Hey! Let's Play. BTS with Freckle Studio
We never planned to be toy makers, little elves making children’s presents, but the idea of a child unwrapping one of our toys gives us such joy.
Freckle was founded by us, Janine and Chloe, it comes from a friendship that has grown alongside our children. Over coffee to the background chatter of our little ones we would talk about building our dream playhouse; it had to be simple and beautiful with a minimal profile. It had to fit within our small gardens, be pared back and be none prescriptive to their imaginary play.
But most of all, it had to last. They had to love it when they were 6, in a make-believe world, mixing potions and mud pies; at 12, when it would be their own ‘house’ to camp-out in and at 14 when it would become an art studio or study. So, we built it,‘TheBothy’!And Freckle was born.
This was just 2 years ago and now we are proud to now have a full range of products with these concepts running through their design – sustainability and facilitating gentle play. At the heart of all that we do is the focus on all our products being thought through and considered. Each product has to have a purpose; either as a prop in their imaginary play, a gentle aid in their education or to bring them closer to nature.
Imaginary play is beautiful. When you catch them out of the corner of your eye chattering to themselves. Simple objects give them freedom and ignite their imagination. Children become visionaries, re-enacting their unique world verbally and none verbally. Always creating and always learning as they go.
Sustainability runs through our business and our lives. We aim to be environmentally conscious in the making and the longevity of our products. Creating timeless pieces that can be passed on to friends and siblings. All our products are plastic free (with the exception of our Hide & Peek periscope that has acrylic mirrors for safety reasons).
The beautiful simplicity of Fr e c k l e products allows this wonderful aspect of being a child to be explored.
Our packaging is compostable, from the stickers to the large boxes. We make all out products here in Wales and source our services locally, using as many small businesses as we can. When we source products that are not made in the UK we try to not go further afield than Europe.
For instance, our wheels for Barrow are made in Germany and our plywood is grown sustainably in managed forests in Latvia and then supplied to us via a company in Wales. It is a hard to keep to these values but we try our best, as we both truly believe in lowering our carbon emissions and manufacturing in the UK.
Freckle was one year old as we came out of lockdown. This time, like for many, has allowed us to slow down and reflect. Covid effected Freckle personall, it was a worrying time, but thankfully everyone is well now.
There were also happy times in lockdown. Midnight sea swims and walks along our quiet desolate wild coast. Camp-outs in the Bothy with campfires in the garden, stargazing and planet spotting. And of course, there was a lot of laughter and play.
We love working with independent shops like Marshes & Flint, we are always excited to see what their edit of our collection will be and the response it receives from their customers. There is always a more personal connection when you get to correspond with the shop owner and their enthusiasm for the toys is uplifting and infectious.
Setting up a new business is exciting, intense and challenging, but then throw in a pandemic as well. I am not sure we have the words for that... Come on 2021, we are waiting for you!