The Beautiful Game

Once a year in Honduras, Tegu employees and their families gather together as a community to participate in a futbol tournament. It’s a celebration of the Tegu family, and the passion that runs deep, both for why we do what we do, and the beautiful game of soccer.  This year, we were able to bring along a camera to capture and share some of the joy in the festivities.

 

 

Keep Building.

Honduras Social Initiatives, The Tegu Team |

A Letter to our Retail Friends and Partners

Dear Retail Friends and Partners,

 

I hope this letter finds you well and prepared for the most exhilarating time of year.  For those of you that I have yet to meet, I am Will Haughey, one of the brothers behind Tegu.  Chris and I started on this adventure together as founders 6 years ago and we could not be more grateful for the journey it has been thus far.  Now, I am well aware that the fourth quarter is upon us, and every minute counts more than ever, so in that spirit I will be brief.

 

I am fresh off a trip to our manufacturing headquarters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with our entire Tegu team.  As most of you know, we made Honduras our wholly-owned factory home to bring lasting change to the Country, the third poorest in the Western Hemisphere.  Tegu was born out of the question, “Could we create a for-profit company based in Honduras that would foster a positive social impact through its business?”  I have come back to this question countless times over the past 6 years and to be completely transparent with you, there have been days where this ambition has felt unattainable.  There have been days where Chris and I have looked at each other and asked, “Are we crazy to try to achieve this?”  But, those dim moments shrink into the shadows when considered amidst the week we just had in Honduras.  I am elated to share that we just celebrated two major milestones that would not be possible without you:  1) we’ve now hired over 200 workers earning living wages in Honduras, and 2) we’ve planted over half a million trees in connection with our product sales.  The joy we find in these incredible markers must be shared with you, so please take a moment and be encouraged by the direct impact of your partnership.

 

While there are many inspiring stories to share from our time in Honduras, one specific event stands out.  Tegu hosted a ‘family night,’ where we invited our entire staff and their families to a carnival of sorts.  A delicious meal was shared, faces were painted, soccer was played, laughter was overflowing and most importantly, friendships were born and joy abounded.  This massive congregation of over 500 Tegu family members gave us a snapshot into what the next generation of our company looks like.  I share this image with you as a partner on this journey.  I share this vision to inspire you.  Lives change when we reach more customers; thank you for helping make this change real.  Again, please take a moment and digest what this means: the joy your customers experience with Tegu is simply the beginning of a bigger, life changing story for proud, hardworking families in the impoverished nation of Honduras.

 

I am honored to call you a partner in Tegu’s story.  And, in closing I want to thank you for your support, commitment and passion for Tegu.  Our team can have all the passion in the world, but if it doesn’t translate to you, our mission is lost.  I wish you the very best this holiday season and again I thank you for the space you have given us in your store (and in your heart).  You can sell Tegu with as much confidence as you’ve ever placed in any toy; we’re an authentic story of unlocking good through play.  And, we will be cheering you on from a distance—please know that we love hearing from you, we delight in serving you and we look forward to connecting when the fourth quarter dust settles!

 

All the best,

 

Will and Chris Haughey

 

Building the Business, Honduras Social Initiatives, Profit Attacking Poverty, The Tegu Team |

We went to Honduras – Part 1

If you’re familiar with the Tegu story, then you know that our “reason for being” as a company is to bring lasting change to the country of Honduras – and the Developing World – through economic development. That can all feel a little bit abstract, and if you’re like us, a little far removed from our everyday lives at times, so we wanted to share some moments of the trip our team from the States took to visit the proud home of Tegu Blocks. As you would expect, the factory was bustling and the “Tegu Elves” were hard at work heading into the busy holiday season.

Our trip contained 6 plane rides, 3 days spent at our factory, 3 incredibly different geographies, 1 very bumpy ferry ride, meetings upon meetings upon meetings, tons of inspiring people, and memories to last a lifetime – a lot can be packed into one short week. We could spend hours recounting our recent journey to Honduras, but instead we figured we’d let our pictures do the talking.

Part 1: Family day and the Tegu World Cup

Day 1 was spent celebrating the Tegu family with a special day to bring the entire factory team – and their families – together, highlighted by the Tegu “World Cup.”

Lunch time with Family – catered by members of our Tegu Team!

Finishing up lunch with some dessert

“I have no idea what happened to your cake…”

Getting some flying fun in before the rain!

Getting ready to put on a show

Cotton Candy? Yes, please!

A little friendly competition brings us all closer

Waiting to get into the game

Tegu’s soccer team – Deportivo Tegu – is now official with new uniforms! We’ll be ready to take on Manchester United any day now…

Stay tuned tomorrow for a look at the Tegu Factory.

Keep building,

Team Tegu

Honduras Social Initiatives, The Tegu Team |

Guest Post // The Roots of Change Start With A Wooden Toy Block

We are excited about our new retailer and partner Reweave, and honored that this guest post by Abhi Nangia got picked up by the Huffington Post!

 

108 degrees. Air conditioner: blasting. Not a square foot to spare on the bustling streets of New Delhi. It was my third trip to India, and I was 15 years old.

I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t believe there were children younger than me working under the blazing sun to feed their family instead of reading storybooks to feed their mind. It tore me apart to learn that the parents of over 60 million children in India can’t afford to send their children to school. Why is the world like this?

At 15 years old, that question stung. Why is the world like this? I had no grasp of what poverty was before that day; everything I ever wanted was handed to me. I went to The Park School, a progressive school that gave me the opportunity to be free — to live a life of learning. This life journey led me to South Africa, Bali, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Jamaica to explore that same question — to learn about the way people live around the world.

It stung. Why? Why didn’t those kids have the opportunity to learn? Why didn’t these children have the opportunity to play? The answers began to flow in over time: their parents couldn’t afford to send them to school; they couldn’t afford to buy books. And toys? Well, toys were simply out of the question.

In Honduras, there is a company working to change that. A company that believes every single child should have the opportunity to play. Better. That believes that our environment matters, and that deforestation needs to end. And they believe that people should have the opportunity to earn a living wage, working in a place that feels like home.

Tegu has not only reinvented the wooden block (it’s magnetic); it has shown that we can reinvent business to do good. For too long, we’ve been trying to outsmart poverty with policy. Tegu’s team is showing day in and day out its commitment to make a lasting difference in Honduras, using business as a tool. The roots of change are in the way we run every last business, and in the way we treat every single employee. Tegu is showing that with a great product, not only can we build profitable businesses, but also we can build businesses that are geared towards making an impact above all else.

As I play with these wooden blocks, I can’t help but wonder what the lives of those children in India would have been like if their parents had the opportunity to work for a company like Tegu. I can’t help but wonder what that kind of opportunity could have done for their children. I can’t help but smile at the idea of those kids playing with these very Tegu blocks — building stories of promise and hope for their future.

From India to South Africa, Bali to Ghana, Nicaragua to Jamaica, and Honduras to the United States, every single child deserves the opportunity to grow up learning how to learn. Every child deserves the opportunity to live a life with purpose and dignity — to spend time playing and learning. We at reweave believe that better-world business can create that opportunity. Through livelihood development, businesses like Tegu can help to change the way we do business, for good. If we succeed in this mission, we will inevitably find ourselves in a world we are all proud to live in — a world in which everyone has the opportunity to live with purpose and dignity.

 

 

Honduras Social Initiatives, Retailer Spotlight, Tegu in the Media |

The Blocks That Built a Support System

Tegu was founded with a vision to create a for-profit business that could positively impact the people of Honduras. Part of that includes paying our employees livable wages, allowing them to support their families and afford an education. Simply by purchasing Tegu Blocks, you are contributing to what we call “the Tegu support system.”

Did you know you can help get kids off the Tegucigalpa trash dump and into schools? It is only by $15 to fund one week of school.

Tegu Wooden Block Company Support System

View our 2012 Annual Report here: http://www.tegu.com/annual-report-2012/

Honduras Social Initiatives, Our Annual Report |

Best toy company of the year?! :) See our 2012 Annual Report

Maybe you have been with us since our very first magnetic wooden block set launched in 2009, or maybe you had never heard of Tegu before receiving a set for Christmas last year. However long it has been, we want to take a moment to say thank you! 2012 was a big year at Tegu, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

People are first drawn to Tegu for many different reasons. Our social mission in Honduras. Our desire to foster creativity and help equip your children through open-ended play. Our eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Our simply beautiful design. We are taking these things seriously, and having fun doing it!

Thank you for caring about these things too. Thank you for introducing Tegu Blocks into the lives of your family and friends. We look forward to many years together ahead! We love being a toy that children return to year after year and we love seeing the way our building system grows with a child as their imagination grows. We look forward to seeing their children play with Tegu. Yes, that’s right! We are confident in the heirloom quality of our product and we are creating a toy company designed to be around 100+ years from now!

Before we get ahead of ourselves, we want to celebrate 2012. Starting tomorrow we will be sharing fun facts from our 2012 annual report and hosting 24 hour promotions to let you know how much we appreciate you!

View annual report here! 

2012 Thank You From Tegu Founders

A Grown-Up Twist on Wooden Toys

Make a note: we’re adding a grown-up twist to the classic wooden block with Asterisk—the world’s most attractive desk toy. Consisting of a magnetic base and seven magnetic wooden sculpture pieces, this curiously attractive executive toy will help satisfy your creativity with its sleek appearance and addictive magnets. From the office to the classroom, these wooden blocks can be combined in endless ways to create elegant and inspiring designs.

With just a few weeks until Father’s Day, it’s time to put down the tie and think outside the box. Between now and Friday, tell us why your dad is the coolest on the block and you could win an Asterisk for him this year.

Enter on Facebook

  1. Like Tegu on Facebook
  2. Publicly share any Asterisk post by Tegu with your friends and tell them why your dad’s the coolest on the block

Enter on Twitter

  1. Follow @Tegu
  2. Tweet: Hey @Tegu! Help my dad be the coolest one on the #block http://bit.ly/KJU1c8 #asterisk

You only need to share or tweet once to participate. However, there are two ways to earn an additional entry: getting five friends to “like” your post on Facebook OR receiving three retweets by three different users on Twitter. The contest launches today and ends Friday, June 8th. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, June 11th. Ready to purchase an Asterisk right now? Use the code TEGUASTERISK to receive 20% off through Friday, June 8th.

This summer, help your dad recharge at the office—no batteries required.

A Curiously Attractive Footnote For Your Desk

A Curiously Attractive Footnote For Your Desk

All Things Design, Honduras Social Initiatives, Play Value of Toys |

Growing the Future With Wooden Toys

Guest post by Claire Thomson

As many of you know, the heart of Tegu’s mission is to have a positive social impact on the people, environment and economy of Honduras. In addition to providing meaningful, living-wage jobs to Hondurans, Tegu partners with Trees for the Future to promote forest conservation and AFE (“Love, Faith and Hope” in Spanish) to help educate Honduran children in need.

On March 29, Tegu factory employees, Trees for the Future and AFE gathered at the school for a day of learning and fun. We began the morning hearing about AFE’s progress since its inception in 2003, rescuing numerous children from Tegucigalpa’s trash dump and offering a high quality education. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, and due to the lack of opportunities, many families work in the trash dump collecting materials that can be redeemed for money. Many of these family’s children have very limited resources, and AFE provides not only an education, but also a stable environment in which they can grow. At Tegu, we love the work that AFE does and also love spending time at the school when we get the opportunity. To date, Tegu has funded 3,326 days of education for AFE students.

We next heard from Josh Bogart, the Central American coordinator for Trees for the Future. Josh spoke to us about the importance of forest conservation and sustainability. To illustrate this, Josh brought a handful of kids to the front to act as “trees.” He showed us the role trees play for our environment: a home for animals, shade, watershed protection and oxygen generation, just to name a few! A significant portion of the Honduran rainforest was lost to illegal logging in the 1990s, and unfortunately illegal logging continues today. We hope that by educating these young children about the importance of forest ecology, they will become future partners in conservation. Tegu’s contributions to Trees for the Future have resulted in nearly 35,000 trees being planted in Honduras. Following the talk, we broke into teams and got down and dirty planting new citrus trees around AFE’s playground. Kids and adults alike had a blast!

Below are photos from the day. We look forward to watching the trees grow!

IMG_3803.JPG

IMG_3794.JPG

IMG_3790.JPG

Honduras Social Initiatives, Profit Attacking Poverty |