The way MDH Toys began....
Once Upon A Hot Summer's Day
Once upon a hot summer's day, not so very long ago, there was a craft fair in Westlock, Alberta. Deep in the back corner of the craft fair sat an artisan selling her handcrafted jewelry and mixed media art canvases. She was having a great time talking to the few customers that came by now and then. But one particular customer caught her attention.
This particular customer was a little boy around 5 or 6 years old. His face looked so sad, his eyes downcast and his mouth about to quiver. He held his mom's hand while she went from table to table looking at wares. The more tables she stopped by, the sadder he got. There were hair clips and headbands, tutus and jewelry and lots of things that little girls, especially his sister, would love.
It was all too much for him and big, fat tears started rolling down his face. "Mom", he whispered, "why isn't there ever anything for boys at these places?"
"Hush", his mom said very worried that someone would overhear her son complaining. "All these people make these things. I don't know why no one makes things for boys. But don't worry, we will stop at the store to get something for you." And they hurried along their way.
That night when the artisan got home, she sat down and did a little soul searching. She was a mother of 2 young boys and she too could never find anything to bring home to them. She took out her pencil and sketch pad and started brainstorming. She knew someone had to start making items for boys and she was the one who would need to start the movement.
Flash Forward to Current Day Times:
After 6 months of product development, market research and learning toy manufacturing laws, I decided to start creating imaginative play worlds and characters. Learning toys were added after my middle child was diagnosed with autism and I had to developed educational manipulatives for him. Teething toys were added after our daughter was born and I could not find compliant wooden teething toys anywhere. And now that our oldest son is a preteen, we have started adding party favours and cosplay accessories that are geared for preteens/teens/adults.
Although I can no longer attend craft fairs due to a back injury from a car accident and pregnancies that have left me with sciatica in both legs, I am proud to say that my toys were an inspiration for many. It is so nice to see that now throughout Alberta and BC there are lots of other artists that currently can be found making items for boys.
But now that there are so many who do what I do and I am limited to online sales only, I had to come up with a way to set my company apart from the masses. The way I did this was by recruiting my husband into making parts and pieces for my toy sets. As we have expanded and grown bigger, I have found other local woodworkers who help me make my toy designs become reality. Instead of only ordering mass produced wooden parts, we offer a premium line of Made in Alberta wooden toys, 100% made in our workshops.
I have not let the inability to walk or stand for long periods of time stop me from creating. I usually can be found with a pen and notepad for writing stories/bonus materials and a sketchpad for designing new toys. At night when my 3 kids are tucked in bed, I take out the paint brushes and paint up orders. When the orders are complete, I get to lovingly package them up and ship them out to you for your children to enjoy.
If you have any questions on any of my toys or educational materials, or just want to give me a shout to say Hi!, please feel free to message me.
To view my shop in action, catch the local CTVEdmonton news clip: