Part of rural living, especially in more remote areas, is the simplification of your approach to life. Living so close to the natural world–hanging out clothes on the line, growing your own vegetables, watching the deer in the fields–makes you aware of things that are not real.
Take toys, for example. I’m thinking about them right now because in just two weeks, I’m off to Ontario – and while I’m there, I’ll be seeing two of our grandchildren.
I’m sort of old-fashioned anyway when it comes to kids’ entertainment. It seems to me that a lot of kids these days are babysat by movie videos and grow into computer games. So I was really glad to “meet” Cecilia Leibovitz of Craftsbury Kids. Her business is based on her vision that children have the innate ability to play, to have fun, and to be amazing.
“Rather than offer products that result in their passivity, I want to encourage children to have an active role in their play and everyday decision making.
When we ask children to mold their personalities to limited ideas, activities, and products created in response to fads, or the latest blockbuster movie, we hinder their growth. When we show children that there is so much more out there, they can develop a confidence and a realization of their own ability to create and achieve incredible things, whether paintings or doctorates.
I started Craftsbury Kids out of a desire to celebrate the amazing talent of artists and crafters who carry on the quality of old world craftsmanship in our modern age.
Many people aren’t aware of the beautiful and impeccably made toys, clothing, and other items that are still out there for children today. You can literally feel the love that went into the making of these things.”
And so Cecilia stocks gorgeous hand-made toys & clothes from around the world. And being the small world that it is, Cecilia was the one who told me about Irish Sally Gardens, Rebecca & Dan Hillman’s blog from County Leitrim in Ireland, one of the blogroll links in our “Living in the Country resources” category. On their farm, the Hillmans are “living a sustainable lifestyle in rural Ireland & sharing the knowledge of (their) experiences with others through consultation & workshops”. Dan also makes beautiful wooden heirloom hobby horses that Cecilia carries at Craftsbury Kids (check under ‘wooden toys’).
In addition to her business, Cecilia has been very busy addressing the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) issue in her role as President of the Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA). Cecilia played, and is still playing, a huge part in bringing the Save Handmade movement and the problems with the CPSIA to the public’s attention. You can read an 2-part interview with Cecilia on Chalkydoodles Blog.
[tags]Craftsbury Kids, Irish Sally Garden, Chalkydoodles,CPSIA, Handmade Toy Alliance, Cecilia Leibovitz, County Leitrim, Rebecca & Dan Hillman, handmade wooden toys[tags]