Who makes our toys? Meet the local artisans who craft shumee toys
Here’s a little secret about our toys — no two toys we create will ever be perfectly alike!
Each shumee toy is crafted by a skilled artisan who spends hours poring over the design, hand-painting with careful brushstrokes, and honing all sorts of fine details. Every toy we make carries the stamp of its creator.
As a homegrown brand, we are proud to work with local artisans across the country to make these toys. Each of these artisans have their unique tastes and signature styles that are like hidden treasures within everything they create.
This Independence Day, we want to celebrate these talented craftspeople. So we decided to speak with some of them and find out more about the HandsThatMake the toys your child loves to play with!
Srinivasa is a gifted craftsman and artisan from Channapatna who has been creating shumee toys for many years now. From our range of wooden rattles to our beloved Butterfly Board, his hands are behind many of shumee’s best-sellers!
What got him started on this journey?
Since the time I was in school, I would watch my mother make toys and help out when I could. I have been doing this for 20 years now and consider it a family business. Even my brothers are in the same line of work!
From using the lathe to hand-painting toys, Srinivasa is a man of many skills! So what about his work does he enjoy the most?
I enjoy both machine work and colouring. I also love working with new designs to create the perfect sample. Toys such as the Butterfly Board took some time but turned out really well. I also feel empowered while I train my staff. I have trained over 40 people, teaching them how to use the machine and giving them feedback. Overall, I like being innovative in my work.
Srinivasa is a father to a 3-year-old. So we were curious about which toys his child loves...
While he isn’t working, you can find Srinivasa...
Playing with kids or travelling wherever work takes me.
Bhuvana is another one of our toy makers from Channapatna who creates rattles, egg shakers, and spin tops. While she is relatively new to the field, her skill, talent, and passion are immense!
A little more about Bhuvana -
I am the oldest child in a family of 3 children. Apart from my parents, I have 2 younger brothers at home. I have been creating toys for 5 to 6 years now. My family loves it as much as I do!
How did she begin making toys? How has this experience been?
A few years ago, I did a three-month training in making toys, this is how I started out. I currently work on the lathe to make toys. Since I am from Channapatna, the children here are more used to traditional toy designs. So when they see shumee’s modern designs, they get really excited! This has been amazing.
When Bhuvana isn’t working…
I love playing sports. I play kabaddi and kho-kho any chance I get, even during short breaks at work! I also enjoy cooking with my mother, watching movies, and dancing. My favourite time of the year is the Sankranti festival, which is filled with games and dance!
Hussain is also one of our wooden toy makers and he has been creating toys for nearly 30 years! Apart from being a craftsman, he is a businessman, father, and a cricket and football coach.
How did he begin making toys?
Making toys is my family’s business and I have been doing it since I was a teenager. I studied B.Com but then joined my uncle in the business. The wooden pull-along toys were the first ones I made for shumee!
What does he like most about his work?
I like the texture and properties of wood and the different things you can do with it. I started with the lathe, but now also hand-paint many of the toys. I enjoy working with soft wood and love spray painting!
Hussain has a 5-year-old son. Wondering what his favourite toy is?
While not working, Hussain is…
I work as a cricket coach for the under 14 Karnataka State Cricket Association. I also work as a football coach and enjoy playing football with my son.
Jyoti is a doll maker from Dharamshala who has been weaving gorgeous cotton and woollen dolls for over 3 years now. Hers are the talented hands behind many of our brand new Waldorf Star Dolls!
More about Jyoti -
I’m a doll-maker and a mother of four. My oldest daughter is 10 years old and the youngest is 5. Apart from being with my family, I love the work I do as it keeps me relaxed and happy.
What is Jyoti’s favourite toy that she has made?
I love all the dolls I made but my favourite would be the puppets!
Apart from weaving dolls, Jyoti enjoys...
Listening to music. From sad songs to romantic songs, I love all Hindi music. It keeps me in my zone!
Sapna is another talented doll maker from Dharamshala who has been working with Dolls4Tibet for 6 years now. She makes dolls, puppets, and beautiful felt animals that both children and adults will instantly love!
About Sapna’s family -
I am a mother of two. I have 2 sons who are 11 and 14 years old.
What does she enjoy about her work?
I like the work I do as it is relaxing and gives me some much-needed ‘me-time’. Of all the toys I make, I love the Yaks I knit because of their unique form.
When not creating toys…
I love to garden in my free time!
Whether they learnt to craft toys from their families or began doing so to support their families, each of our artisans are inspiring in their own right. We at shumee are grateful to have them as a part of our family and hope to keep working with them to bring your child many more amazing toys in the future!