In 1979 Timothy and Connie Long turned to toys to make a living from their home in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico. As a way of using up wood scraps, the couple decided to make toys for their niece and nephew. When they were invited to share a booth to sell toys at a local craft show, they sold out. Motivated by the belief that children deserve beautiful, functional toys Tim and Connie began designing and making their line. When daughters Claire and Joan were born, the babies inspired new North Star toys and “tested” those designs. Later the girls illustrated catalogs, took phone orders and helped at craft shows. The home business provided the opportunity for Tim and Connie to remain close to their children and to work together as a couple.
For 30 years North Star toys have been non-toxic and affordable. Made from American hardwoods, the toys are handcrafted into smooth, durable designs and rubbed with food-grade mineral oil to allow the natural beauty to shine. Recycled materials are used whenever possible and the North Star toyshop is wind and solar-powered.
“Environmental sustainability is top priority for us. Toys are for kids, not just of this generation, but for generations to come. We want to protect our planet for this and future generations.” -Timothy Long, co-owner
In 30 years North Star Toys has spanned two generations. According to Tim and Connie, some customers recognize North Star toys from their own childhood. Others have said that the toys lasted so well they were handed down to grandchildren.
“At North Star Toys we believe that conscious parenting is one of the most wonderful and challenging responsibilities on the planet. It is our hope to support this important endeavor by offering simple toys that stimulate creative, imaginative play. We truly care about the toys we make and hope that they add to the nurturing experiences of childhood.” –Connie Long, co-owner
Why has North Star Toys been around for thirty years? Tim and Connie explain that the longevity and success of their business is due to perseverance and their “cookie-jar” approach. This incremental, debt-free method is not conducive to exponential growth, but has allowed personal contact and high quality standards to remain central at North Star Toys. Connie and Tim have turned down mass-production offers from China and options for computerized production. They are often asked where their toys come from and people are reassured when they hear that Tim and Connie make the toys themselves in their New Mexico workshop.
Now North Star Toys can be found at www.northstartoys.com, but e-commerce hasn’t robbed the business of its personal touch. When you receive a North Star Toys order, it is an original design handmade by the Longs with a handwritten note included. Perhaps this emphasis on personal attention is the real reason why North Star Toys is celebrating 30 years of business.
For more information: www.northstartoys.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • 575-586-0112