A Gift of Smiling Toys

My 11-month-old feisty nephew Milo was baptized this past weekend. In true color, I wanted to get a creative gift. Something he would use. Personalized to his uniqueness. And, a symbol of his tinyness that his parents could enjoy for a lifetime. 

Clicking through Etsy, I discovered Smiling Tree Toys, featuring organic wood toys and personalized wooden blocks. The ideal solution for Milo’s perfect baptism gift.

I settled on the personalized wooden blocks for Milo. And, added with a few others to my “favorites” for Jack and Ella. Easter basket finds maybe? I quickly emailed the owners, Justin and Kathleen, to see if they could ship my order within a day. It was Tuesday. I needed the blocks by Sunday. Kathleen responded immediately, the blocks would arrive by Friday. Smiles all the way.

Thankful for their politeness in meeting my needs. A heavy admiration for the trendy and eco-friedly toys they sell. Double bonus. Because the shop owner carries the same name as my husband. I picture him just as handy. And because I’ve desperately fallen in love with their products. I thought I’d share a little more about the adorable Minnesota-based shop.

Justin and Kathleen started Smiling Tree Toys to support their family by bringing joy to others in the form of Mother Nature. The family donates a portion of each sale to Peace Corps youth projects. Insert warm fuzzies here.

The shop features grain patterns, colors and silky smooth organically finished hardwood toys.

“We do everything in our power to keep our environmental footprint very small,” says Kathleen. “We like to think that all of the earth-friendly things we do brings a smile to the trees we use.”

They purchase locally sourced and FSC-certified wood. All package materials are eco-friendly as well. Recycled cardboard boxes, wood chip fillers and biodegradable bubble wrap. They use certified organic camelina oil and beeswax grown on their family’s land to complete the organic finish. Seriously. It can’t get better.

Justin does the woodworking, but both “hold a deep admiration for trees and natural life.” Inspiration comes mainly from their daughter, Amana, but mostly in every day things.

For more about Smiling Tree Toys visit their blog, and obviously, their Etsy shop. Smiles!

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