As a mom, toys now play a huge part of my life. A good chunk of my day is spent on the floor with Hermione playing with the various dolls, blocks, books or musical instruments that live in her toy bin. I am very selective about what I will let her play with. At this age almost everything she touches ends up in her mouth so I have a very firm no plastic toys rule. I also want to inspire her to be creative with her play so none of her toys light up, use batteries, or play fake music. We are a mostly wooden toys and handmade dolls family.
Some of Hermione’s favorite toys are actually ones we have made her ourselves like her Wonder Jars. She also loves her shredded coconut sandbox and her homemade “sled”! The sandbox is just an empty Honest Company Box filled with shredded coconut I had left over from making granola last year.
Married couple Courtney and Avi were kind enough to answer a few questions for me all about their shop. I hope you enjoy!
If you have little ones on your holiday list head over to Norman and Jules’ recently launched website to pick them up a friend of their own. This Tutu Rag Doll would be great for a little girl, or these gorgeous blocks, or this awesome rainstick. Happy shopping!
Tell me the story behind Norman and Jules? What made you decide to open a toyshop in Park Slope?
Avi and I have both lived in Park Slope for over a decade. We each came to the neighborhood in our early 20′s, met here and now have a child here. We felt a void when we were looking for toys, decor and books for our daughter and felt that others must feel the same way! Since we shared the dream of being shop owners we decided to open the toy shop of our dreams in our own community. Norman and Jules is named after each of our Grandfather’s.
What makes Norman and Jules so unique?
Our relentless need to find new things. Avi and I are both researchers. We love to find hidden treasures and things that will make others happy.
I love how sustainable, and handcrafted all of your gorgeous goodies are! What is your criteria when picking toys to stock your shelves?
We like to know that the materials are being harvested responsibly that the people that are employed by the companies are being employed fairly and that each toy evokes the imagination and creativity of young minds.
Do you each have a favorite item you carry?
Hermione has been nudging me to get to work on her first Hannukah and Christmas (we celebrate both in our house) What are your favorite gifts for a baby girl?
Does your daughter Charley have any say in what you carry? Is being the kid of toy shop owners so much fun?
If we gave Charley a say in what we carry the whole store would be filled musical instruments, baby dolls and muffins!!! So not yet, but I’m sure as she gets older she will have her say. She definitely has some nice toys at home, but we are very mindful of not over indulging her, after all, she has a whole store to play in.
Lastly, if your family was going on a dream holiday vacation where would you go and what essentials would you bring with you?
The mention of a vacation sounds really nice!
If it was a family holiday vacation. Nantucket. Essentials would be some comfy clothes, an iPad, and a few toys to keep Charley happy.
If it was a Courtney and Avi holiday a villa in Fiji. I would need nothing except the sound of the ocean and my sweet husbands company and some good books. Oh and maybe an iPad so we could check in on Charley.