We are parents of 3 grown sons, who are happily married or in a relationship and we are blessed to be the grandparents of 2 beautiful granddaughters and 1 handsome grandson.
We are each talented in our own unique ways. Grandma, also known as "Gigi", is an incredible graphic artist who, in her day-job, uses Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop developing advertising and websites. She has been doing graphic design for about 30 years and as a home economics major, "Gigi" has been sewing for even longer. Grandpa, also known as "Aboo", is a geek who would rather be making up stories and playing in the dirt with grandjoys than working in the family web and graphic business.
Gigi began creating playmats when our daughter-in-law asked for a way to help her keep up with transporting our grandson's cars and trucks as they travel. His parents travel to various destinations (including the office sometimes) and having a toy that travels easily is a real plus. Gigi began to think about ways to make keeping up with the little cars and trucks easier for mom and dad.
The first question was, "What makes a toy travel nicely?" Containers with lids was the first idea, but sturdy, solid containers didn't suit the car spaces that changed each time a trip was made.
The toy carrier had to be able to be:
- Small enough to be easily packed
- Big enough to carry all of the necessary toys
- Flexible enough to be easily packed
- In some way enhance the play experience of our grandjoy.
If we can meet all of these criteria, the thought was that all of the toys would arrive at work and at home each trip and our grandjoy would be entertained for the major part of the day.
Gigi decided that creating a playmat that included roads that fit matchbox cars, train tracks that work with Thomas the Train and Chuggington trains, houses and businesses familiar to our grandjoy — all printed on an easily transported mat.
The idea was simple, creating the product was not so simple. Laying it out to match the printer's specification and sewing it into a quilt all took lots of trial and error. The very first playmat had all the familiar things that our grandjoy enjoyed doing with Mom, Dad, Gigi, Aboo and his other grandparents Nona and Pops. After playing with it for several months our precocious almost three year old grandjoy gave Gigi instructions on how to improve it. His biggest request was for a place to play with his construction equipment and his airplanes. So Gigi created a new play mat with places for matchbox cars and trucks, airplanes, trains and construction equipment.
This new mat can be seen on Pintrest and Esty.