We love giving gifts because it's a way to stay present in our loved ones' lives, near or far - we can't say it enough! But not just any gift will do. We especially love artisanal, small-maker gifts that not only have a story behind them but also support other hustlers like ourselves. Today we introduce you to one of our favorites that's been with us from the beginning: meet Michele Chiaramonte, founder, little miss workbench!
Starting out as a NYC public schoolteacher, Michele switched gears when her daughter was born (as many of us do...!) For her first Mother’s Day (2012), her husband gave her what every new mommy dreams of having…a DeWalt portable table saw. The home-based woodworking projects quickly evolved into creating wooden toys for her daughter. When friends saw the wooden toys, they asked if she would make pieces for their children. Soon she was creating small batches of toys. In 2015, Michele took a small idea and turned it into little miss workbench, inc.
We love the little miss workbench product line not only because they are handmade in the USA using sustainable American hardwoods and eco-friendly materials (child-safe and natural, of course), but because of their overall philosophy.
Play = Learning
During Michele's time as a New York City public schoolteacher, thoughtful play was at the core of the classroom experience. little miss workbench continues that mission by creating simple wooden toys that invite children to be curious about the world around them.
Even more important than how and why they make, little miss workbench believes in giving back to the local and global community. They are a sponsor and workshop contributor to the Boys and Girls Club of the Bellport area and also support Four Girls for Families, a locally formed charity called that brings clean water to communities in Cambodia. (Please visit their sites for more information.)
Interested in seeing what little miss workbench has been working up? Check out some our favorites, perfect gifts for little ones ages 3+:
This eco-friendly concept camera is powered by imagination. Take this camera on a shoot in a museum or on a city street, the garden in the backyard works too.
An eco-friendly cell phone, powered by imagination. Features a chalkboard "screen display", with a storage compartment for chalk included.
An eco-friendly concept camera, powered by imagination. Includes chalkboard "picture display" and storage compartment for chalk.
Thank you, Michele, for creating these great gifts - we look forward to what you come up with in the future!!! You can learn more about little miss workbench here.