I’ve long loved the aesthetics of wood. I created and ran the website for Unfinished Furniture Showcase and have a lot of real wood furniture in my house thanks to that position. As I learned about the Montessori educational philosophy, I was excited to see the emphasis on wood toys and the importance of a child growing up in a beautiful environment. We are trying hard to make conscious decisions to get toys that also have an educational purpose, and also keep the total number of toys small, since the past year has been one of downsizing and working to live more simply.
One problem that I ran into was that many of the Montessori toys were extremely hard to find. There are very few places that one can actually easily buy them! This got me started looking into creating the toys, and then a beeswax finish for them, and eventually completely natural dyes to add some simple colors. And that led to the creation of Essential Montessori. Designing and building the toys has been extremely rewarding – and I mused last night that a year ago I never would have imagined I would be selling children’s toys! It’s pretty amazing where life can take you.