Tinta Crayons emerged from two events that coincided mid-2015. Almost the same week as being made redundant, I read that asbestos was found in five brands of crayons on sale in Australia. I was horrified that the crayons weren’t recalled and started doing a little research. I discovered that crayon contamination is happening more and more frequently, with sometimes fatal consequences (some children in NZ died due to lead contamination in crayons). I started thinking there must be a better alternative and, when I couldn’t find it, I set out to create it.
I started experimenting (in the study!) with waxes and colours, learnt a tonne about chemistry and worked with the fabulous Ros from Flavourbox (@flavourbox_au) to achieve my vision for the packaging. By December, crayon manufacturing had taken over the kitchen and, by May, the garage. I still can’t believe that, from attending our first market a year ago today, we now supply around 100 shops in Australia and New Zealand.
From the beginning, my neighbour, Maria, would chat with me over the fence about how everything was going. Her kids joined my daughter in testing all the early prototypes and her daughter, Sabrina, recieved the first ever box of Tinta Crayons for her 5th birthday. As things got busier, Maria would hop over the fence to help me pack the boxes. In June, we decided to formally join forces and Maria joined Tinta Crayons, but I feel like she’s been here from the start ?
It has been such an amazing journey. It hasn’t all been a bed of roses, but I think we’ve faced the challenges head on and found our way through. We’ve met so many fabulous people along the way, without whom we wouldn’t be here!
So, after a year of crayon making, we’re still having fun and the t-rex is still my favourite crayon ? We’re even more committed to producing safe, natural crayons that inspire little fingers to have big imaginations, so here’s to Year Two!