Austin Toy Connection was inspired during high school after Dianna visited a magical toy store in her home town. It was there she was first introduced to a store with a variety of unique high quality toys not only from theUnited States but around the globe. Dianna decided to follow her dream and Austin Toy Connection was born.
Austin Toy Connection looks for toys to soothe the SOUL which provide balance to children’s lives through the healing benefits of play and self-discovery as well as those toys that bring families together, and unique items which the family will enjoy passing on to the next generation.
Austin Toy Connection utilizes the following criteria when considering toy companies to include:
- Does the company comply with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regulations?
- Are they a green company, striving to use environmentally safe, responsible and sustainable methods to produce toys, and committed to minimizing impact on the environment such as Wonderworld’s Tree Plus program? Wonderworld is a manufacturer of wooden toys that are solely made inThailandthey use replenishable materials such as rubberwood, tree sap, and even extract the pigment out of leaves to help create their toys. Wonderworld’s Tree Plus Program plants 2 trees for every one that is used in production of their products.
- Is the company an international and/or domestic award winner?
- Who do they support?
For example, Wonderworld donates to the Toy Bank an organization providing toys to children in military families to give them comfort during tough times.
Crayon Rocks supports Buddy Cruise Inc. a non-profit charity that provides educational opportunities and resources for families, while promoting awareness, acceptance, inclusion and advancement for individuals with Down Syndrome. The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio(DSACO), A Heart For Honduras, Birth Defect Research for Children, Inc. (BDRC), Leukemia Research Foundation, and IAVQCC: the Iowa Voice for Quality Child Care.
- Is the company a small business or did they start as a small business with an interesting story?
In August of 1988 too nervous to ask Melissa to marry him, Doug asked Melissa to start a business with him instead. October 1988 while still dating, Melissa & Doug start their company in the garage at Doug’s parents’ home. The rest is history!
Barbara Lee taught children with special needs for 23 years. She invented Crayon Rocks after being inspired by Jan Olsen, OTR, and the Handwriting Without Tears program.
- Does the company make developmentally supportive, educational, and most importantly fun toys?
The logo design for Austin Toy Connection was created by 15 year old Jessica Chambers. Who says, “I guess I just really love to draw”. Jessica is a juried student artist for Art of Texas.
Jessica draws on just about anything she can get her hands on- she carries her sketchbook wherever she goes, and doodles on every piece of homework she turns in.
Click on this link to hear our interview with Jessica.
Julia Chambers of Aberrant Crochet & Pixie Worx has joined with Austin Toy Connection to provide our customers with custom crochet hats for babies & children.
Julia is a published and juried crochet designer and fiber artist with Art of Texas, on Ravelry.com and has showcased at Maker Faire Austin each of the two years it has been toTexas so far, as well as other juried shows inCentral Texas. Julia also crochets hats for children and adults with cancer.
Click on this link to hear our interview with Julia.