Who reads the ‘About’ section? What and how to pen this section when busy people leading busy lives get halfway through a bullet point, and click off to another page?
Who wants to read with envy the wonderful life set in a splendid location of a person who happened to be in the right place at the right time? Not me. But that’s not the story.
As the BAJO distributor for Australia, here is how BAJO toys came to be here, so it’s about BAJO and myself. For those who have the time and inclination, it is written for you, it’s also a kind of love story – & who doesn’t like one of those?
Back in 2005 I stepped into an upscale Tokyo toy shop by chance, and my life changed instantly and probably forever. In a large room full of good toys (although I confess I didn’t look at any of them bar the ones in front of me) was a single shelf with what could have had ‘destiny’ written on it.
On that single shelf were a handful of wooden toys with such appealing design character, that I was propelled toward them. I picked one up – #42910 the racing car – very good quality – I turned it over, and over again, rolled it one way along the shelf, then the other. Somewhere inside a key turned in a lock I didn’t know was there, and I knew what I wanted to do. I bought the wooden toy racing car, happily, with the last of the cash I had on me at the time (and walked 2km back to where I started). The next day I returned and bought another (why race alone?). I turned away from a highly-paid and long-studied for career in information technology and set off to NZ to start selling BAJO wooden toys of Poland. People thought I’d taken a hard knock to the head (…that would actually come later).
I resolved to only stock retailers who knew a good thing when they saw it. To my dismay that was a very small number indeed. It was like talking to the taxman about poetry. But they were there – those who fell in love with the brand, and they had customers who did as well. Things were going swimmingly. I started with a shoebox, then a pallet, then five pallets and then a container. About then the GFC set in for what I thought would be five years, many stores folded. Australia whistled-up that it would take all I had and more, so in 2009 the base shifted from NZ to Aus. I rented a small storage shed for the toys, and slept rough… for two years. BAJO toys kept selling and those who had them wanted more; I moved into a larger unit for the toys and managed to put a roof over my head. Sales of BAJO are consistent and BAJO has become probably the most sought-after brand of wooden toys in the land. (Please support the retailers who offer BAJO).
I hope your first encounter with BAJO will be memorable and lasting, for the toys from this brand are keepers.
Thankyou for your interest in BAJO wooden toys of Poland. For 25+ years designed and made (to En 71 safety standard) in a small factory on the edge of a forest, in Southern Poland, by a good man – Wojtek Bajor and his team; they love what they do.