In honour of Father's Day, I'm going to talk today about the work Chris does. :)
In the past we bought as many plastic toys as anyone else. But several years ago, we wanted to shift towards giving our children fewer, better quality toys, instead of having a lot of cheap toys lying around. Wood is perfect for this because it's natural, biodegradable, warm to the touch, sturdy, and usually wooden toys are simple and tend to allow more room for imagination.
We did purchase some cute wooden toys, but eventually Chris decided to start making some of his own. He was new to woodworking, but quickly fell in love with it, and through trial and error, taught himself how to become skilled at making wooden toys. I'm really quite proud of the way this man can teach himself new things without a bit of help if he is determined.
Sadly, we've found that it isn't really possible these days to make a living from selling crafted items, since it's so difficult to compete with all the inexpensive mass-produced stuff out there. Even wooden toys are massed produced today, and so people are understandably unwilling to pay higher prices for something similar but handmade. We hope that someday, when (knock on wood) we have a homestead, heat with wood, and grow a lot of our own food, we'll be able to make a living from Chris's woodworking alone. Right now though, when we have high expenses, renting a house in the city, and heating with electricity, it isn't enough, and Chris has to take other jobs on the side--he works very hard to support our family. :)
But, even if it isn't paying the bills on its own, we enjoy running this business. We like thinking that in a very small way we are making the world a better place by offering people a choice--simple wooden toys over plastic toys that will remain forever in a landfill. It's so rewarding to get positive feedback from a customer whose baby loves one of our toys. And on top of all that, it just feels right to have a family business that the children can help out with as they get older.