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Repurposing Household Linens For Fido, A “Tale” Of Recycled Dog Toys

You may have heard about “repurposing”, an environmentally sound production method of using leftover material from one product to create another. For example, you may have seen so-called “eco-friendly” clothing made from recycled bottles or even from other discarded clothing.

But have you ever heard of dog toys made from recycled cloth? Well, this is my repurposing story:

Back in the late 1970′s my grandmother created eco-friendly dog toys. These toys were sewn from old clothing and household linens. Grandma would spend hours cutting, stuffing, and sewing those toys and my dog, “J.L.”, and I loved receiving them.

I wish I could say grandma invented environmentally conscious pet toys, but I can’t. For quite some time country folks have created all kinds of amusements for their domesticated animals from leftover items. It just had to be animal safe. For example, I have seen horse toys created with a one gallon plastic jug and some rope. You simply hang the jug a few feet from the roof of the horse’s stall and the horse would bat the jug around with his head! (A good horse handler knows that a busy horse is a happy, less destructive horse.) You see, not every problem needs an expensive solution.

(In recent times we’ve all seen those videos of a cat playing with an empty cardboard box. Anyway, back to 1970′s and my grandmother’s creations… )

Grandma would use heavy cotton or flannel material to make a dog toy that would not shred or come apart when J.L. played with them. (It helped that J.L. only weighed six pounds!) They toys were usually white or off-white with simple patterns. Apparently, the home-made dog toys were non-toxic because J.L. lived to be nineteen human years old! That computes to about 100 – 133 dog years!

Generally speaking the designs were simple. One of Grandma’s more elaborate creations was a toy octopus. Well, if you used your imagination, it looked like an octopus. Made of heavy cotton, it had a square stuffed body with four stuffed legs, (yes I know an octopus has eight legs but four legs were larger and stronger). Created for “tug-of-war” play, that octopus was a beloved Christmas present.

Oh, and speaking of Christmas let me tell you about my dog J.L. and Christmas presents:

Like most folks with a modest income my family did their best to provide gifts for under the tree. During a good year we would probably have nearly a dozen gifts, each carefully hand wrapped at home. Of course, we would have several gifts boxed and wrapped, some purchased and some homemade, for J.L. too.

When we let him, J.L. would find and pull out each of his separately packed gifts, from under the tree with ease. That may not seem impressive as the “store bought” dog toys had been treated with a chemical attractant. The attractant would convince us gullible pet parents that our pets were enthralled with their brand’s products. The thing was that J.L. could find the boxes containing the home-made dog toys too!

For the longest time, we couldn’t fathom how J.L. could find Grandmas toys amongst that milieu. We began to think he had supernatural powers. Finally, it occurred to me how J.L. found those hand crafted toys. Grandma must have spent hours sewing them, touching and handling them, rubbing her scent on them with her fingers. Since a dog’s sense of smell is about 80 times greater than a human’s, all J.L. had to do was cull out the box that smelled like Grandma! After all, he already had enough Grandma-made toys to associate her scent with something fun.

There’s a lesson about the environment, green sustainability, and common sense to be learned here. You don’t necessarily have to rely upon an expensive, invasive, controversial, institutional solution to reduce waste. We don’t have to be a use-it-and-toss-it-out society.

Sometimes eco-friendly products come from a modest, loving family member with imagination, cloth scraps, and some basic manual skills who thought it was sinful to waste useable material.

Wholesale Toys – Why They Are Good For Business No Matter What Time Of Year

Wholesale toys are good for business no matter what time of the year it is, because with the different retailers, there are novelty toys for just about any occasion. If you want to bring customers to your door, what better way to do it than with free stuff. If you are a retailer that sells any kinds of products geared towards kids, then free kids toys are the answer. One of the cheapest ways to do this is with inflatables. They aren’t just for Summer, and are good for promotional purposes any time of the year.

For an example, if you are in an area where Winters are cold and dreary, what better way to cheer someone up than with a small inflatable palm tree, or a penguin on a beach? They also have underlying benefits as well. When customers come in and they have kids, giving out promotional toys can also keep them occupied so the parents can concentrate on buying your products.

There are many different kinds of wholesale toys that can be given away to your customers. In addition to blow up novelties, there are a wide variety of wind up toys for the pool or the tub, submersibles that use baking soda to rise and fall under water. There are squirt guns, floaties, and sponge toys. There are even an assortment of items for women, one of them being a clip to keep towels hooked when used to wrap the body.

Wholesale toys can not only be a great way to promote your business at any time of the year, but these toys are cheap, some as low as a penny apiece for quantities of a thousand or more. This means that you get more for your advertising dollar. Just because they are sold cheaply doesn’t always mean they are made cheaply either, with many different styles that will last a while.

When it comes to buying wholesale toys for your business, it is important to go with a company that has been in business a long time. It is also a good idea to find a company that offers the lowest prices, one that has the lowest minimum purchase order, as well as free shipping. Make sure that the company has a toll free number, and offers good customer service. Make sure that you find a site that allows you to mix and match the products you buy, so you don’t get stuck with just one toy. Check carefully how much each item costs, and how much of a discount you get on bulk purchases.

Many online wholesale toy sellers have a wide choice of quality pool toys, towel hangers, and many other back yard novelties. They offer competitive prices, have free delivery on certain orders, and have one of the lowest minimum order requirements around.

It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, it is always a good idea to give away some kind of free promotional product. With so many companies out their giving away run of the mill items like pen and pencils, that you should stand out from your competition and think out of the box.

Melissa and Doug Wooden Toys Are an Inspirational Success Story

Armed with a firm belief in customer service from the very beginning of their business, Melissa and Doug still remember what they came from and what it took to get where they are now, over 21 years later. They remain passionate in providing only the highest caliber wooden toys without passing on a high price to their customers. This affirmation is evidence of their belief in children, parents and the family way of life.

Back in late summer of 1988, Doug realized he loved Melissa. He had hoped the feelings were mutual. Not wanting to risk anything less than a “yes”, Doug decided he’d play it safe and instead of proposing marriage, he asked Melissa to go into business with him. Smart guy because it worked! They constructed business plans and went to work developing them in Doug’s parent’s garage. Ideas flourished in the creation of wooden toys that were educational and fun for children to play with. Fast forward 21 years later and today, the happy couple share their love and passion for providing high quality products, traditional in durable, long-lasting materials.

Back in 1991, the “Fuzzy Farm” puzzle was the first wooden toy introduced in the Melissa and Doug collection. With the realism of “fuzz” the couple was amazed that children all over the nation let them know they didn’t really know there was such a thing as a fuzzy pig.

Wooden toys by design are among the most durable of all. They stand the test of time and bring back fond memories of early childhood. Melissa and Doug understand this and have created many different types of toys over the years including magnetic pattern blocks sets, floor puzzles, doll houses and toy trucks. There are many others products in the process of development.

From an educational perspective, many wooden toys help children develop their cognitive and fine motor skills. Studies show thinking processes for children from ages 2-1/2 to 4 are enhanced by pretend play activities. When they place shapes correctly in a wooden block or a state in its place in a United States floor puzzle, children foster their recall and recognition skills while having fun at the same time!

One of the main contributors to Melissa and Doug business success is they were and still remain adamant about keeping operational costs low, even during expansion. Back in their early years, their employee base grew but they remained steadfast on limiting purchases in office equipment, with staff members sharing one desk. They had many chairs and were too busy taking orders to care!

Today Melissa and Doug continue to live out their inspirational success. They now have an upgraded office building with enough desks for each employee. Their new facility is large with plenty of room to spare to handle their growing employee base.

They proved the American dream is still alive and well. They made their dreams come true and as they did, their romantic dreams came true too when they were eventually married; after their business plans were completed of course. Today their product line includes hundreds of toys, which are making dreams come true for many thousands of kids every year.