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Company History

Barbara Kane started HearthSong in 1983, partly to see if other parents were experiencing the difficulty she was in finding good, wholesome toys for her children. Mostly she was motivated by her strong conviction that childhood is a special time in each human lifetime, and she wanted to make the best of it for her children. In Kane's view, "Earlier is not necessarily better. It's important that children learn basic skills, but at the right developmental age. Most of all, children need time for creative, imaginative play. In fact, it is through play that children learn most readily." The best way to express this reverence for the human experience, she felt, was through quality products.

Kane chose the company's name to reflect her values: the hearth, a traditional symbol for the center of the home, and song to symbolize the family spirit, the joy that parents and children can experience together.

In addition to its collection of "classic" childhood toys and games, HearthSong also designs and develops its own toys, family games, unusual craft kits for parents and children to make together, and decorations for seasonal celebrations that reinforce the "family" theme.

In choosing items, HearthSong merchants ask the following questions: Does this item have beauty, durability and usefulness? Does it represent a cultural heritage? Is it made of non-toxic materials? Is it developmentally appropriate for the age group for which it is intended? Does it encourage a sense of family or community? Does it have a timeless or classic quality? Only products that meet these criteria are offered in the HearthSong catalog or on our web site.

In addition, our Quality Assurance Department conducts rigorous testing of every product we carry to make sure every aspect is in strict compliance with federal guidelines. And we ask children to test them too. We write careful, explicit instructions for our kits and ask that children test those, also, before we publish them.

Through the years HearthSong has established a reputation for quality products, with more than 25% being developed exclusively by us. HearthSong has been awarded numerous Parents' Choice Awards for these outstanding original products. For further information on the Parents' Choice Foundation, visit their website at www.parentschoice.org.

In 2001 HearthSong was purchased by 1-800Flowers.com. We moved from California to beautiful Madison, Virginia, where our sister company Plow & Hearth is located.

In January, 2010 the company was acquired by Evergreen Enterprises, beocming part of Plow & Hearth, LLC. The company's owners, Ting Xu and Frank Qiu came to the US from China when they were in college. They made Virginia their home and started Evergreen in 1993 when Ting and her mother began making and selling garden flags at the Virginia State Fair. Ting and Frank feel they are truly living their American dream and Evergreen Enterprises has grown to become a global manufacturing and wholesale company focused on home and garden décor.
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