Meet 559 Toys. Combining traditional materials and modern style, 559 Toys creates handcrafted wooden and textile toys for infants and up. Handmade in Edmonton by a Mother/Daughter duo, the toys are thoughtfully designed to nurture development through open-ended play
Where does the inspiration for your business come from?
A large part of our company philosophy comes from the basic understanding that children and babies deserve the same respect as any other human being, and as such, they deserve good quality toys (especially since toys are important tools for growth and development). All of our products are designed and handcrafted with the same goal in mind: to create beautiful, interesting, and well-crafted toys that stimulate development through open-ended play.
How did your business get started?
Since taking infant and early/middle childhood classes as part of my university degree, I’ve been interested in and passionate about what makes a “good toy.” After my son was born, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find the kind of toys I was looking for – well-made, developmentally nurturing, and aesthetically pleasing, particularly without having to order them from Europe at a high cost. We (my mother and I) started out making toys for him, and then it unexpectedly grew from there!
How did you come up with the name for your company?
We really wrestled with the right name for our little business, and wanted to avoid anything too ‘cutesy’ or clinical. We thought about our toy development process, and found the inspiration there: all of the toys we make are intentionally designed to ignite development and be versatile. In fact, each toy we create is able to be used in more than one of the 5 Types of Play (Physical/Constructive/Social/Fantasy/Games with Rules), can stimulate more than one of the 5 Areas of Early Development (Physical/Cognitive/Language/Emotional/Social), and can contribute to more than one of the 9 Multiple Intelligences (Linguistic/Logical/Musical/Spatial/Kinesthetic/Interpersonal/Intrapersonal/Naturalist/Spiritual).
5 Types of Play. 5 Areas of Early Development. 9 Multiple Intelligences. 559 Toys.
Where are your favourite places to shop in the city and online?
I do a lot (as in most) of my shopping at local craft shows, including all of my jewelry and gifts (and art, and body care, and home decor). Also, Plum on 124th is the prettiest store I’ve ever seen! With a new baby, I’ve spent a fair amount recently online at ModCloth, getting new (and cute) dresses and tops that are perfect for nursing.
What is your favourite room in your house?
At this point, it’s probably my son’s room. Every other room seems to be in a state of mid-reno or redo, but his is finished and was so intentionally put together that it’s just nice to be in there! (Plus it has a couch, so we can all easily fit and sit).
Have a favourite recipe our readers would love?
Nothing secret or family heirloomish, but I recently made puffed wheat squares for the first time and couldn’t believe how easy they were! I used the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook, and they were gone in no time. My only tip – use a sheet of waxed paper to help you press them into the pan.
We are so excited to see all of their amazing creations, and to stay up to date on all things 559, you can follow them here: