Who would've thought we would be here today? Not us! From Lisbon to London, then Sydney to Gloucester (with a few other stints here and there), the truth is : We did not see this coming.
We were getting ready to travel across the oceans in 2020 when the world changed. So we changed too! Having a small child and another one on the way, we knew we wanted to have more time for family, less time stuck in traffic and offer our kids a more connected childhood with plenty of time for free play and exploring nature! We settled in Gloucester through the pandemic and now you can't get us out of here.
I'd been increasingly interested in the importance of Play as a foundation for a healthy, happy and enriched childhood, developing a great love for sustainably made toys and resources as my first child was growing up. Having a physical location to share all this with our new found community just made sense.
So, who are we?
I'm Ana, I arrived Australia 12 years ago and worked in the Cultural Heritage Sector as a Paper Conservator until I became a parent. It's no surprise that I became so attached to toys that last, that show craftsmanship and that are worth keeping and treasuring. Illustration (and Art in general) is a huge passion of mine and my last Conservation position at the State Library of New South Wales certainly helped foster that love. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by my favourite illustrators and authors in our magical store.
A handmade forest
Chris is an Electrician (and Refrigeration Mechanic and Boat Builder ) and he basically builds anything and everything we think of. We wanted a magical forest in our store so he built it. We wanted frames for the beautiful artworks I selected so he made them. He's a maker. He likes good tools and loves to scavenge for timber and make something amazing out of it.
A growing family
Meet Riko, the newest member to the Forest of Play Family. Her sweet and calming nature paired with her awesome organisational skills and initiative make her a great addition to the team and you'll be lucky to meet her when you visit us in store. She enjoys going on adventures outdoors, playing sports like netball and dancing, and spending quality time with friends and family.