The beginnings of an idea
It all starts with an ordinary mum (me) who was a little overwhelmed with plastic, particularly of the ‘surprise toy’ variety! It just crept up on me; a magazine toy here, a few surprise eggs there. Until one day after a clear-out I was shocked at the huge bag of plastic tat staring back at me! It dawned on me that this was probably echoed across the country and beyond! Yet the kids’ appetite for these little plastic 5-minute wonders seemed insatiable. Little did I know that this was the first rumblings of what would become Eco Surprise!
But the story actually started many years ago!
It’s been a journey, an accident even, but the more I think about it the more I realise that this was no accident. I’ve always been eco-conscious and fascinated by nature. My travels, particularly to the Amazon basin showed me first hand how awesome nature could be as well as the perils that come with unsustainable logging and deforestation. During my first degree in ecology & environmental science I learnt more about the fine balance that sustains us all on planet Earth. The plastic crisis is unfortunately one of those issues that threatens to undermine that balance as it pollutes our oceans, impacts ecosystems & human health, as well as contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. I believe that the time has come to do things differently.
Becoming a mum added a whole new level. I was drawn to organic, natural, non-toxic everything! I guess I went into full-on nurture mode! I even tried to puree organic raspberries with comedy effect, and decorated my kitchen at the same time!
But at the same time, and without really realising it, my house began to look more and more like a toy shop! I hate waste but I love treating my little one so that was my dilemma, and Eco Surprise sort of jumped out at me as the solution!! Ever since then I’ve been working tirelessly to bring my idea to fruition.
Launching in a pandemic....hmm
Then along came March 2020….. when the world changed as we know it. We've had lockdown, homeschooling, home working, self-isolating, and then our supplier went into lockdown days after our first order!! It's not been an easy journey so far and we’ve had our bumps along the way. But I really believe that now more than ever that we can do better and provide an awesome eco-friendly alternative!
A love of wooden toys
I always loved the nostalgic feel of wooden toys but it wasn’t until I had my little one that I fell in love with simple Waldorf-style toys, particularly those that reflected nature. Wooden toys can often be used in many different ways and are ‘open ended’ so a child can really use their imaginations. I’ve watched my little one play more imaginatively and creatively with wooden toys. The play seems to last longer and she invents many more games than she does with a toy that has a specific role to play. So I’m hooked, and I’d love to share beautiful wooden toys with you too!