Today, we bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor, Nest European Toys & Home. In Lisa's words:
"Our goal is to carry products that are high quality, sustainable, timeless in their charm, and that are lots of fun! We offer a large selection of European (and North American) made wooden toys, waldorf toys, arts and crafts, organic baby products, and natural products for the home. We work with companies like Ostheimer, Grimms, Sarah's Silks, Engelberger, Ruskovilla Woollens, and many others.
SouleMama: Tell us about your background.
Lisa: We're a husband and wife team, each with German connections. I've been going to visit my family in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany since I was 12, and did some of my university studies in Germany, including my grad studies in physics & renewable energy engineering. My husband, John-Paul, worked for a year in Switzerland before university studies. Our backgrounds are different and neither in retail, but we share a love of German culture: their appreciation for quality and aesthetics, for nature and the outdoors, work-life balance, and ecological stewardship. And the food & baked goods :)
SouleMama: What path led you to the work you do today?
Lisa`: After we came back from a year together in Germany, and I was working in an engineering firm, I was feeling the physical strain of intensively working long hours, sitting at a computer, indoors throughout the summer and daylight hours year-round. It was hard to leave the sciences, but I knew that I had to make a change for my health. I got my teaching degree, as science education is a passion, and I opened the shop in the same year. (Not recommended, lol). John-Paul too, had been working in an office during the day. At first he told me that he'd help with heavy lifting and such, but by Christmas the first year, when I walked into the shop, and he excitedly told me "Toy trains! I've been researching toy trains!", I knew he was fully into it. When it came time to start our family, we could see that the store offered a lot of flexibility for us to do it together. It's still long hours and a lot of work for sure, but now we're able to spend more time together as a family.
SouleMama: Tell us about the beginnings of your business.
Lisa: The shop was born out of a vision that living more sustainably in a North American context need not be such a sacrifice - whether we be homesteaders or urban dwellers (or some combination thereof). We like to offer people a selection of toys and home goods so delightful and aesthetically appealing, that they first see these qualities, and the sustainability, biodegradability, and health & safety aspects are all just givens.
SouleMama: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
Lisa : "Hope for the best, and manage the rest." (A customer taught me that one when I was expecting our first).SouleMama: Tell us about your customers.
Lisa: We have amazing customers! When we closed our storefront, and went online-only this past summer, I worried about missing the contact with people, and getting to know them. Incredibly enough, over the internet and phone, we still get to know some of our customers, which we really appreciate. Some of them send us photos of things they've made with crafting materials, or the new baby in the home. It's all really special for us. We care a lot about each order going out, as we know the package is going to the home of another family or people just like us in ways.
We have a lot of customers from Waldorf and even Montessori or Reggio Emilia communities or homeschoolers, but then we also have 'aesthetes' who simply like the products. Sometimes it's a grandparent who wants their grandkids to have more traditional wooden toys. Actually, we hear both situations - where the parents are encouraging the grandparents to buy wooden toys, or the grandparents are encouraging the parents. ;)SouleMama: What's the product or offering that you are most excited about in your shop/class right now? Tell us about it.
Lisa: Our new wooden castles are simply beautiful. They're made of solid adler wood...you have to see them.
For today's giveaway, Nest European Toys & Home is generously offering the following gift to THREE winners:
~$100 Gift Certificate!
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enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person,
please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 8:00am EST on Monday, and
announce the winners, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. Comments closed! The winners are:
What an adorable store!!!! I love the snails:)
Post by: Tiffany Parkin
Stunning! Crossing my fingers...
Posted by: Rita
What wonderful toys! I would love to have one of everything!
Posted by: Bee Girl (AKA Melissa)
Thank you, Nest European Toys & Home!