By Aaron Buffey
In our interview series with women who run their own small businesses, we speak to Hannah Edgington, who runs The Wooden Play Den. Hannah lives in Newcastle-under-Lyne in Staffordshire with her family. To see and buy her wonderful collection of toys, you can go to www.thewoodenplayden.co.uk
Why did you start The Wooden Play Den?
“I started the business as I wanted to find new and unusual toys that you don’t see on the high street. I was made redundant from my job whilst on maternity leave after having my little boy and it was the perfect opportunity.”
2.Do you enjoy what you do?
“I love what I do, finding new and unusual toys and bringing them to my customers. I love seeing the enjoyment children get out of the toys and seeing their little minds working when they are playing with them.”
3.Do you have many customers?
“I have lots of customers, and lots of repeat customers. I work alongside schools and nurseries supplying toys as well as individual customers. My customers love our toys as they are durable and the children gain great pleasure out of them, it’s a bonus that they aid child development and learning.”
4.What do you think makes a toy educational?
“Educational Toys are those that aid child development in some way, make them think, challenge them physically or encourage communication skills.
Toys can aid problem solving skills, physical skills and communication skills.”
5.Why are educational toys important?
“Children learn through play especially younger children and therefore children can be constantly learning if their toys are designed to aid development.”
6.Why have you chosen wooden toys?
“I am lucky that my parents have kept a number of my toys from my childhood, many of them are wooden toys and are still in great condition.
“These toys are now enjoyed by my children and I love that the toys that I sell can be kept and handed down through generations and still have the same benefit to children in years to come.”
7. How do you manage your personal life with your professional life?
“I am kept busy by having 2 children under 3 however they are also my chief product testers. It is a family business so my husband is involved too. I have to be organised but am lucky that I can juggle the two.”
8. What are your hopes for the future?
” I would like to continue and expand the business. I have many ideas to add ranges and potentially handmade items to the collection.”