Armed with a firm belief in customer service from the very beginning of their business, Melissa and Doug still remember what they came from and what it took to get where they are now, over 21 years later. They remain passionate in providing only the highest caliber wooden toys without passing on a high price to their customers. This affirmation is evidence of their belief in children, parents and the family way of life.
Back in late summer of 1988, Doug realized he loved Melissa. He had hoped the feelings were mutual. Not wanting to risk anything less than a "yes", Doug decided he'd play it safe and instead of proposing marriage, he asked Melissa to go into business with him. Smart guy because it worked! They constructed business plans and went to work developing them in Doug's parent's garage. Ideas flourished in the creation of wooden toys that were educational and fun for children to play with. Fast forward 21 years later and today, the happy couple share their love and passion for providing high quality products, traditional in durable, long-lasting materials.
Back in 1991, the "Fuzzy Farm" puzzle was the first wooden toy introduced in the Melissa and Doug collection. With the realism of "fuzz" the couple was amazed that children all over the nation let them know they didn't really know there was such a thing as a fuzzy pig.
Wooden toys by design are among the most durable of all. They stand the test of time and bring back fond memories of early childhood. Melissa and Doug understand this and have created many different types of toys over the years including magnetic pattern blocks sets, floor puzzles, doll houses and toy trucks. There are many others products in the process of development.
From an educational perspective, many wooden toys help children develop their cognitive and fine motor skills. Studies show thinking processes for children from ages 2-1/2 to 4 are enhanced by pretend play activities. When they place shapes correctly in a wooden block or a state in its place in a United States floor puzzle, children foster their recall and recognition skills while having fun at the same time!
One of the main contributors to Melissa and Doug business success is they were and still remain adamant about keeping operational costs low, even during expansion. Back in their early years, their employee base grew but they remained steadfast on limiting purchases in office equipment, with staff members sharing one desk. They had many chairs and were too busy taking orders to care!
Today Melissa and Doug continue to live out their inspirational success. They now have an upgraded office building with enough desks for each employee. Their new facility is large with plenty of room to spare to handle their growing employee base.
They proved the American dream is still alive and well. They made their dreams come true and as they did, their romantic dreams came true too when they were eventually married; after their business plans were completed of course. Today their product line includes hundreds of toys, which are making dreams come true for many thousands of kids every year.
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Joe Kanooga is a father of two kids, a successful business owner and the author of numerous articles about wooden toys. Click here to download our free Melissa and Doug guidebook filled with tips, ideas and information.
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