Our May Maker of the Month is one of our very favorites—and it’s easy to see why! Briki Vroom Vroom is a French brand created by Joanna, a book illustrator, and Leonardo, a graphic designer. The couple’s handmade wooden toys are made by artisans in Poland, and invite children to use their imagination and tell stories through play.
The beautiful, heirloom-quality wooden toys by Briki Vroom Vroom always bring a smile to our faces, and we’re excited to introduce you to the makers behind these adorable products!
As a book illustrator and graphic designer duo, what led you to start making wooden decor items?
We discovered the world of decoration and illustration for little ones after the birth of our children. We first wanted to create for them: first, collages and posters to decorate their rooms, then we created a range of stationery and textiles.
We discovered the wood later, a little by chance. We had never designed 3D products before, but our first wooden object was a real revelation and since then we have always found this noble material very inspiring.
Your simple designs certainly do not lack cuteness. What inspires your brand’s emphasis on simplicity?
Perhaps simplicity comes from our personalities and our artistic preferences! We find that a simple toy can also be more stimulating for a child and his or her creativity. Beauty is also simplicity—we leave a part of each toy as virgin wood, and add small touches of color.
You take many ethical and environmental precautions when crafting your wooden products. Tell us about some of the measures you take to create products that are friendly to the earth and to the people who make them.
We manufacture our wooden toys and decorations in a mountainous region in Poland. We collaborate with talented artisans who have worked in family workshops for several generations—respect for the environment is important to them because they live there.
The wood we use comes from nearby sustainably-managed forests, and is treated only with natural products and certified to be safe for little ones. It is simply treated with love because it is part of the cultural heritage of this region—we want healthy toys for our children and our planet.
Nowadays, kids are spending more time than ever with their electronic devices. What can children gain from playing with a simple, well-crafted toy instead?
Wood is a natural and living material that awakens the senses: it has shapes and textures that are pleasant to look at and touch, and it smells good. All of this awakens the curiosity and creativity of our children. They create stories around the toy.
“[The wood we use] is simply treated with love because it is part of the cultural heritage of this region—we want healthy toys for our children and our planet.”
How does it feel to see one of your toys spark a child’s imagination and encourage them to be creative?
It is the most beautiful of rewards. Imagining our toys in children's rooms and the positive imprint they make in their lives is a real pleasure. We all have very strong childhood memories with toys that evoke various feelings, and we hope that our toys are exceptional and will leave beautiful memories for all the children that enjoy them.