The Happy Company Invests in Children’s Creativity and Learning

In time for the New Year, new ideas about playing and learning are on view at the Happy Company, which recently opened their doors at 9 Abashidze St. in Vake. The brainchild of two Georgia natives, Lasha and Nino Papukashvili, and a German and friend of Georgia, Tobias Winkler, the shop sells toys for children designed to awaken their creativity and promote hands-on learning. The corner shop features an open area for children and walls lined with shelves of scientific experiments and arts and crafts supplies and kits produced by well-known companies such as Kosmos and Max Bringmann KG/Folia®, primarily German manufacturers.

The Georgian natives, professional chemists, emmigrated to Germany many years ago but keep an eye on their beloved homeland with the interest, also shared by parents, of promoting the educational opportunities of children. While living in Hamburg they often noticed the type of activities children engaged in: project based play that promoted concentration by following through on a process, such as scientific experimentation or building a model airplane.

Their ideas about the efficacy of these educational toys and their benefits for children were further confirmed by the presents they gave their own nieces and nephews back in Georgia. The children loved the toys.

“Creativity and scientific inquiry doesn’t end with childhood,” explained Ms. Papukashvili. Taken from their own professional experience with brainstorming and creativity as an input process that brings inner calm and satisfaction, Ms. Papukashvili believes that these toys bring families together and promotes happiness, experiences needed in Georgia, she says. This is how they came up with the idea of the Happy Company. “We wanted to bring to people in Georgia what we had experienced ourselves.”

They thought through the earlier phases of their idea and then contacted the

German Business Association Georgia (DWVG) at 24 Rustaveli Avenue for help in realizing their project. The DWVG helped them build a network of contacts for finding products and partners. They also visited trade fairs in Germany with further plans for more visits with suppliers. Ms. Papukashvili is enthusiastic about all there is to do and is already planning to expand on the idea of bringing creativity and educational-based play to Georgia. The Happy Company is in exchange with scientists and teachers in Germany and Georgia and searching for partners and venues to realize further programs and events to be offered in the future such as a Little Scientists Club and an Artists Club for children to be led by local professionals. The company is also talking with local schools and other educational institutions to bring these products to Georgia as a local distributor. The Happy Company shop, with 5 employees, is open hours from 11 to 8 Monday to Friday and 12 to 8 on Saturday and Sunday.

Penelope Cumler

28 December 2015 20:23