RAAR Emporium was born out of two people's love of collectable toys and beautiful design. Both Chris and Angela are from creative backgrounds which means that design and quality are valued highly when sourcing stock. Other factors include educational value, longevity/dual purpose and most importantly a fun factor. We have a shared belief that our products should be suitable for all; that toys should just be toys, with no limitations on gender or age, so that everyone can develop their potential or gain new skills.
Chris says this about Angela:
Angela is constantly creating something and would like more hours in the day as she never has enough time to do all the ideas in her head. She loves her vintage sewing machine which she has had since she was 17 and has taken all around the country in the many places she has lived. She is a multi-talented lady, and crafty (in a sneaky AND creative way). She initially trained as a ceramicist and worked as a demonstration potter. Then she became an award-winning florist, working in 5 different shops and also exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show. Angela started making felt toys back in 2005 whilst working a more academic job as a librarian in higher education. They slowly developed into the Fiendish Grubkins available today, all 10 of them; unique and monstrous! She loves all things monster and anything that says RAAR!
Her ability to turn her hand to anything crafty led to working in the toy industry, setting up and managing two brand new toy shops for other people; one a creative and craft toyshop, the other an educational toyshop. This has led to a huge amount of knowledge on various toys and contacts with lots of wonderful suppliers, large and small. When the time came to take on a new challenge, she was bursting with creative ideas to put into their own project, a real gem of a shop with more ideas than they currently know what to do with, so stay in contact as there is lots more fun to come.
Angela says this about Chris:
Chris's enthusiasm is infectious. He does all the technical gumph but would much rather be playing with stuff. He collects designer vinyl toys and also has a large collection of his own childhood toys including Star Wars figures, Turtles and Lego. He is very interested in street art and all types of photography, as well as music and history. He has an amazing imagination, fires off hundreds of ideas and is very hard to keep up with! He cares about everyone having an equal chance at life and does not believe in stereotypes; everyone is unique and amazing.
Chris is a trained photographer, working in a variety of different sectors including fashion, product, portrait and weddings in between retail work over the years. He has managed retail stores for other people in various places, always wanting to move back to the South West where he is from. He was brought up helping out with lots of kids as his mother was a child-minder; thus he always had an excuse to play with toys. He is Chief Product Tester at RAAR Emporium.