GIGGLYPIGS, founded by Claudine Zammit who is based in SW15, sells handmade wooden toys made from ecologically sourced wood and non toxic paints.
BONUS: GIGGLYPIGS will offer a one-off 10% discount to all readers of the blog. When ordering quote ‘STAR10’. Valid until 30th November 2016.
I was lucky enough to interview Claudine to know more about her and her beautiful wooden toys:
What is your background? I’m from Malta, moved to London 12 years ago. I’m originally an IT business analyst, used to work in Consulting firms for many years and also in large companies implementing IT systems. I always loved my freedom so in the last few years I worked with companies on a contract basis so that I could take time off to travel, together with my now husband.
Did you always want to work with toys? If not, what made you? Did you see a gap in the market? When I got pregnant with Isla it was my decision to quit my office job and become a full time Mum. I had come to a point where I wanted a break from going to the office every day, even though motherhood is not exactly a break. When Isla turned 1, however, I felt that I needed a project. I needed something more than dealing with baby stuff all day long. After lots of brainstorming and researching I settled on wooden toys. Other ideas I thought of were personalised baby items such as muslins, facecloths and vests, maternity sportswear and maternity pillows. I kept trying to find a niche in the market, but with baby stuff it’s really not so easy. And I was set on doing something child/baby related as suddenly I found myself in a world of Mums and kids, it suddenly became my daily talk. Eventually I thought of wooden toys. Everyone loves wooden toys nowadays. And after all, most times they are more educational than most plastic toys. Back to basics, letting the child use their imagination. I also noticed how expensive most wooden toys are, so I figured if I manage to source wooden toys that are more affordable, I could make this happen.
Is it a full time job or are you able to juggle Your time at home well?It started with a few hours a week and a lot of dreaming and has now become a full time job. I started off by researching the market for toys available and their prices. Then I worked hard on trying to find suppliers. It was really interesting reading lots of articles on which countries are best, which to avoid, etc. Eventually I settled on the Czech Republic. It was very exciting coming up with a name, a logo, business cards, and then very daunting, actually ordering stock and starting up a facebook page. Having a toddler makes it complicated to try and get work done at home. However Isla’s been going to nursery 3 mornings a week so that gives me some free time. I also have a very supportive husband who comes straight home from work to take over taking care of Isla so that I can get any work done. I usually also work a few hours on a Saturday morning when we are all home. This Summer I took a couple of months off as we got married in Malta and then took a break. It was great, but from a business point of view I realised how you need to be on top of things every single day. Since being back in September I’ve developed a website and I am working very hard on advertising again, hoping to get sales up for Christmas.
Catch GIGGLYPIGS here:
•Hoe Valley School Christmas Craft Fayre on Saturday 12th November in Woking
•Hurlingham School Christmas Fair in Putney on 26th November
•the Mosaic School Fair in Roehampton on 4 December.