My name is Michelle Sasscer and I make baby and little kid toys under the name babus. While pregnant with my son Nicky I began turning my knitting hobby/mania toward making little toys and decorations for him. Having no desire to return to my previous job as a cheesemonger, I was stumped as to what would come next. Health reports about BPA, Phthalates and lead paint in factory toys were gaining prominence in the news and making me very wary of what I bought for my baby. Happily, I found that the natural toys I was making seemed perfect for babies and after running them by my son's top-rated pediatrician and getting the OK, I began selling them on Etsy.com. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thus, babus (pronounced BAY-bus, it was my husband's nickname in utero) was born. Just a few months later, the CPSIA was passed, threatening to shut down my little operation before it really got off the ground. And while I wait and prepare for the coming changes, I continue in faith, making toys I love and believe in.
Most of my toys are made from handknit wool yarn felt, a thick, sturdy, washable and resilient fabric that's also soft and safe. My fabric toys are made from remnant and reclaimed fabrics and stuffed only with organic cotton stuffing. No lead is used in the dyes and the yarns I buy are sustainably produced (many organic). Since everything is made by me, I have the power of personally assuring the safety and quality of each item sold. As a mother, my conscience would never allow me to cut corners or run a shoddy operation, I mean, that's the whole reason I started making toys, to ensure that safety. And also to make beautiful, unique things, which the CPSIA act, as it currently stands, would make crushingly difficult to do on any small-scale commercial level. So, we need to press on in amending the CPSIA to protect small businesses as well as our children, and not leave all the toy-making in the hands of those corporations whose wretched decisions brought about the CPSIA in the first place. Save handmade!!