About THE ZOO®
Very briefly, here’s a quick history. I hope to fill in many of the blanks through our blog.
The picture on the right is the original zoo I made for my daughter Trish in about 2003. It took us a while to develop it into the product it is today with many parents and kids around the world now enjoying tidy rooms, or maybe just less cluttered than before! We have always wanted The ZOO to be safe and durable too, and I think its success has substantiated these claims.
In 2014, I felt The ZOO should also serve a greater purpose, and that is to help create awareness about the plight of animals and their environment in the world our kids will inherit. So I set up a wildlife charity called Littlezookeepers Go Wild. To give it real impact, I chose to support The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation in the UK, and in particular, the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia. My daughter Trish, (now a little older!) visited the project at our own expense in Zambia in 2015.
It was on this visit that we fell in love with the Little Ndaba Toys and the stories of the ladies who make them. We are thrilled to be able to offer them to our customers in the US. The lives of these ladies are additionally challenged by trying to co-exist with the wild animals we are working to conserve. Again, I intend to make this story an on-going part or our blog.
In 2016 we made two big decisions. The first was to cease carving THE ZOO into the header and replace it with a quality nameplate that customers can chose to use or not to use. Carving was generating too much waste from cosmetic problems caused by revealing the inner plys of the plywood. Many customers also wanted to have a blank header to personalize.
The second decision, largely based on the fact that I’m now well passed retirement age, is our decision to outsource production to a Taiwanese company with a factory in mainland China. We have been using this company for several years to serve the UK Market and I have nothing but praise for their quality and service. Trish and I visited them in January 2017 and came away most impressed both with their sophisticated German equipment and with some new friends. Especially Jennifer, our Taiwanese contact who calls me Uncle John. And for those of you who don’t believe in Free Trade; their warehouse is stacked to the roof with materials imported from North America and New Zealand.
THE ZOO® is Designed and Developed in Michigan and is distributed in North America by the Hulton House Corporation, a Michigan Corporation owned by the Chisholm family.
THE ZOO® is a registered trademark of the Hulton House Corporation and is promoted under the name of Littlezookeepers.
Hulton House Coroporation
214 Gladwin Avenue
Clawson, MI 48017
THE ZOO® is also available from independent distributors in the UK and Australia.