Work and play blend seamlessly in this Seattle home that doubles as a toy factory. And David Minnery loves it when people ask what he does for a living:
“I usually I just say I make toys and because there's no other better way to say it and I'm sure in their minds they're kind of going to a place like Saint Nick's workshop,” he explained.
"Yeah people always make that joke,” added his wife Adrienne.
Adrienne and David Minnery started making toys in 2010 after David was laid off from his landscape architect job.
"They took off, we sold out.” David said. “We were all the sudden crazy busy for four weeks and shut down shop and thought this is our new business!"
David's woodworking skills -- and Adrienne's experience as a teacher -- combined to create these naturally playful pieces.
They named their company Manzanita Kids. The four seeds in the apple in the logo are the four members of this family affair: Adrienne does all of the design work. David traces her designs onto wood, and uses a shop in the basement to cut, carve and craft wood into toys. Then their kids, Thomas and Isabel, along with some friends, run the testing department.
All of the baby rattles, puzzles and modular blocks are hand crafted from local, sustainable hardwoods.
The rattles get a coat of beeswax and jojoba -- a finish that's baby-safe, and beautiful.
"It really makes it pop. It's always a bit of a surprise, it's a nice little reward at the end,” explained David as he waxed the toys at his dining room table.
These toys don't always end up in the hands of kids: sometimes adults buy them for decorating homes or nurseries, or the puzzles end up on coffee tables.
They sell these timeless toys that please both adults and kids in a high-tech marketplace: Handmade at Amazon.
"It's helped us just for their customer base,” said Adrienne.
It's a perfect fit for this cottage industry that's in an actual cottage.
"And with the Handmade marketplace, we kind of have our own little niche. We have a place to shine,” explained David. "It's been incredibly rewarding."
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