A Life Sustained Sponsor: Pinkhouse Handworks

Please welcome A Life Sustained sponsor Pinkhouse Handworks!


Janice draws on her Montessori background to fashion baby toys that follow the Montessori Birth to age three training, which she sells through several venues including her Etsy shop and the Michael Olaf Joyful Child Catalog. You can read more about her work on her website.


Tell me about how you started your business. Why Montessori toys?

A little over three years ago I left my Montessori classroom to be home with my new daughter. I have my AMI Montessori training for 3 to 6 year olds and had been in my classroom for ten years. The school where I worked, Austin Montessori School, is also the school I attended as a child. 

While home with my daughter my husband and I began working on making toys for her based on the Montessori 0 to 3 training. Friends shared their training albums with me so I could learn all the specific measurements for each toy. We enjoyed making them and finding the parts to put different toys together. Once we had found a way to make several toys I showed them to friends and who then encouraged us to sell them as sets. In addition to the toys, I felt it was important to give information about when to offer each toy and its purpose. As a new mother myself I was, and still am, always appreciative of information and advice.

Janice and her husband Stephen
Next I had to find a venue for selling the toys. I had joined Etsy some months earlier and decided that was the best place to start. My friend Katherine O'Brien took beautiful photos of the toys for me, which is so important on Etsy because buyers cannot touch what they are buying. I posted the toys and spread the word through email. Right away I got some orders! It was so exciting! It still is! I continue to sell my toys through Etsy and have had the pleasure to ship them all over the world! 

After I got my Etsy shop up I sent my toys to the Michael Olaf Montessori catalog folks. They loved them and we got everything in order to sell them in their upcoming catalog. We have sold many toys through their wonderful Joyful Child catalog and web site.

We also have our toys available locally in Austin, TX at GaGa.

I have never run a business before and I love it. It's so fun to carefully box up sets of toys and ship them off to other families. There is a wonderful feeling in knowing that what we have created has been a special part of another family's life. Through Etsy we receive wonderful feedback directly from the buyers and it brings us a lot of happiness.


What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. I love to knit, sew, crochet, spin yarn, garden, clean my house, play and cook. For the last 4 years my daughter has been my biggest inspiration. I want to make everything for her! As she gets older I am excited to get to do more making along side her. 

Our world is so full of people creating art that there is no lack of inspiration if you want it. I actually get overwhelmed with so many things I want to make, especially sewing, knitting and cooking, that sometimes I don't know where to begin. 


How do you incorporate the Montessori philosophy in your own home?

From the very beginning my husband and I have prepared our home for our daughter in the Montessori tradition. She had a floor bed instead of crib, Movement areas for her awake time, beautiful handmade mobiles, cloth diapers, early toileting, plenty of time outside, low shelves for a few selected toys and books, singing, stories, good homemade food, respect for movement and independence, also no T.V. or screens. We have continued to evolve our home to accommodate her development. It has been a wonderful challenge after years in the classroom to learn to implement the Montessori principles in our home. You can see some photos of our earliest prepared environment at Montessori in Motion.  




Janice is generously giving to one A Life Sustained reader the complete set of five Montessori toys pictured above. To enter the random drawing to win, just leave a comment on this post.


Get two additional entries! First, you can Follow A Life Sustained through Google Friend Connect and second, you add Pinkhouse Handworks to your favorites on Etsy.

Be sure to leave a comment for each "extra" so that they can be counted. Comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen in the evening of September 3.


The lucky winner is lil misses' mama!
"What a wonderful and unique shop! I loved reading her inspiring story! We are about to welcome our third baby (Wednesday!) and I would love to encourage this one to learn with these toys!"

Thank you Pinkhouse Handworks

69 comments:

  1. what fun environmentally sustainable products- I love how the business started up with many small steps falling into place- wonderful.
    Pls count me in for this wonderful giveaway!

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  2. I favorited Pinkhouse Handworks on Etsy.

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  3. i have seen these on etsy before and i think i've pinned some items on pinterest even. i'm overdue with baby #2 and this would help make the wait a bit more tolerable :)

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  4. Such beautiful toys! Thanks for introducing me to a new shop - and for the great giveaway!

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  5. And I added Pinkhouse Handworks to my Etsy favourites!

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  6. Janice's magically inspired gems are so truly delightful and so very spirit of play! Thanks so very much for this wonderful give~away! : )

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  7. I am following your wonderful blog via GFC! : )

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  8. I "hearted" Pinkhouse Handworks on Etsy….username: leahita.....Thanks again! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  9. Beautiful toys - I'd love to win! I love hearing about how you are creating the kind of environment you want to share with your daughter. Christina G

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  10. I added Pinkhouse in my Etsy favorites! Christina G

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  11. These toys look fantastic!

    werdna_tterrag(at)sbcglobal.net

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  12. following you via GFC!

    werdna_tterrag(at)sbcglobal.net

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  13. This would make a wonderful gift for my niece!!!

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  14. I am already a blog follower!

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  15. I added Pinkhouse to my etsy favorites! katy010305

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  16. What a wonderful and unique shop! I loved reading her inspiring story! We are about to welcome our third baby (Wednesday!) and I would love to encourage this one to learn with these toys!

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  17. I hearted Pinkhouse Handworks on etsy (chickadeechickadee)

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  18. What a great giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity to win these beautiful pieces.

    fastkat at gmail dot com

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  19. beautiful giveaway!
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

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  20. I love everything about these toys!

    Elissapugh@gmail.com

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  21. I love these toys! A friend of mine is about to have a baby and I know she would ADORE these!

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

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  22. I am already following your blog <3

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

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  23. I hearted Pink House Handworks on Etsy!
    [femmefatale25]

    darlingcupcakez@gmail.com

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  24. This is a truly amazing way of sharing these wonderful toys with so many of us time poor parents who do not have the skills to make these wonderful items.

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  25. I am following this wonderful blog

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  26. I have added pinkhouse to my favourites on Etys

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  27. These look wonderful...would love to win :)

    danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

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  28. I follow via GFC

    danielleaknapp at gmail dot com

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  29. I would love these for my little nieces!! :-)

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  30. Lovely! Thanks for the chance.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

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  31. I follow on gfc

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

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  32. What wonderful toys! I love the Montessori approach and appreciate environmentally friendly toys.

    The Happy Wife/Danielle
    ldsmom2201 at yahoo dot com
    http://juanshappywife.blogspot.com
    Twitter: The_Happy_Wife

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  33. Beautiful toys, my 8mth old would love to play with them!

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  34. Expecting my second and I wished I had wooden toys with the first. LOVE these.

    emtaylor98 at yahoo dot com

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  35. I follow a Life Sustained.

    emtaylor98 at yahoo dot com

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  36. I added this shop to my favorites.
    (penelopeplum)

    emtaylor98 at yahoo dot com

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  37. Thanks for the giveaway. A friend is having a baby next month and these would be a great gift
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

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  38. follow you on gfc
    Robin Scott
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

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  39. "hearted" her etsy shop
    robinlscott
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

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  40. These toys are ideal. I'd like to gift them to my niece.

    lillea at shaw dot ca

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  41. Following on GFC as Lillea

    lillea at shaw dot ca

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  42. Favorited the shop on Etsy - Lillea

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  43. Thanks for the giveaway! Beautiful toys!

    mrs.marcus2 at yahoo dot com

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  44. those look like some high quality toys! jmmccarr@gmail.com

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  45. i follow via gfc jmmccarr@gmail.com

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  46. One of my close friends just had a beautiful little boy last week. I know they would love these!

    cerena leigh
    LuckyCLDH(at)aol(dot)com

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  47. I am an occupational therapist and love finding new toys that assist with child development. These are wonderful! I'm also pregnant with my second little one and would love to have a set of toys to play with at home. ;) My email is {KarisaTomkinson@gmail.com}

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  48. I also added the shop to my favorites (MadeWithLoveByLaRynn). Thanks!
    {KarisaTomkinson@gmail.com}

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  49. How sweet. I know a little soon-to-be-born baby who would love these. Thanks for a lovely giveaway.

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  50. oooh! I would love to win! So beautiful!

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  51. These toys would be great for my little girl

    stormyranew at yahoo dot com

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  52. I follow on GFC

    stormyranew at yahoo dot com

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  53. I added her shop to my favorites (PrettyMagnolia is my etsy name)

    stormyranew at yahoo dot com

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  54. These look to be awesome toys! I'd love the fact that they aren't computerized like most toys and kids can use their imagination to use them.

    pennymindingmom (At) hotmail (Dot) ca

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  55. Following on GFC as PennyMindingMom

    pennymindingmom (At) hotmail (Dot) ca

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  56. Hearted shop on Esty!

    pennymindingmom (At) hotmail (Dot) ca

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  57. I would love these! I really should give them to a friend, though. ;)

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  58. Thanks so much! These are beautiful. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  59. follow a Life Sustained on gfc joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  60. Hearted on etsy! joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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  61. Those would be awesome for a babe! Love it!

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  62. I love the clean designs. My twin boys would adore any of her wonderful shops items.

    courtneyjo {at} cox {dot} net

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  63. Such sweet items.

    taylorgketchum@gmail.com

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  64. I am a new blog follower!

    taylorgketchum@gmail.com

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