Before my son’s fifth birthday this month, I was looking for something that he would really love. It’s no mean feat, he has autism and is not interested in wrapped presents and little interest in traditional toys.When I came across the beautiful Little Peggys hand painted wooden pegs on facebook, I knew that I had found the right place. I had a chat with Leonie, who makes the delightful peggy characters.
What motivated you to start Little Peggys?
I was looking for peg dolls for my son Archie for Christmas, and couldn’t find what I wanted (mainly looking for The Wiggles), so I ordered some pegs and painted them myself. Now I’m doing them myself, I’ve found so many other businesses that do them! So many people seemed to love them and asked if I could do some for them, so decided to start selling them. I didn’t realise they would be as popular as they are.
Do you have an artistic background?
No artistic background really, but I’ve always loved everything arty. I always seem to have a different drawing/painting project happening.
What inspires you?
I think I’m very much inspired by creating dolls based on Archie’s interests. For example the storybook sets came about simply by reading the three little pigs with him. It’s such a nice thing to create a set and see how they are used based on children’s imaginations.
Which set is your favourite?
I love the goldilocks and the three bears set.
I love the scope of the Little Peggy’s, and how you can use them to teach children in creative, tactile ways, like your colour and numbers sets, and also the way that you have created a few fairytale sets that could sit as companion to books. What I really loved from my little boys set (10 little Pontipines) is that as an autistic child, he doesn’t really know what to do with toys usually, but with these there was a clear script for him, so he played with them! Did you anticipate all of the different directions Little Peggy’s could take? (That was a long-cut to a short question).
It surprised me just how much Archie played with his and all the little stories he would create playing with them. And every child plays with them differently, which is so sweet to see. It made me very happy to hear that your son loved his, which makes it worth all the time it takes to paint each set.
You have an Etsy store and a Facebook page with a ‘Shop Now” tab. Are you looking at expanding on that?
I have an instagram page also, which I’ve recently been involved in a giveaway through. I have been doing a bit of research into setting up a website and moving away from Etsy, although I’m not the most savvy person when it comes to technology! If I can get enough pegs painted up between my orders, I would like to do a market or two later in the year before Christmas.
Which is your most popular set?
Superheroes are by far the most popular. I don’t really know if it’s the children that love them, or the parents who are the superhero fans. (Much like my husband!)
You can find Leonie’s gorgeous peggys on Facebook
Linking up with Kylie Purtell Capturing Life for #IBOT