Meet the Makers - Aleta Kids
Aleta kids believe play is essential to learn, to grow & to be happy, with this ethos in mind Aleta kids make beautiful wooden toys for little hands to provide our children with the same quality toys they had in their childhood; simple and timeless toys made with locally sourced natural materials, sustainably manufactured that endure gracefully the passing of time. With a big no to plastic, Aleta kids believe simple is better!
Ducks, clouds, fish, boats, nets, knots and other sea world elements are constant themes in Aleta Kids designs. These beautiful toys made for curious minds that love to learn and dream are a happy addition to the Blue Brontide site, we hope you love them as much as we do.
How did Aleta all begin?
When my daughter was two years old, I used to knit whilst sitting next to her, she showed a lot of interest in my knitting, therefore, I tried to find a toy to teach her the basics of sewing and with which she could develop her fine motor skills. But I could not find any toy that met the requirements I was pursuing: high-quality, made of wood, without paints, of a manageable size for small hands, that offered different levels of complexity and with a nice design in addition. So I decided to design it myself and when I told my friend Alexandra, who loves to invent things, she offered to make it for me!
Can you tell us a little more about the beautiful wooden toys & teethers you make & where they are made?
Our toys are the finished result of what we wanted to offer our own girls that we couldn't find in the market. Our daughters are our inspiration as well as our guinea pigs because they are the ones that have tried & tested the toys for a long time and have helped us define them better.
Design has always been one of our passions and we like to take care of every detail. We are very strict with the quality of the end results, and we make sure that what we make is the very best for our children, but also that our toys can last over time and be passed down to the next generations. We believe that touch, texture, colour, the sound of natural materials and character are everything and is a key principle in every toy we make.
Alexandra, who lives in our hometown in the north of Spain, is the one who produces each piece with the greatest care. She cuts works and sands each toy by hand in her workshop. Meanwhile, I design them from New York and deal with the brand and communication.
Another priority for us is to educate our children on why and how to better care for our planet and raise awareness about the importance of responsible consumption, of using natural materials and simplifying as much as possible.
Where do you find inspiration when designing your beautiful products?
The sea is one of our main sources of inspiration because we grew up by it and with that pleasant feeling it brings of freedom that it produces, like nothing else in the world. But we find ideas in thousands of other places, such as children's books, architecture, patterns, nature, the questions and interests of our daughters often also give us some clues too. We just have to pay attention : )
What sustainable materials do Aleta use and where are they sourced from? One of our main interests when it comes to producing our toys is to use local materials or materials that have an origin as close as possible. We buy our wood from a local supplier that brings it from responsible German forests (that complies with FSC and PEFC certifications) and the beeswax we use to keep our teethers in good condition, is a mix of USDA Certified Beeswax and Organic Almond Oil.
Why is sustainability important to you as a business & in your everyday life?
My obsession with sustainability was reinforced 5 years ago when I came to live in New York. I was stunned by the amount of waste this city generates every minute and the lack of widespread awareness of the matter. So I began to acquire new habits when it comes to recycling, minimize the consumption of plastics, using natural products for cleaning and simplify things much more. Which in turn started me questioning seriously the origin of things and the way in which they are produced. In Europe, we don't have to be so alert because the laws are much stricter, but here in the US it is a must to read the finer print on the labels to make sure. And although we are still far from perfect, we are happily taking steps towards a zero-waste life.
What is your biggest concern about our ability to create a more sustainable world?
This planet needs a change, a great change on our part and every little action count. We must learn to live with little, in addition, we live better with little. Having less material things in order to have more time to enjoy with our children. Little to organize and more space to live in. We should recover the lifestyle of our grandparents, who lived with less and were much happier and healthier.
We are advocates of returning to the basics, to the essentials, of finding versatile solutions that allow us to simplify things.
We would like to inspire others to live in a different way, more respectful and less harmful to the environment. There are innumerable habits that can be put into practice. Becoming a minimalist is a process, but once there, there is no going back. As the architect and furniture designer, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe said ''less is more.''
What's your hope for future generations?
We are pleased to see more people joining the sustainable lifestyle and that there are many more alternatives every day. Our children are very conscious of the importance of building memories and experiences over material things. They are aware of what and why we consume and even remind us to reuse or recycle when we forget. We have to continue teaching them because they are the future and NOW is the time.
Any quote or wise words you want to share?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
If you work with any charities or organisations - How did that relationship come about & why is it important to you?
We support with small donations an organization that deals with refugee children and their mothers in Greece called 'Because We Carry'. Because these little ones could be our own little ones.