sigikid - Once upon a time in Germany...
Once upon a time in Germany....
We often get asked how sigikid started out and here are a few facts about us that you might not know yet:
sigikid was founded in 1968 in Germany by my parents. Back in the day, there were not many plush toys available that were really soft and cuddly. Most toys were in fact quite stiff and naturalistic looking. My parents saw an opportunity to create soft toys that were safe, cute and cuddly, but that could also be machine washed and handed down to the next generation.
My parents were also convinced that cuddling and playing is a fundamental need you never grow out of - which is also the reason for why we have a designer plush line called the BEASTS, that are really more for adults than kids. Over the years sigikid became the go-to brand in Europe for playfully different plush toys, dolls, rattles, music boxes, and organic baby toys from the highest quality materials with a focus on imaginative, contemporary design
- Where does the name come from and how do you pronounce it?
This is actually a funny story. My mother’s nick name is Sigi (pronounced with a hard g, as in “garden”), short for Sigrid. And my brother is the first kid, thus sigikid! sigikid took off in 1968 and is until today a true family business, with my brother at the helm in Germany and my husband and myself as his business partners in the US.
- Where do you take your inspiration from?
Our main inspiration is good design. And with good design we actually mean, the best design possible. Good design doesn’t have to be complex or complicated. Simple forms and shapes drive our products. There is just something about sigikid toys that feels intuitively right for children. Our toys are old-fashioned in the sense that they are not battery-operated and don’t make any beeping sounds. And we don’t produce anything that could be remotely perceived as aggressive or confrontational. Our faces have gentle, kind features that are not air-brushed on for special effect. sigikid toys simply encourage imaginative play.
- Is there a product line you enjoy creating most?
This is an easy one: It must be our designer plush line, called the BEASTS! sigikid in Germany employs a design team. As a special challenge and treat, the designers can let their creativity go wild and crazy and design their heart out with the BEASTS. It is really fun to see the first sketches that then turn into a sigikid BEAST.
- What have you found most challenging or rewarding throughout your business journey?
There is an abundance of toys out there at very low price points and with low quality standards, in terms of design, look and feel. Even though many parents have become much more quality-conscious of big items like strollers, cribs or high chairs, toys are often an afterthought and viewed as disposable. At sigikid, we strive to counter this notion. We’d like to see parents be more demanding when it comes to what their kids play with. Quality, design, sustainability, machine washability – these are all key attributes for a well-made toy.
- Overall what has been the best part of owning your own business?
It is a true blessing and a lot of fun to work in the toy industry! We really feel that we can make a difference with our mindful products that counter the trend of poorly designed toys. We are very excited about bringing old-school toys with a modern look to the United States.
- Now that we know some more about sigikid, could you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
My husband and I met in grad school (in Monterey, CA, no less). Back in the day, we had no idea that this would lead to what is now sigikid-usa. We feel very fortunate that we can continue the family business that was started more than 45 years ago in Germany. We have a 4 year old who is already learning about what it means to be an entrepreneur even though he probably thinks that everybody has a warehouse full of plush toys to play in. He is the ultimate toy tester! And he is the one who reminds us that working is just another form of playing if you are only passionate about it.