I love my teepee's. Now it is true that I am biassed as I design and hand-make each one but there are a few special features in the joyjoie tee-pee that I think make it special.
It all comes back to my design philosophy and the person I originally had in mind when I was making the first prototype (the creative director!). My design philosophy is - make it interactive, make it fun, make it last, make it attractive and make it so I would be happy for Ari to use it (the ultimate test as she is very precious).
Here is how it works...
Interactive - Now a teepee by virtue of that fact that children are children and use their imaginations in a way we often lose as adults is naturally interactive. Is it for playing hide-and seek? Is it a place to read and do puzzles? Is it a play zone? Is it a secret place no parents can enter? Yes, to all this and more (after all I am an adult and cannot conceive of all the possibilities a child would). An extra layer of interaction has been introduced with the wall art, paper doll and tic tac toe tee-pee ranges. Why not play with the wall art, why not dress the paper doll and why not play a game of naughts and crosses all while enjoying the teepee.
Fun - It is easy to have fun when playing in an indoor hideaway especially when it can come outside to play on fine sunny days or keep you cosy indoors on a dreary winters afternoon. It is easy to have fun when your play tent is big enough for you and a couple of friends but small enough to be a permanent feature in many houses or units and thus you can use it any time. It is easy to have fun when your teepee can be easily setup in minutes and takes up very little space when packed away into either its Furoshiki cloth or pillowcase (depending on how it is packaged). It is easy to have when your parent takes delight in your enjoyment day after day as you play.
Lasting - Consider this from the perspective of a parent, it is made from 100% cotton drill so it is soft and yet durable and best of all can be washed! It is also handmade with a lot of attention to detail. Who can predict how long a child will enjoy any given toy? Certainly not me but what I do know is that I have incorporated design features such as games and removable wall art in some models to appeal to a wide range of ages and to allow the whole look of the teepee to be changed. The teepee can even be an heirloom passed from generation to generation or to different branches of the family (assuming the current custodians are willing to give it up).
Attractive - Whether cream, white or two toned the joyjoie teepee skin looks fresh and inviting. When paired with the most beautiful cotton prints in bright primary colours or in subtle pastels the outcome is invariably lovely and can be as different as night and day. The final look a customer chooses is entirely theirs to decide on as the look is customised to their specifications and taste. Then as the child asserts their own preferences the wall art teepee can get a whole new look, that appeals just to them by changing the wall art and print doors.
I would be happy for Ari to use it - This is the litmus test for everything I make and so here are the features that make me comfortable for her to play in and with her teepee. The dowel/wooden structure is entirely encased in fabric from floor to the top of the tee pee skin (where she cannot reach until she is a lot older) so no nasty splinters and this has the added bonus that wooden floors are protected too. All the stability measures are out of reach, so no wooden poles lay across the floor to bump into little shins and heads when the invariable rumble play ensues and certainly no chance for small toes to be trapped between horizontal bars and floors. It is cotton and has a window so the fabric breathes better than a polyester or plastic tent which makes the playing environment more pleasant to be in for child and adult.
So those are the reasons I love my teepees and why the creative director does too. I know she does as for every one I make she says "for me mama".