Category: Twinzy History

Printing Progress to Co Creative Etsy Success!

Miss Mary for You!
Saddle Up!
Saddle Up!

 

 

Wabbit Season?
Wabbit Season?

I have been exploring co creation with customers I decided the time was now to launch the first Twinzy product. Co creation has been a focal point from the very beginning of the refounding of the Twinzy brand and the commitment will continue as we launch more characters and media.

These three characters will be the first to be sold on Etsy as kits.  These kits will include the character art in black and white printed with 100% safe soy ink on organic cotton and hemp muslin, organic cotton stuffing, and organic cotton thread.

Photos of the original art work in color are available in the gallery for reference but we encourage our customers to make the dolls their own and then share the results with us so we can post them on the blog for others to enjoy.

The materials have been ordered and the final touches for the silkscreens in progress.   The link to the Etsy store will be available when the first 22 kits are available.

I will also be providing a code for the first two people to place orders when the site goes live.  If they are able to get 10 friends to place orders using the same code they will receive a 50% coupon for their next purchase!

Thanks to our daughter for helping with the pictures posted above.

Enjoy the week and let us know what you think of our plans.

 

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Bringing Two Sisters and Their Brand Back to the Future

Hello

Please enjoy the background on the original Founders of Twinzy Toys their creations and where we hope to take the brand in the 21st century.  This story and the characters that drive it have captured my imagination and I hope that others will feel the same.

The Rebirth

of Twinzy Toys

cropped-cropped-twinzy-rs-banner1.jpg

Bringing a Battle Creek Brand Back to Life

Squier House

In 1895 Charles Squier built a home for his new wife, Julia Hickman, right next door to his father’s house on Fremont Street, just north of the park.

Squier Factory

Shortly after completing his home he built a factory building behind the house. In this small factory Charles operated the American Manufacturing Company, producing shipping and merchandising tags on a machine he invented.

Sailor Twins

In 1918 Squier’s twin daughters, Bernice and Blanche, made a wager with their father that they could raise the money they needed to attend college at University of California Berkley.

Twinzy Ad Art

The girls began making dolls and earned the funds to pay for their first year at school.  But there were so many orders for their dolls that the twins decided to come home from school and began producing dolls and stuffed animals full time.  They formed the Twinzy Toy Company and went into business in their father’s factory building.

Twinzy Ad Art 2

Twinzy dolls, toys and animals were designed to be safe for young children.  They were made out of soft cloth and ginghams as well as art leather, which became the most popular line.  New dolls are made with certified organic materials and child safe ink.

Dolls on a shelf

Their first mass produced doll, the Buddy Doll, was a stocking doll with a painted face which resembled an elf.  Another popular doll was a “Man-on-the-Moon” figure with a glow-in-the-dark face.  From stuffed dolls the girls expanded into building blocks and stuffed animals.

First Patent Pic

Their dolls were displayed at the New York Toy Fair in 1920.  After the fair, the girls received their first patent and a large order from Marshall Fields.  By 1939 sales had increased and the twins opened a New York sales office.

Twins at Falls

In 1940 the twins ran into some labor problems and stopped making the popular toys.  One year later, when the twins returned from a trip to the West, they found so many orders awaiting them that they decided to resume production.

QP Entrance B&W

The Twinzy Toy Company continued to manufacture dolls well into early 1950s.  The factory building stood in its original location behind the house until the mid-1960s, when it was torn down by the owners at that time.  Parts of the foundation still remain at the site which is now in Quaker Park.

Twinzy Plaque

In modern day Quaker Park is where the latest chapter of the Twinzy Toy story began.

One day in 2010, while walking our dog Maddie, I came upon the plaque telling the story of the twins and their entrepreneurial exploits.  I was captivated and began looking into the history further with the help of the Historical Society of Battle Creek.  An interest in neighborhood history developed into a desire to relaunch the brand with a 21stcentury twist.

Gen E LogoHBC Logo

A new Twinzy Toy company was formed and was granted an exclusive license to the Twinzy brand by the Historical Society of Battle Creek.  This company is partnering with Generation E, a local non profit dedicated to youth entrepreneurship, as well as with local students.  These students own and run aspects of the business to make money for their education.  A portion of the proceeds also go to the Historical Society to further their mission of historical preservation and education.  Twinzy Toys is truly a community venture that supports economic, social, and environmental well being.

Twins with Dog

It has been a wonderful adventure of discovery thus far. We are excited to continue on the journey in the months and years to come but we can’t do it without you.  Your feedback, your ideas, your stories, and your experiences with Twinzy Toys are what truly bring the brand to life.  We can explore the rich history together as we retell the true tales of the twins, their town, and their times.   We can also carry the story forward into the present day and write new chapters together.

another proof for prototype first run

Thank you for choosing Twinzy Toys and we look forward to building the brand with you today, for the children and the stories of tomorrow.

To share your experiences and ideas for further Twinzy Toys and stories please visit us and post pictures and suggestions.

Thank you

A Very Good Place to Start

A needle pulling thread.

The journey of reviving the Twinzy toy brand began with a walk in the park.  Maddie, the late great Golden Retriever and I , were in Quaker Park for the first time after having relocated to  Battle Creek.

On that foggy February morning we came across the plaque pictured and I my imagination starting spinning.  This story of two sisters, in an era before

Restarting Twinzy Toy Co. started with a walk in the park.
Restarting Twinzy Toy Co. started with a walk in the park.

women’s suffrage, starting their own business to attend University was captivating.  The fact that they succeeded in that goal and much more was even more inspiring.  So much so that I embarked on a 3+ year journey to bring their brand and products back to life.

It is still early on in this adventure but the excitement has only grown with each step.  I invite you to join us as we continue to explore the possibilities of a Twinzy Toy revival in the 21st century.  In the meantime please enjoy this blog and keep an eye out for the next Twinzy post where I will offer more detail around the Squire twins and the origins of what became Twinzy Toys then and now.