In case you missed it in the Messenger, we were featured a few weeks back.
Newly started Maple River Toy Company creates unique wooden farm toys.
On the shelves of a heated and humidity controlled Sterling Center garage lie various wooden toy tractors. The tractor’s simple and elegant nature bears no resemblance to the shiny metal and plastic miniatures found in most commercial stores. They often remind parents of their favorite grandparent’s toys.
With sleek finishes and moving wheels of various timbers, these toys seem to belong in children’s hands, rather than in a display case. Without knowing, it would be easy to assume the collection came from an antique store or an old farmhouse. In fact, William Feldmann carved the toys recently.
Feldmann, who moved to Sterling Center from rural Iowa in 2009, feels at home in his woodshop. After peeking into his grandfather’s old shop to watch him work the scroll saw as a toddler, he was hooked. “I officially started doing wood ‘stuff’ in 4-H and been doing it ever since,” he stated. A passion became a profession when Feldmann opened Maple River Toy Company in 2011.
Now that the holiday season looms in the horizon, Feldmann’s carving schedule becomes more hectic. Even when he only offered his toys and other creations as gifts to family and friends, this trend held true. Conversely, in the summer months, Feldmann completes his prep work and design planning. Although, most of his requests come during the holidays, he takes birthday and other order requests throughout the entire year.
When Feldmann isn’t at the table saw or on his 3-D Google planning program, he stays busy. In addition to his carving business, he also serves as a certified public accountant in Mapleton. Recently, he also taught two semesters of accounting at Minnesota State University, Mankato before being released due to state budget cuts.