Welcome to refinedtoys.co.uk!
Refinedtoys.co.uk is an outlet of Shoppublico Limited (553406): a company working towards making an actual difference to the status quo in the e-commerce industry by focusing on leveling the playing field for buyers and sellers around the world. It is made up of a team of 5 individuals lead by Benjamin Wright and assisted by Giovanni Olakunori whom he met in his first semester of at the University of Edinburgh.
Our address is located in a residential area of Edinburgh although we most of the products we have in stock are located at various warehouses around the country (including the outskirts of Edinburgh) to get to you faster as well as reduce costs and more.
We offer thousands of soothing baby and kids products from your favourite brands which we deliver at low prices (sometimes the best prices you could find on the internet!) with a service driven by gratitude and excellence.
We mainly sell to customers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Netherlands. However, we’re open to receiving orders from customers in other parts of the world (contact us if you’re interested in a custom order).
We’re insatiably focused on delivering a customer experience with which we can go to bed proud of while working towards developing the emotional, mental and social well-being of babies and children around the world through the products and content on this website.
Studies show that the level of upbringing a child receives (exposure to intellectually stimulating toys, love, etc) at the early stages can help them succeed in life.
We believe every child irrespective of whether they’re blue, yellow, black or white deserves the best. If kids are given the proper care, we truly believe it’d make a significant positive impact in our world.
Our story (a shift from 3rd party platforms)
While we don’t consider ourselves another retailer that’s just trying to flip things for profit, we started off just like most online retailers by selling on 3rd party platforms like Amazon and mostly focused on groceries and other home items. However, we found our calling in the baby and kids product niche because we believed we stood a better chance of making a difference in this area. Besides, it just sparked that creative childlike side in us and we have never looked back since.
We’ve had a love-hate relationship with Amazon. It enabled us to reach more customers, which forced us to utilise various warehouses as well as implement various avenues in our fulfilment process in other to provide a thrilling experience to customers.
It allowed us to compete with other 3rd party sellers and took over 17 % of every sale we made while still expecting us to give the best prices.
We proceeded to invest heavily in our websites in other to give customers even lower prices as well as a better experience while still building our brand.
That has been going well and we owe it to people like you.
Giovanni, a soon-to-be Mechanical Engineer and a member of the team, is the inspiration behind Refinedtoys.co.uk.
Giovanni was born in Western Africa to two educative parents but has lived in over 4 different countries growing up. His dad was a senior lecturer of Marketing and taught in 2 universities in his country. His mum was an industrial physicist who ran a small business at the time of his birth.
Growing up, Giovanni didn’t have any access to TV’s, computers and other forms of educative toys that were popular amongst his friends, even though his parents could afford them. His parents were members of a religious organisation who believed that having some of these gadgets/toys were “worldly” and so weren’t needed.
As a kid, Giovanni then took to drawing, reading, playing with sticks and all other sorts of damaged items he found around. As he grew a little older, he used some of his snack money to buy toys for himself as well as engage in other curious adventures some of which were against his parent’s wishes. This was how he learned to use a computer and browse the internet.
Giovanni grew up having low-self-esteem and took on coping mechanisms that were detrimental.
Today, and with years of working on himself, Giovanni stands tall at 6.3ft; not complaining about his upbringing, but rather proud of it as it has made him a more grounded man, who’s been able to change people’s lives through the power of the internet.
Notable among his accomplishments is larnedu.com, which is an education-focused site that receives over 50,000 unique visitors from over 100 countries per month during its peak times.
His dream for refinedtoys.co.uk is for it to be a hub that helps in the development of the creativity and self-esteem in every child!
According to Giovanni, “I’m a big believer in developing a child to be rational and to have empathy, and without any form of abuse which can lead to lifelong traumas and insecurities. My mum wildly embraced a lot of things after my dad passed away many years ago, and it’s not hard to spot how this impacted positively among my younger siblings both academically and in other areas.
My younger brother for one started creating software that were used by thousands of people from all over the world some of whom even had to pay for this. Perhaps, this may be because he had a 24/7 access to computers and other intellectually stimulating toys at an early age, or it may be because he just has a much higher IQ. But I’m sure it’s also due to the level of upbringing he received. I’m proud of him anyways.”
Giovanni also inspired us to launch a few low-cost items such as our black doll which performed wonderfully well on the market.
According to him:
“I worked towards getting our Refined Toys branded black dolls to the market not because I was motivated to make a penny here and there but because I lived for over 10 years in some of the most populated regions of West Africa and I never got to see a black doll in any market. Not one, ever!
I’d see white dolls around (usually with blond hair, blue eyes, etc) instead of dolls that reflect on the true identity of coloured kids in these regions. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong having white dolls in a region predominately occupied by people of colour, I was consumed in the thoughts of how that plays on the emotional and mental state of children of colour.
To confirm my experience in Africa, I conducted research, and the result was shocking! I was not the only one who’ve never seen a black doll in any market throughout my years touring and living in West Africa.
I also noticed black dolls weren’t popular in the high street stores in the UK and those sold online were a high priced so decided to do something about that
My goal was not to make the best doll that ever existed but to simply to make a quality and highly affordable one for the market.
And we did it. ”
We sold our black doll at a retail price of around £8.5-£11 and even had people buying from us at retail price and flipping it for profit on sites like eBay.
We ranked on the first page on Amazon UK for black doll and remained in that spot for over 3 months.
We’re still on our journey, and we’d always strive to put the customer first in everything we do.
We hope you enjoy shopping with us at refinedtoys.co.uk. If you have any complaints, suggestions or questions, please keep in touch. We will be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.