Tag Archives | Natural Pod

West Coast Natural Toy Magic

My love of Waldorf, naturally handcrafted toys is more than just admiration of a person’s craft. When you see a toy that has tenderness infused into the stitches and wooden seams, you absorb the love that was given to make this special toy. Being a West Coaster that is connected to two of the leaders in the Waldorf play and education fields, I’m super honored to be hosting a contest with Bamboletta Dolls and Natural Pod.

I’ll start with Bamboletta. If you haven’t read their story, please click over and be ready to fall in love. The heart of Bamboletta is the founder Christina who has developed a business model that creates a better world. She has perfected a craft, taught others, and along the many years of hard work, never sold out with how the dolls are manufactured and what materials are used to make them.  Christina and her busy helpers have stayed where the dolls were created – right here on the West Coast making her magic bloom. What is new with Bamboletta since we last checked in? Over to Christina.

We’ve introduced 2 new styles last year that have been extremely popular. They are different then the traditional type of Waldorf doll as they are sewn to have more flexible limbs. Great for having a snuggle or a tea party! We will continue to do what we do, which is to create high quality dolls made with the best ‘ingredients’ we can find. I’m working hard to find more and more local sources my materials and have started working with a mill in Nova Scotia to get our yarn hair from. All our dolls are made right here in the Cowichan Valley by local moms creating a strong community of women working together with a lot of love hand crafting these dolls. They are infused with love in the stitches and will be an item that your child will eventually pass on to their child when they get older.

We are so excited to have our own Little Buddy doll from Bamboletta for this contest (her picture is in the contest box at the bottom of this article). She is so sweet and the beautiful touch at the front of her hair is a handspun yarn made by a local weaver from Cowichan Valley. Details are never left out with the Bamboletta ladies. Here is a picture of the Bamboletta shop. Doesn’t it look like Santa’s Workshop with magic and creativity bursting out the doors?

bamboletta doll shop

Over we go to Natural Pod who I’ve known for many years. They were one of the leaders in the naturally made toy movement 9 years ago and they haven’t slowed down with earth stewardship. With more of a global focus now, Natural Pod has shifted their expertise to help design and build beautiful, sustainable natural play spaces, furniture and open-ended play items that foster different learning environments for children. Their mission to foster how children can develop and learn from their environment when the focus is play is so important. They continue to inspire and ignite passion for teaching with the beautiful environments they create. I invite you to check out their Fan Page and look at the pictures of open-ended play spaces they’ve dreamed and delivered over the years. Very inspiring! More words from owner Bridgitte.

We serve educators and children in childcare, home-day, preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle schools along with hospice and special needs students around the world. Raw materials for our products are sourced as close as the forests near our office on Vancouver Island and the wood we use is Forestry Stewardship Certified (FSC), supporting responsible forestry practices. Our other products are made of natural wood, wool or silk and finished in plant-based dyes, harmonic beeswax or in some cases are left naturally unfinished. The bulk of our product line is not only recyclable, but even 100% naturally compostable. Since our beginning, we have worked with over 500+ different learning organizations and have successfully delivered more than 27,000 products to our customers.

Check out how lovely this newly created classroom space is from Natural Pod.


Now over to the fun part of this feature – a contest!  Can you imagine winning a Bamboletta Little Buddy and Natural Pod Wooden Rocker? You could pretty much call Christmas shopping a wrap if you are the lucky winner! My thanks to Bamboletta and Natural Pod who are waiting to ship the lucky contest winner these two items. The contest runs from November 13, 2013 – November 20, 2013 – closing at midnight. This contest is open to North America. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Less Is More Theory and Experiment

I’ve noticed with interest that dollar stores in my community are going out of business.  You would think in this economy where people are trying to save money that the dollar store business would be going strong.  Could it be that consumers, especially parents, are realizing that less is more?  I believe so.  Back-to-basics, sustainability, quality, craftsmanship, safety are words that parents are willing to pay more for.

From toys, to beauty products, and even our produce ~ I would rather buy organic, pesticide-free for my children.  Shopping in smaller amounts, rather than filling up my cart, without thinking through what I’ll truly need to use.  There has been much buzz about pesticides to avoid with food and mainstream press is starting to write about how toxic most personal care products are.  From organic food, to organic shampoo/soap, to safe toys made from natural or stringently tested materials come at a higher cost.  As a parent, I’m willing to pay a few extra dollars for products I know are coming from business that care and source products with the safely of my children at the forefront.  Most bios from mompreneurs include the fact they were deeply unsatisfied with answers, product selection and product knowledge from traditional stores.  I challenge anyone reading this to an experiment we’ll call the ‘Less-Is-More Theory’.  Walk into your local department store and ask the store clerk or manager questions about their toys, bath toys, personal care products, produce, water bottles, etc.  I myself started doing this when I noticed most store chains have started branding their store label on stainless steel water bottles; Old Nay, The Bay, London Drugs, Superstore, even Dollar Stores.  Not one of these retailers could tell me anything about their store branded stainless steel water bottles.  They had no idea what stainless steel grade they were or that there were different steel grades out there.  I hear about dollar stores that simply ‘dip’ the outside of water bottles to coat god-knows-what material underneath.  I’m not saying these retail stores are doing this, but from a quality issue, I’d like to know more about the grade I’m purchasing so I know how to care for it.  If you are nervous about purchasing bath products (personal care or toys), food or water containers, or plastic toys and the store cannot answer simple questions I would not purchase them.  Here are some basics that they should be able to answer:

What grade of stainless steel is this?
What type of plastic is this made from? Where is it manufactured?
Does this product contain phthalates, parabens, fragrance, BPA?
Is this toy (bath or not) PVC free?
What pesticide is used on this produce item?

If the person cannot answer your questions ~ don’t buy it.  Now finish this challenge.  Contact any of the store owners from this list of businesses and ask them the same questions.  I would bet a lot of money, they can answer your question, plus give you more than you expected:

Green Planet Parties
Healthy Kitchenware
Kai Kids
Natural Pod
Nayla Natural Care
The Tickle Trunk

The list goes on, but you start here and receive top notch customer service and product knowledge.  You will never think again that getting Dollar Store bargains for these types of products is a good idea.  Dollar store priced stores have their place for certain types of products in my opinion; however, the health of your family is not an area they where they specialize and no price tag can be put on the future health of your children.



Natural Pod – A Shopping Experience That Inspires Love Of Nature

Well, I’m back from the Vancouver Trunk Show, a little weary,  but happy to have networked and met some amazing momentrepreneurs.  I always find myself needing to write after these mom fairs because the women are inspirational and their products are so well developed and wonderful for children.  The usual case for mom’s starting web or home based businesses are to fill a void in the industry that was only discovered because they started a family.

One business that always catches my eye is Natural Pod.  This is an online store, but the heart of the business is local on Vancouver Island.  Their natural play items are mindful of the environment and very creative. One item I noticed by their table last Friday, is a product called Tree Branch BlocksNatural Pod first brought in this product from Germany, but in the quest to keep their footprint small and support local craftsmen, the product is now produced on Vancouver Island, from the fast growing Alder tree.   I’ve always said that the only toy I would invest in for the under 1 crowd are blocks.  I’m a big fan of creative play that helps with coordination and is fun for parents too!  Well, introduce your child to nature and building with this heart stopping beautiful stacking toy.  Ready for an image so you know what I’m gushing about?   Pictures from the Natural Pod site:

The edges of this building toy are totally smooth and this nature inspired building set is completely safe and non-toxic – no worries if a block (or stump I should say) ends up in a teething child’s mouth.  This toy is a very special investment and would make a magical Christmas or 1st Birthday present.  Presentation is everything and the very soft, locally crafted bag the blocks arrive in makes another subtle statement about the beauty of natural looking products, void of wasteful plastic packaging.  These are one of the most special toys I’ve seen for toddlers.  And yes, they are as beautiful in person as the two photographs in this article.



Christmas Shopping Event – The Vancouver Children’s Trunk Show

It’s not often I feature Vancouver based events but I wanted to highlight an upcoming local event –Vancouver Children’s Trunk Show that is happening this Friday, November 14th. A very successful event in Toronto – it’s come to Vancouver for the first time and is a great ticket to get some Christmas shopping completed! It’s a venue where businesses and estores have their products for sale and it’s happening at the best time of year.  Where else can you experience fabulous local entrepreneurs from around the city presenting their creative wares for children, family and home.  

I try to get out and support the mom based businesses and usually my efforts are rewarded by meeting amazing people and getting the sneak peek at amazing non-commercialized products for my kids. My day spent at the Mommies On Main event last summer was such a wonderful experience…I love the Etsy feel that surrounds these events.

Here are the details of this event.  Post your comments this weekend and let me know your thoughts on the experience!

When? Friday November 14th, 2008 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where?  VanDusen Garden (in the Floral Hall) 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
What?  A celebration of entrepreneurial women, stylish shopping events by moms and for moms, featuring locally-made fashions, furniture and products geared exclusively toward kids and families.

Expect a flurry of Mommy Footprint’s after this event…the wonderfully beautiful Natural Pod will be there with their line of natural, creative wares.  This is the perfect example of getting to see the products up close from magical estores such as Natural Pod and Green Planet Parties.  The fabulous eco-friendly GPP is featuring Santa Sacks and Christmas baking aprons, along with their sustainable party supplies.  Too fun!  Hope to see you there!



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