon - someone liked my products!
Steve asked me early on what I hoped this business would become, and I didn't;t really know in the beginning. I didn't know what we will achieve and didn’t have the confidence to back myself. In some ways that have worked in my favor as I didn’t know what to fear and I have just winged it each step.
Granny Flat Studio
For the first few months, our studio was based in our little granny flat at our home. We did all the finishing touches to the products, packed, and sent the products and the workshop was based in Steve’s shed.
At first, it felt like we had so much space, but then very quickly as things took off.
We started to get inquiries from all over the world for our products. It filled us with immense pride. We were excited to see Tree People (and other products) in the hands of many different kids around the world.
It's very humbling to know that the products that I've created with my hands are being loved by children in Latvia, Spain, Germany, the UK, Asia is very humbling. Thank you for joining us on our journey.