When Tricia Shyver opened Nāturaleigh in November, she received a strong welcome from the community. After just a few months in business, Shyver is expanding her services to include a toy library, the first to be offered in the Owensboro area.
Shyver will be offering a subscription-based service with varied pricing depending on the number of children and the number of toys being picked up at a time. For example, for the minimum $20 a month, a child can select two toys at a time, switch the toy out when they choose and keep it for up to 30 days. Toys can be selected to match developmental growth, including bigger toys that babies use and might otherwise outgrow quickly.
“This idea follows along with the Montessori approach of developmental learning through play- without acquiring an overabundance that breaks the bank. There are several cities that have a toy library but none anywhere close that I’m aware of,” Shyver said. “People can come check out toys and they aren’t out some big amount of money.”
According to Shyver, the idea of minimalism is growing. By offering toys for babies, toddlers and preschool age through her toy library, she hopes to help parents eliminate toy clutter. With spring cleaning season approaching, Shyver encourages parents who declutter their home of toys to not go out and buy new ones.
“When it comes to toys, we accumulate so much,” she said. “Kids are developing quickly anyway; they get bored with toys. I have a 4-year-old and 2-year-old and what they like changes from week to week. It will be nice to bring home something new for a week and take it back so it’s not piled up in a closet after they lose interest.”
One unique offering will be sensory bins, which Shyver said is big in the Montessori movement. There will be different themes to each bin such as ocean life, jungle, nature-inspired, combining learning with a way for parents to follow their children’s interests.
“Eventually, I am hoping to expand to offer the toy library subscription online,” Shyver said. “Customers can visit our website and we will send their selection to them and when they are finished, they can send it back.”
Subscriptions can include up to five toys at a time with the option to purchase the toys at a discounted price at the end of the rental period. During the month subscription, Shyver says customers can swap toys out as many times as they want and they have the freedom to select which toys they take.
“The amount of people who have heard about us has been awesome; we focus on the quality of each unique product and do not offer items that are sub-par,” she said. “We don’t want to be just a store, we want to be a cornerstone in the community.”
Shyver plans to launch the new toy library at the end of March or early April. Nāturaleigh is located at 2410 New Hartford Road.
“Community support and growth means a lot to us,” she said. “We have partners in the community who will join us for future events, such as a mommy and me craft night. We are excited because it’s such a new thing for the area- every bit of feedback has been positive.”