As many companies are . . . it all started out of my garage in 1992. My wife and I didn’t find a suitable multi-use table for our two children, 2 and 4 years of age. So the wife says, “why don’t you make us a table, honey?” I did. As per my wife’s instructions, I increased its size to fit the Lego/Duplo® base plates. Then, holes around the border of the table were added to accommodate Brio-Mec®, a fun construction toy at the time. Bingo, the Nilo® table was born. Shortly after its arrival, our friends started flocking over to our house to see this “table” in action. They couldn’t believe it. . . our kids and theirs were playing quietly around this multi-functional table. They watched as the children played in total peace and how our house stayed in order. WOW!
More friends, local day care centers and teachers suddenly started calling upon me to get one or more of our tables. That Christmas I ended up being Santa’s little helper and made about 40 tables. Over the next several months I started to market them to local toy stores and catalogue companies. I quit my real estate and finance career of 13 years and started playing with wood and toys for a living. Having obtained many orders for the 4th quarter of 1994, I ran out and bought machinery, leased industrial space and quickly ran into debt for the next few years, as is typical. We put everything on the line because we believed in what we had to offer.
I am happy to say that it was my wife’s idea. God Bless that woman! She’s terrific and I love her dearly. Little did she know that her table would become an item creating worldly demand, making many a child and family happy and content. We made the right decision. Our tables were being offered in many of the best catalogues and specialty toy stores in the world and continue to be. We continue to develop new product that meets our high standards and requirements of “Quality, Versatility and Value™”, products that hopefully exceed your expectations.
We know that our products are the best that money can buy. If there’s a product you feel would be great to bring to market, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. You can email me at support at nilotoys.com (note, spelled out to help avoid junk mail.)
In conclusion, it has been a lot of hard work but well worth the effort. We will always remember our humble beginnings and thank God for all we have been blessed with. We thank you for your support and welcome your thoughts and questions. Nile Ernst – Founder. Leigh Ernst – Table Inventor, Personal Vice President, mother of our three wonderful children, my best friend for life!
Nile Ernst, Founder and CEO