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18 Oct '18

Introducing Winnie, Lola, and Jane

Posted by Annie Messing in Behind the Scenes, Product Reviews

When people find out I own an online toy shop, they invariaby ask how I source things for Brimful. I usually reply with a grin, because I love telling the stories behind each of Brimful's products.

Trade fairs are the traditional way retailers like myself would typically find brands, but I prefer doing my own product hunting. Sometimes I scour the online catalogues of little European toy companies until I find something really unique. Other times I have a particular new item I want to add to the shop and then research from there.

In the case of Winnie, Lola, and Jane, the new cloth dolls just introduced to the shop, it was a combination of pure happenstance and one late night of research.

My family and I were in the Seattle area this past summer, walking to pizza along a cute street with a variety of eateries and boutiques. All the shops were closed, but when we passed one nicely styled window, a doll in the front display caught my eye. I stood and looked for a long while - it was so cute and had such lovely simple details! Exactly the kind of doll I had been wanting for Brimful. 

Through the window, I couldn't see any information about the doll, but I returned after dinner and took a photo of it. We were leaving early the next morning to fly back to the east coast, so unfortunately I couldn't go back and ask more about the doll. After my children were in bed that night, I must have spent a good three hours researching online to see if I could find the doll's designer. Nothing came up that night, but I got a few good leads. The next morning, as we were waiting for our flight - I did one last quick Google search on my phone - and found it! Gosh, what a great feeling that was.

Not too long after, I emailed the doll designer (Carman) and we set into motion the small-batch production of "the Brimful girls". I am so pleased with how they turned out and hope you will love them too. Handmade dolls can be pretty pricey, especially if they are made here in the US. What makes these dolls special is they are at a price point accessible to everyone - each one is truly one-of-a-kind. All three dolls come without removeable clothing, so you can feel safe gifting it to a little one of any age. And, because Carman has triple-stitched all the seams - you can be assured that these dolls can take quite a lot of loving and still stay in good shape over time.

So, that's the story behind Winnie, Lola, and Jane. I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes to how I curate the shop.

 

16 Apr '16

New Spring Toys Are Here!

Posted by Annie Messing in Behind the Scenes

This past weekend, Kari and I were in Los Angeles for The Shop Up. This is the second time we've done a pop-up event sponsored by Babyccino Kids. Chatting with vendor friends + customers, enjoying good food, and spending time together are all part of what makes these pop-ups a great experience. But what is most meaningful for Kari and I is seeing the sheer JOY on children's faces when they walk (or sometimes run!) up to our Brimful booth.

Kari and I spend so much time thinking through and studying the toys we pick out for the shop - the colors, the wood quality, the way a toy might roll across the floor - it all has to be "just right"! So after all that energy spent choosing what we hope is the best of the best - it is THRILLING to see a child's pure delight over a stacking toy or a book or a set of blocks.

We opened Brimful with the vision to making life more beautiful with the products from our shop - and this spring's new toys/books/accessories still encapsulate that vision. This new wooden pounding bench is a little different than other wooden benches - instead of pounding all the pegs through several holes, the pegs get pounded through one special hole that slowly pushes the rest out the side - it's really quite clever! In our book collection, we've added Little Honeybee, illustrated by Jane Ormes. The reader counts up to ten by lifting beautiful floral flaps, but there's also bees and other animals to count along the way too. Again - a really unique and special take on the typical counting book for babies.

All new spring products can be found here. We hope you love what you see!

21 Sep '15

Shop Up NYC - Brimful's first pop-up event!

Posted by Annie Messing in Behind the Scenes

When the ladies from Babyccino Kids hosted their first Shop Up in London in December 2013, I sent my sister (who was living there at the time) to check it out - and of course she reported that it was a raving success!

Kari and I had just launched Brimful a few months before that, but we already had "do a pop-up event" as a goal for the future. So when the invitation came earlier this year to join the Shop Up in Brooklyn, we were ready to sign up.

Despite part of our inventory getting delayed in transit from the west coast (oops!), the entire event was everything we hoped it would be. Kari and I have spent so much time choosing products for Brimful, so to see people's eyes light up upon seeing our booth was deeply affirming. Beyond just the special opportunity of seeing our customers in real life for the first time, we also really enjoyed swapping stories with them about motherhood. And it goes without saying that the children who came by our booth (some more than once) were lovely indeed. Kari and I wished our children could have been there too!

I'm so thankful to Courtney, Esther, and Emilie for giving us the platform in which to meet so many wonderful people in Brooklyn - we will definitely be back again next year!

Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Babyccino Kids. More photos here

 

13 Mar '15

Brimful Gift Orders

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Behind the Scenes

 

 

For the times when it's not possible to hand deliver a gift to dear friends, a parcel in the mail is the next best thing! We love sending your gifts to expectant friends and newborns.

Here's a peek at the gift notes we add to Brimful gift purchases. Requesting a gift order and adding a personal message is simple and can be completed at the bottom of your shopping cart under "add a note to your order". We ship gifts as personal as if you had sent it yourself! That means no pricing or invoices are included - just the gift, your note enclosed in a clear glassine envelope and a Brimful business card.  

Personal, sweet, and simple!

xoxo, 
Kari

  

 

29 Sep '14

A Gem of a Story

Posted by Kari Spikkeland in Behind the Scenes

I love crazy stories with good endings. Running Brimful is mostly about following a usual protocol and learning how to juggle that with my home life...but every once in awhile a gem of a story pops up - like what happened a few weeks ago.

We've received a lot of love to the shop over the past weeks, so when fulfilling several orders at once - routine is a must. I haven't previously experienced order fulfillment to being anything other than perfect and normal...until Annie sent me the oddest text recently.

"Have you been missing a diamond ring lately?", she texted.

I was in utter surprise. "Wait, what?", I texted back.

I dropped everything to check our inbox, where I found an email from the best customer, explaining that she had found a diamond ring in her order and wondered if it could possibly be mine.

And oh, this wasn’t any ring, it happened to be my late mother's ring and priceless to me.

Crazier still, I didn't even know it had gone missing!

I have absolutely no idea how it managed to find it’s way to Illinois, but I’m so extremely thankful to this customer for sending it back! (I did sweetly asked my 3 year old if he might have put anything in a box, but to no avail.)

Now Annie and I can laugh, we sure completed our first year of business on a funny note!

xoxo,
Kari


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