I'm thrilled about today's interview. I often get asked by families for furniture suggestions suitable for toddlers. Finding locally-made, non-toxic toddler furniture that matches the serene vibe of a home can be challenging. Additionally, many of the families I work with live in compact living spaces.
Recently, I stumbled upon Sapiens Child, a local company that makes Montessori furniture for toddlers. Visiting their showroom, I met Jorge and had the opportunity to explore both the workshop and the furniture firsthand. This is the place I have been waiting for! The details, quality and thought that has been put into every item is so amazing.
All furniture is made with love on site and they have a quick turn around - we are talking about days instead of weeks. I appreciated the little details such as positive words and images that can be found in hidden places on the furniture. The tables are adjustable which means they will last longer as your child grows. Plus, you know it's a Montessori space with all of the plants around the showroom.
I hope you enjoy the interview and can check it out yourself, in person and online.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Jorge. I'm a father of two amazing boys, and a Mechanical Engineer with a passion for carpentry. Woodworking and design have always been my side hustle. In 2020, I set up a workshop on my patio, where it all began. In 2021, I left my 9 to 5 job as an Engineer in Arc'teryx, launched Sapiens Child, rented a warehouse, and kept this dream thriving.
What was your inspiration for your business?
I lived in a tight downtown Vancouver apartment. As my first child turned one, my living room looked like a McDonald's playground, packed with overly stimulating, large, and colourful toys. I was disappointed by the lack of furniture tailored for small spaces and frustrated that my child lacked a designated area to develop. This led me to create furniture specifically crafted for compact spaces, integrating Montessori concepts, aiming to foster my son's development. All of our products have fruit names, just to keep our brand playful.
What is the most popular piece of furniture sold?
The Apple Floor Bed. The floor bed serves as an ideal transition from a crib. With its matching mattress size, your toddler will feel secure and cozy for a tranquil night's rest. The Apple Floor bed design facilitates a seamless shift, maintaining the right adult-to-twin bed proportion to offer your child just the right amount of space.
I am so happy that you are a local business. We have many families that live in smaller homes in Vancouver. What tips do you have for them when it comes to children's furniture?
We once shared our mornings surrounded by nature, but times have changed. Our kids spend more time indoors, in a world not built for their needs. Everything appears oversized and over-stimulating for them. I always recommend parents to set up a space for their kids where they feel safe, and where they can learn, explore, and develop. Having neutral peaceful colors to offset the overstimulating environment we are living in. Why do you think it is important for families to have child-sized furniture?
Properly sized furniture allows children to independently access and use their environment without relying on adult assistance. This fosters a sense of autonomy as they can comfortably interact with their surroundings. By having furniture that fits their proportions, little ones can practice and refine their motor skills more effectively. They can comfortably reach, grasp, and manipulate objects, aiding in the development of fine and gross motor skills.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
What brings me the greatest pride in my business is the impact on young lives. My mission is to reshape indoor development, offering parents and children the ideal environment for growth. Through our products and educational efforts on social media, I aim to make a positive impact on their developmental stages, influencing future generations positively.
Do you have a favourite Montessori quote?
"The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence."
Anything else you'd like to add?
Children shouldn't live in a giant's world.