As we have said before in other posts, we believe Flat-Pack is the
best way to ship. We believe this mainly because it has much less impact on
available resources and the environment than shipping assembled products. We
feel it is a step toward stewardship of the earth we live on, and the air we
breathe. Flat-Pack for us is a way to lessen the impact of our product line. For
other information on the impact, please read our earlier blog posts.
There also are other reasons for making our product in this way.
We all live in a fast-paced, modern society that is traveling at such a speed
there is barely time to think. Many
people are so plugged into the technology of the age, that it is easy to lose
sight of what is right in front of us; our families, the fact that it is
spring, the simple joy of spending time together without being on the computer
or watching TV. So much of the richness of the life that is right in front of
us passes by unnoticed, and is forever lost to us and those around us.
When we made the decision to go to Flat-Pack, the process wasn't
easy. I didn’t want to turn to
computerized routers because my product line was and is handmade. We took one product at a time and created the
pattern we felt would assemble every time by anyone in their home, without them
being a skilled woodworker. We would
spend days, nights, and weeks, until we got what we were looking for.
The next step was to take it to someone (most of the time my wife,
Susan), and say, "Here it is, it works like a charm." Sometimes it did, but sometimes it didn't. It
was back to the shop until the problems were worked out. This process took a
very long time. We were trying to get the product line to a place where we were
able to make available to people, and give them a rich opportunity: to do it by
themselves, an opportunity to see what it feels like to actually have created a
We envisioned people doing this together. Children, especially,
are really interested to see how things are made. We envisioned people
including their children in the process (when it wasn't a surprise for the
child!). Children love this kind of thing, and love to help in the process. To
see a group of parts on the floor, turn into an assembled product for
them—right before their eyes—is something they will always remember. They also will remember, that you did it together.
Even if it is a surprise, and the child's parents do it, and tell the child,
"We made it for you", it will be extra special. Our goal was to make
this easy for you to do.
When we first started our business in 1988, we went to 25 or so,
large craft fairs. Many had 25,000-30,000 people. Sometimes we would have a
live assembly and it ALWAYS drew a crowd. People who have never been able to
make anything are quite often in awe of someone who can, and watching them do
it is even more of a treat. We have created an entire product line so that you
can do it yourself and share in this special feeling of accomplishment.
The way our world is today, it is easy to become disconnected with
nature, our food, wild animals, the seasons, the stars, the moon, etc. Some may
not know where their food comes beyond the grocery store. But everything has a
source. If it's meat, it came from an animal. Someone cared for it. It was
killed, and became your food. There is a story behind it being on the shelf, in
the grocery store. The same goes for vegetables. They were seeds, planted in
the soil. Someone cared for them. They grew, matured, and now they are in the
store. It's beneficial, to not lose sight of the SOURCE. Wood is the same. It
once was a tree. It was cut down, and milled into lumber. When we remember or
become aware of what it takes to get what we have, it’s more likely that we
will appreciate it and care for it.
When you receive one of our products, that we have cut, shaped,
sanded, and finished, we are hoping you will be able to see the story behind
it, and that someone cared about what they were doing. When you spread out the
parts of one of our products, we are hoping you see the labor and care that
went into each part, the grains of each different piece of wood, the way it
feels, and that each piece is truly unique. At Elves and Angels, we are trying
to share this with you and your family, in the products we make.
We want you to be able to experience the rest. We
think you will like it.
Recently, I came across a children’s Wooden Kitchen, that was very
well made, and it said it "snapped together" in 3 or 5 minutes. I
was intrigued by this claim and bought one to see how this could be. The
product came, and it was a fine piece of work. I snapped the plastic fasteners
together, and sure enough, it was done in a short amount of time. I thought for
about a half an hour, about maybe, doing it that way myself. But, when I was
working in the shop after that, and had an uneasy feeling...that wasn't
ME, that wasn't Elves and Angels!
We offer a beautiful line of children's wooden furniture and toys
that can be handed down from one generation to the next. They are very easy
to assemble. They have very simple instructions for you to follow. And now we
are now providing live assembly instructions through our website. This
Flat-Pack product line is easy on available resources, and the environment. There
is no charge for the experience of doing it. All of us at Elves and
Angels hope you enjoy it. If it just snaps together, you miss the rest.
Our company, Elves and Angels Inc., has been handcrafting this solid wood product line for 24 years. When we began in 1988 and first went to theNew York Toy Fair, there was hardly a children's kitchen anywhere to be found. Since then, we have produced the very best, naturalproduct on the market. It has been the life blood of our entire family of 12 children. All of us have worked together to make Elves and Angels the best it could be. When we first started, all of our products were made of solid pine and finished with a non-toxic edible finish and shipped completely assembled.