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med 2This month marks the end of our 3rd year of business and, as we look back at 2009, it strikes that even with all the growing pains of our youth, the strides we have made are significant.

In March 2009 Natural Pod celebrated bellies, birth and babies for its 3rd consecutive year at the 3rd consecutive Vancouver Birth Fest. A truly community-centred event, the annual East Van festival abounds with local resources, services, crafts and live music for the whole family. www.birthlounge.com

April brought The Healthy Families Conference and its highly anticipated keynote speaker, Peggy O’Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine. Natural Pod gave away 2 weekend passes to the event as well as a hotel overnight. www.healthyfamiliescanada.org

In June Natural Pod began building its relationship with schools and learning centres. After the Early Childhood Educator Conference in May, it was even clearer than before how much schools were lacking a trustworthy source of natural, safe, durable toys and furniture made of 100% environmentally responsible materials. The enthusiasm of over these few short years from Neighbourhood Houses, Strong Start Centres, preschools and daycares has been inspiring to behold. So many in the “mainstream” are now really getting the ideas of “quality over quantity” and environmental sensibility!

November brought huge, relatively unexpected news! Our very own Tree Branch Blocks were named one of the Top 10 Eco-Toys in North America! Judged on their affordability, age appropriateness, level of creativity and socialization engaged, eco-friendliness and child-initiated interactivity, the Tree Branch Blocks held their own as an enviro-take on an old theme. It was quite an honour to be the only Canadian company acknowledged in the running.

Finally, our holiday season was perked up by the selection of 6 of our toys (!) to be included in Mothering Magazine’s Best of Natural Toys 2009. This was our 3rd year running to be acknowledged by the highly-acclaimed publicatToy Test Seal ColorSmallion. Their support of our environmental commitment has been so key to our success.

And so has yours… We want to extend heart-felt gratitude to all of our customers, for helping us make it this far. Stay tuned for our big 4 th Birthday Sale in March!