What is Babipur?
“Where did you get that from?”
This is a typical conversation in my house when someone visits and sees our Wobbel board and Tri Climb in the lounge for the first time.
I then go on to explain that Babipur is an ethical online store with lots of things including wooden toys.
This inspired me to write an article. What is Babipur?
I was first told about this online company called Babipur by a friend when I was admiring her wooden toy collection. At the time my eleven month old was tearing around her lounge with a nin in each hand and one in the mouth from her ‘Grimm’s 7 Rainbow Friends in Bowls’ collection. As I watched his obvious interest in them I figured that this would make a great first birthday present for my son or a replacement present for my friend if he lost part of it! After I retrieved the toy from his mouth and subtly wiped off the drool before placing it back in the corresponding coloured bowl, I looked with interest at the rest of my friends collection. I especially loved the Grimm’s rainbow, mainly drawn to it as my son was a rainbow baby. My interest was peaked and that’s where it all started for me. I followed Babipur on Facebook then noticed they had a group called Babipur Hangout.
Babipur Hangout is still pretty much the only thing I see on my Facebook news feed. As well as being a valuable place for shopping advice and quick replies it is also a great page for sharing life stories, there is no judgement and it soon felt like a safe place with like-minded parents.
The story for me started just a year ago but the story for Babipur started eleven years ago in Wales. Jolene and Peter Barton had a vision to supply ethical goods to consumers wanting fair trade products. The first Babipur storage facility was underneath their bed. Jolene and Peter poured their heart and soul into the business, their passion for ethical and fun shopping was at the heart of everything they did. Their consistency, honesty and values meant that their consumer base grew and so did their business.
Even though Jolene and Peter are no longer storing all their products under their bed, even though they are no longer packing parcels late at night at their kitchen table, they are still very present and approachable, and are very familiar names and faces on their Facebook group, offering support, information and answers on a regular basis. Their business expanded and that meant they were suddenly in a position to be able to provide local jobs for the people of Wales, this is something they really care about and is a great privilege to do so. Even though their team has grown from two you still don’t feel like you are dealing with a huge company when you order or send a query, there is still a ‘small family business’ feel to Babipur. In fact you soon get to recognise the names of the other team members on the order slips and on Facebook Messenger queries or email responses. The whole team is friendly and helpful and you can just tell they enjoy working together.
‘Babipur’ is Welsh meaning ‘Pure Baby’. There is a video on their YouTube site which shows the correct pronunciation, a pronunciation I discovered that is far from mine!
Babipur has fast become a one stop shop for all things ethical and environmentally friendly. What they supply is vast. Originally I thought it was just for wooden toys but what they provide is that and much much more. To name just a few, they have organic baby clothing, children clothing and some adult clothing, cloth nappies, toys, baby carriers and slings, eco life and interior products, health and skincare range, baby essentials, menstrual cups and pads, parent and maternity items.
What has drawn me and so many others to Babipur is not just what they stock or what you can buy, and not just the story of how they came into being. I have been drawn to them as caring individuals and a caring community, my admiration of how they treat others and how much they care not just for the environment which is commendable in itself, but how much they care for their staff and customers who have become a part of their wider family. They have managed to genuinely embrace and communicate with all 23k of their active members on the Babipur Hangout page which is no small feat.
I am grateful to Jolene and Peter for starting this company. I am grateful to the staff for always answering my queries no matter how silly I feel my question is or how complicated it is going to be for them to find out the information for me. I am grateful to the Babipur Hangout community for always supporting me and giving me a great community to turn to no matter what I need to share or ask.
Ultimately Babipur has made me more mindful of how we live as a family and I see possessions in a different way than I did before.
If you haven’t already please do look up Babipur online, there is something for everyone!
I have been curious about the elephant as the Babipur logo. My imagination started to feel inspired by this compassionate gentle giant character so I have written a little story below. Feel free to share this with your children, or just pour yourself a hot drink and settle in to enjoy it yourself.
Babi the kind elephant
Babi lives in the magical Babipur jungle, she never knows what character or creature she is going to meet from one day to the next. Her days are always full of fun and she always has new things to learn. Babi looks a little different to the elephants you are used to seeing in books, she is a tiny bit smaller than other elephants and is a lovely bright red colour. Babi loves sucking up water from the jungle stream and squirting it high above her head, this is especially nice to do on a hot day.
It had been raining, Babi loved the ‘slop slop slop’ noise that her feet made on the damp leaves beneath. When she would come across a big muddy puddle Babi would jump! Her four feet would leave the ground and SPLASH! she would land right in the middle of the muddy puddle, Babi giggled.
“This is fun!” Babi squealed. With all her might she blew and a pretty little trumpet noise sounded from her red trunk.
Suddenly there was a rustling in the leaves above. Babi stopped and listened, the noise stopped. Babi thought perhaps she hadn’t heard anything after all so she carried on walking and jumping – SLOP SLOP SLOP – SPLASH! – SLOP SLOP SLOP – SPASH! – RUSTLE RUSTLE….
Wait! There was that sound again. It sounded like a rustling in the leaves above. What could it be?
“Woohoo!!” There was a loud shout. Through the leaves in the trees above a little wooden figure jumped through the air and landed on Babi’s back! It was Babi’s friend Woonki!!
“Woonki!” trumpeted Babi. “You made me jump!”
“Sorry Babi!” shouted Woonki as he did somersaults across Babi’s back. Babi turned her head right and left trying to see the jumping bouncing Woonki.
“Woonki! Don’t you ever stay still?” shouted Babi.
Woonki jumped over Babi’s head landing on the leaves ahead with a neat splosh.
“Stay still?!” asked Woonki with his little wooden head on one side. “Why on earth would I stay still? There’s SO much to explore and learn and seeeeeee!” Woonki grabbed onto a jungle vine as he was talking and swung through the air. “Weeeee!”
“Wait for me!” Babi laughed running after her adventurous friend.
They ran and ran for what felt like hours! Babi was feeling hot, she was pleased to see the jungle stream coming into view ahead, she needed to fill up her trunk and sprinkle herself with cool water. But before that could happen it started to rain and get very windy, big BIG drops of rain. Woonki jumped onto Babi’s back and hung on.
What was that?
“Did you hear something Woonki?” Babi asked.
“It’s just the noise of the rain,” replied Woonki.
“Help!” There it was again!
Babi could definitely hear someone shouting! Who could it be? Babi was a very kind elephant, she was very worried to think that one of her friends needed help.
“Can you see who it is Woonki?” Babi panted as she ran towards the jungle stream.
Woonki climbed up a tree to get a better look.
“It’s Ambrosius!” Woonki shouted. This particular Ambrosius is a little lady made of felt with a flower hat.
Babi skidded to a halt splattering Woonki with mud. Woonki didn’t mind.
“Ambrosius what’s wrong?” asked Babi.
Ambrosius was trying to shelter from the rain and was struggling to hold up wet sticks and leaves.
“The heavy rain and wind blew down my shelter,” cried Ambrosius. There are some bigger leaves higher up that tree protected from the rain by the larger leaves above but I can’t reach!
Babi tried to stretch her truck up as high as she could but she couldn’t reach.
“Woonki can you climb up?” Babi asked.
Woonki shook his head so hard it nearly fell off.
“I can’t go all the way up there! In the wet! It’s not safe! I might slip!”
What were they going to do?
All of a sudden they could hear singing and chanting coming from far away deep in the Babipur jungle, the sound was getting closer.
“It’s the Bajo Mendelson band!” trumpeted Babi excitedly. “Wait! I have an idea!”
Babi ran to meet the Bajo Mendelson people.
“Sorry to bother you,” she began. “Our friend Ambrosius needs to make a shelter from the rain and we can’t reach the larger leaves that we need.” Babi looked down and slowly moved her front foot from side to side in the dirt. She knew she shouldn’t but sometimes she found it hard asking for help. “Could you please if it’s not too much trouble…help us?” Babi looked up at them expectantly with her big eyes wide open.
“Of course we can Madam,” replied the wooden leader at the front. “We’ll help won’t we band?” he turned around.
“Here here!” they all replied.
“Great!” squeaked a delighted Babi. “But how will you do it? How will you balance?”
“Lead the way young Babi and we shall show you!”
Ambrosius, Babi and Woonki stood open mouthed as they watched the talented Bajo Mendelson balancers. It took a lot of skill, patience and concentration for each balancer to stand carefully one on top of the other. Some stood on each others feet, some were upside down balancing on the shoulders of the ones underneath. Thankfully the wind and rain had eased. Even though there were a few wobbles they didn’t give up, they stayed calm and kept trying. Finally they were high enough for the person right at the top to gentle snap off a few large leaves. They carefully climbed down and handed them to Babi. Babi looked upwards and seemed a little concerned.
“Don’t worry,” said the Bajo leader. “The leaves will grow back. Let’s use the wood we have available around us on the ground and build a shelter for Ambrosius. Something that will be strong and last. When we use what is available and always make sure something is replaced that means the jungle will remain sustainable and we won’t be losing trees.” Sustainable was a big word but she could tell it was a good thing and being such a caring elephant Babi was relieved to hear this.
The friends worked long and hard and soon make a beautiful looking little treehouse.
“It’s so beautiful!” said Ambrosius with tears in her eyes. “Thank you so much. It will be perfect for all the friends of Babipur Jungle. What shall we call it?”
Babi put her little head on one side thoughtfully.
“How about Plan Toys Tree House?”
“Perfect!” said Woonki.
As the sun began to set Babi climbed up to a high point so she could get a good view over the jungle landscape. The light was so bright and warm and filled the sky with a beautiful red colour just like Babi.
As Babi glowed in the light from the setting sun she looked around her and felt such a peace and a sense of satisfaction. She was so grateful to live in such a special community and to be able to help her friends. And even though it seemed like a great big impossible task Babi hoped that together somehow they could make the world a better place. Today the world had become a better place for Ambrosius, who could she help tomorrow?
Jo Le Page
Huge thanks to Jo for sharing her wonderful imaginative story us with us x
Jo is a stay at home mum and writer who also has her own blog called Fresh Bread and Faith.