Sponsor Saturday: Jupiter's Child

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I'm happy to welcome this week's sponsor Jupiter's Child, makers of beautiful outdoor toys, games, and lots of other wooden toys.  Beth from Jupiter's Child was nice enough to answer the following questions from me:

Me:  So, the thing that absolutely first caught my eye in your shop are those beautiful jump ropes!  And the description says that you hand-dye them?  Tell us about that.

Beth: The jump ropes are a collaboration between a friend who is a master rope-splicer and ourselves. He ties the intricate knots and handles; we dye them. After much experimentation, we’ve finally found a dyeing technique that works. It’s a slow, one-rope-at-a-time process, but it produces beautiful results, if I do say so!

Me: But then, upon digging deeper, I found the Russian puzzles.  Based on Russian fairy tales, the puzzles are handmade by a couple in Yaroslavl, Russia in order to help educate their children.  How did you discover them?

Beth: The puzzles are beautiful, aren’t they? We are fortunate that two of our partners, Gaynor Newton and Becky Johnson, used to manage the school store at the Austin Waldorf School, and they remembered selling the puzzles there. After much digging around, we located them again. We love that there are folks in Russia doing exactly what we’re doing--making handcrafts to support their families.

Me: But on to the company itself, Jupiter's Child is run by three women--you, Becky, and Gaynor.  How did you get together and decide to start selling natural toys?

Beth: The original common element is that we have or have had children at our local Waldorf school.   We are all craftsy types.  Becky, who is our rope-dyer, has a background in textiles and fiber arts; my passion is woodworking and I make the wooden animals.  Gaynor and Becky were instrumental in starting the Waldorf school store, spending many years seeking out the best Waldorf toys and products available both here and abroad.  Gaynor, as I mention, managed the school store, so she has the business acumen as well as an unerring eye for beauty and proportion.  

Me: What can we look forward to in the next year or so from Jupiter's Child?

Beth: Like any fledgling company, we are always tweaking our own product, and we’ve recently made some changes to our all-natural egg-dyeing kits that we’re very proud of. Also, we will be making dog leashes! We are hoping to expand the scope of our business to include family pets, and the leashes will look a lot like our jump ropes. We also want to add to our line of wooden animals.  We’ve even had requests for Australian animals from our friends Down Under, so you may see kookaburras, kangaroos and dingos in the not-too-distant future! Finally, while we started out as an all-handmade company, we have been expanding our line to included carefully-selected retail items that fit the overall philosophy of our shop. So we’re very excited about the future!

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Beth has generously agreed to give away one 8 foot, hand-dyed, rainbow jump rope, like the one pictured above.  To win, visit Jupiter's Child and come back and leave a comment about your favorite toy.  I'll choose a winner on Wednesday.