Made in the USA. Most Etsy sellers are based in the US (some are in Canada, Europe or elsewhere). All of my toy purchases have supported a local artisan and the U.S. economy. My child's toy was not created with questionable materials under sketchy conditions and then shipped half-way around the world.
The toys are unique. When my sister wanted to buy a baby present for a baby boy who was the first grandchild on both sides (and the object of a lavish work baby shower), I pointed her to Etsy. She got him a beautifully hand-crafted unfinished wood vehicle like no other gift the baby received.
You know who made your toy. Do you know who made your kid's Fisher-Price garage and cars? Me neither. No need to worry that your toy was made in a sweatshop with lead-laced paint or toxic plastics. I can't imagine an individual who makes toys in their home or garage cutting corners. These folks answer directly to the buyers who are usually the parents of the children playing with their toys. To me, buying toys from Etsy is like buying your produce straight from a farm -- a direct, transparent relationship between producer and consumer. For many of these people, making the toys is a labor of love with a slim-to-none profit margin.
You can ask the manufacturer questions. I've emailed sellers to ask them what kind of wood is used, what kind of glue and finish are used, if the glue smells, if the finish smells, etc. -- they always happily provide the information without any evasiveness. Have you ever tried calling a toy company to ask them what a toy is made of? Yeah, it's not that fun, and often not successful. Usually I am told that the toys meet and exceed all (pathetically low) US toy standards. Really, you're not breaking the law? Thanks so much for that useful information. I'm so glad I used my precious time to make this phone call.
You can request a custom item. If you love the seller's style but want something a little different (larger, smaller, unfinished) from what is pictured, just ask! I asked this seller to make me an extra large garbage truck (pictured above). Is that awesome, or what? I really love interacting with people instead of corporations.
For more reasons to buy handmade, click HERE.
What do you love best about Etsy?