Before even visiting the online store, just the name “Rosie Hippo” made me smile. And when I read that it’s run by a wonderful mom entrepreneur named Kim Bloom, my curiosity was piqued.
Kim is a mother, a professional marketer with an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a breast cancer survivor. She held senior marketing and management positions with several Fortune 500 companies prior to being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39. After her successful treatment for breast cancer, Kim had a son and decided the corporate world was no longer for her.
So last year she decided to purchase Rosie Hippo from the original owners. She found the concept to be the perfect combination of her love for children and interest in child development, all while taking advantage of her creativity, marketing background and business degree.
Just in the past year, Kim has expanded the company’s product offerings to include natural, handcrafted items from 24 Fair Trade countries, launched a new website and produced a new catalog. She believes in making a difference through Rosie Hippo and regularly donates a percent of profits to charitable foundations.
Now isn’t that a great story? Well, the products she sells are pretty impressive as well.
Targeted at infants through age eight, Rosie Hippo sells a huge variety of earth-friendly, handcrafted children’s goods, including blocks, push toys, cars and trucks, dolls, books, arts and crafts supplies, and even furniture and room decor. Most of these toys are manufactured in Europe or the United States and are made of quality materials such as sustainable wood and organic cotton. I found many of the items to be quiet pricey, but it’s understandable considering the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship. Cheap plastic toys actually probably end up costing more in the long run, in that they harm the environment and generally don’t last.
The Rosie Hippo website allows parents to shop by age group, skills to develop, such as communication and pattern recognition, values to learn, such as healthy living and leadership, product materials, and country of origin. These unique categories make it simple to find just the right toy for your little one.
For those on a budget, Rosie Hippo has a nice selection of toys under $25 and $50, including a beautiful collection of wooden toys. We were given the opportunity to review the Stitching Squirrel, which retails for $14.
Ideal for preschoolers, the Stitching Squirrel helps children develop their hand-eye coordination, threading skills, and is just generally fun to play with. This squirrel is made in Romania, out of hardwood, and is finished with natural canola oil. It has smooth edges and a nice, solid feel. The rope-like thread and wooden needle are securely attached and easy for my 4-year old to push in and out of the holes. In her own words, she likes the “fun designs” she can create. The 2-year old, on the other hand, seems to think it’s a pull-toy and drags it from room to room!
Rosie Hippo has provided me with a special coupon code to share with you! To receive 15% off your purchase, please use code: RIDINGNOHANDS0709 at checkout. Please note that this is only good through 09/15/09!
And that’s not all! I also have a Stitching Squirrel, like the one we reviewed, for one lucky reader! To enter, please visit Rosie Hippo, take a look around at all the fantastic toys available, and leave a comment on this post telling me one that you (or your kids) would love.
For extra entries:
- Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post and to Rosie Hippo.
- Subscribe to my feed (or let me know if you already do).
- Follow me on Twitter (@OhMariana) and tweet about this giveaway: I just entered to win a fun Rosie Hippo toy from @ohMariana: http://bit.ly/219T4
- Grab my button and link to me in your sidebar or blog roll.
Please leave a separate comment for each entry and leave a valid email address or blog URL in your comment. US and Canadian entries only. This contest ends at 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, August 20th, 2009. Winner will be chosen at random, and has 3 days to claim their prize.
Thank you to Rosie Hippo for providing the Stitching Squirrels for review and giveaway, and to Buzz Mommy for introducing me to such a delightful boutique!