Archives for November 17, 2012

Armadillo Dreams {natural wood toys} giveaway!

Today’s giveaway is from a lovely little toy shop called Armadillo Dreams!  While I’ve admired their shop for some time now (and have purchased their toys,) they are new sponsors here so I asked them to introduce themselves today:

Hi Small Things readers! My name is Dustin. I own/run Armadillo Dreams with my wife Amanda. We are really excited to be sponsors of such a great blog!

A little about us…

We have lived in Central Oregon most of our lives. I met Amanda during sophomore year in high school. After graduation we moved to Portland, Oregon for about 3 years and then moved back. We got married in 2004, had our daughter Lucy in 2007 and had our son Lincoln in 2010. Central Oregon is a very beautiful and inspirational place to live. We have the Cascade Mountains and the Deschutes National Forest to the west, the high desert to the east, two large rivers nearby, and lakes in all directions. When we aren’t too busy with our five Etsy shops we enjoy exploring Central Oregon and spending time outside.

How we started…

Armadillo Dreams started in late 2010. We started the shop after I discovered a passion for woodworking. I completed a backyard chicken coop/run in the summer and was looking for new woodworking projects. We always wanted more wooden toys for our children, but didn’t have a lot of money. Amanda had already been selling on Etsy for about 5 years with her shop Wild Plums. We combined Amanda’s artistic skills and knowledge of Etsy with my passion for woodworking and Armadillo Dreams was born.

A little peek behind the scenes…

All of our toys start out as a paper pattern that Amanda draws. I then trace the designs on wood and take it out to my wood shop to be cut and power sanded. I then bring them back inside and the rest of our processes either take place at our dining room table or in our work room (converted 400 sq. ft. garage). Next we hand sand down the edges. Then Amanda uses a 1000 F wood burning pen to make all the eyes, ears, lines and other designs. Then we paint the toys using AP certified non-toxic water color. Next we seal the wood with natural food/baby safe beeswax polish. Finally there is packaging, where the toys are carefully wrapped and put into American made cotton draw sting bags.

There’s a few trade secret steps and details that I left out, but this gives you an idea of our processes. It’s a lot of work that takes a lot of dedication. People are often surprised to find out all the steps involved to make each toy. We just feel that quality and attention to detail is very important and we think it shows in our workmanship.

The future…

Over the next few years we have a lot of plans for expanding our business. We currently have almost 200 items in our catalog and plan to grow that much more. We normally try to come out with a few new toys every month. We also have plans to expand our online presence, plans to expand our local retail presence and plans to have our toys in more stores around the world.

We plan to run Armadillo Dreams until we retire some day… well, maybe even into retirement. We have a lot time until then, so don’t worry about us going anywhere anytime soon! We love the business so much we might even run it into retirement years. We’re not the type of people who can really see ourselves just sitting around.

For today’s giveaway, we would like to offer a $40 shopping spree to one Small Things reader. We are also offering Small things readers a 10% off coupon code “SMALLTHINGS” that can be used on anything in our shop good until November 21.

We’d love for you to follow along on our blog, and be sure to “like” us on Facebook or “follow” us on Twitter for daily specials, news, sales and giveaways!!!

For your chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post!  Comments will close and a winner will be chosen on Monday, November 19th.  The winner will be announced within this post.

 

Comments are closed.  The winner is Lili:  “Love their stuff! Thanks for the opportunity.”

Thank you, Armadillo Dreams!

p.s.  They have a little honeybee playset!