Meet our Toymaker – Karen

I am delighted to introduce you to Karen Madyak from Rainbow Stitches who is the creator of our gorgeous felt tea sets. She is a very talented artisan who works from home in a lovely part of Victoria. I found Karen’s beautiful toys 3 years ago when Eco Toys began and it has been a pleasure to support another local mum who works from home and like me, loves what she is doing!  I have often driven out to her place to pick up a new box of tea sets which is always a delight.

I interviewed Karen about her work.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a stay at home mother of two beautiful children. We live in a small town in country Victoria. I am a trained Primary Teacher and I have a passion for children and for the value of imaginative play.

What inspired you to start making toys?

I started sewing toys for my eldest child about 5 years ago. It really came from a desire to make something myself, for my child. It was a way of showing my son that he was so special that I would spend hours just making one small toy for him. You really invest love into anything you spend time making – even a simple toy.

When I started sewing I was surprised by my own imagination! It was a buzz designing the next piece of fruit, a vegetable or an animal.

As I made more things I began giving them as gifts and other mothers would often ask where they could get the toys. As a result I started selling my tea party toys and felt animals.

How long have you been making toys?

I started sewing toys for my eldest child about 5 years ago. I have been selling some of my sets through Eco Toys for about 3 years.

What do you love most about your job?

I love being at home with my children and being able fit my sewing in when the children are asleep or otherwise entertained.

I also love to think of the children who will be playing with my toys and I enjoy getting emails from other mums letting me know how much they appreciate the toys.

How does your company provide environmental and social responsibility?

Hand made toys are enduring, they are made with great care and given thoughtfully, they are not easily thrown away, as plastic toys often are.

Pretend play toys are fantastic because they are often played with for many years. My baby is just starting to enjoy pretend play – at 18 months old she is able to share the same toys as my seven year old.

What a great investment!

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3 Responses to “Meet our Toymaker – Karen”

  1. Susan Alston says:

    These felt tea sets are beautiful and as a Kindergarten teacher I understand and value the importance of pretend play. What a difference to plastic pretend food!

  2. Jetta says:

    It is a wonderful thing to see children of such varying ages playing the same imaginative games. A great toy truly is one that stands the test of time, can be used by many ages, is earth friendly and captures the imagination. That Karen makes them with love is a bonus for all 🙂

  3. Bern says:

    What a great story, great to read of your passion for wonderful handmade toys that help develop the children’s imagination.

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