The Modern Family zone has more to occupy mini modernists than a Dwell parent could ask for. One of our favorites was Brinca Dada's Emerson House dollhouse. Designed as a toy adults like to look at and kids like to play with, the house caught the eyes of tikes and parents alike. Dwell associate editor Miyoko Ohtake chatted with the new company's cofounder and CEO Douglas Rollins about its debut product.
What were you doing before launching Brinca Dada?
I was a toy buyer for ToysRUs.com and was buying a lot of ugly toys. I realized there's a market for modern toys.
Why did you decide to start with a dollhouse?
It was a good start because there's already a modern aesthetic and style. I went to Tim [Byle, Brinca Dada co-founder and design principal], who's an architect, and asked if an architect would design a dollhouse. He got on board and we created the Emerson House.
Are kids really supposed to play with dollhouse?
We make toys adults like to look at and kids like to play with. My three-year-old daughter jumps on hers, sits on hers. It had to be something fun and sturdy.
Where is the house being made?
A: We went to U.S. manufacturers but no one would do it for us—no one would even give us a quote! We found a manufacturer in China that does eco-friendly toys; he really helped us make the Emerson House more green.
What's green in the house?
It's made of birch or woods that are CARB certified. All the paint is non-toxic. There are also working solar panels that charge the rechargeable battery that is used to power the LED lights in the house. There are also materials like acrylic so we say we
Where can consumers purchase the Emerson House?
We sell it on our own site, www.brincadada.com, and also from stores like FAO Schwartz and other smaller shops around the country.
What's next for the company?
Next is the Bennett dollhouse, which is a townhouse. For 2011, we'll be branching out beyond dollhouses but of course also making more dollhouses.