We met the lovely Allie at our last ShopUp event in Brooklyn, NY and we fell head over heels in love with her beautiful toy shop Rose & Rex. The shop offers the most elegant toys, all carefully selected not only for their heirloom qualities and sustainable, toxic free materials, but mostly to promote imaginative play and encourage the development of skill building, problem solving and empathy.
Allie studied psychology and early childhood education and during her research she learned how much importance imaginary play has on the development of a child. Later, when she worked in pre-kindergarten classrooms, again she noticed how children grow and transform through play. This lead to Allie’s decision to start a broad conversation about the importance of play in today’s result driven, schedule-focused culture. When we play, it’s the process, not the result, which is the foundation of learning and development! Rose & Rex is the existing proof of Allie’s passion for play. It is not just a beautiful toy shop, but so much more than that.
I love how thorough and carefully designed the website is, with snippets of research sprinkled throughout and little design elements explaining for each toy why it made the strict rose & rex curation. There are tips on how to play with the toys, or how to combine it with other toys or books. Also, Allie made it so super easy to select a gift! The website is super simple to navigate with straightforward categorisation and inspiring gift guides. If you are still not entirely sure what to get, there’s even a personal toy advisor! Last but not least, Allie also likes to give back. A percentage of sales goes to select non-profit organisations, aiming to give every child an opportunity to develop and learn through play.
Some favourites from rose & rex that we love in our household are this Woodie Surf Car and Trailer which we got for Casper’s 4th birthday and he’s crazy about. It is so pretty and surprisingly sturdy and SO cool looking! It is definitely one of Casper’s most favourite toys. We also love the Tsumiki House Blocks, an amazing toy. The different blocks and elements can be combined in endless ways, and the house box and matte beeswax finish of the beechwood blocks are so pretty! Another toy that our children absolutely love and that makes an amazing gift for any small child.
I’m super excited to see Allie and her amazing collection again at the ShopUp in LA this Sunday and Monday! If you can’t make it to the event, be sure to visit the rose & rex webshop, because it might very well be one of the best toyshops you have ever set (virtual) foot in.
PS: Allie told us about herself and how she came to create Rose & Rex here – so inspiring!