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Featured Start up: BeginAgain

Play time. Doesn't it seem long ago for us working adults? Yet that play time helped mold us and prepare us for the rest of our lives. BeginAgain is bringing that love of play and imagination to a new generation of kids, using creativity, eco-materials and smart business sense.

BeginAgain is a new toy company owned by Chris Clemmer and David Bowen (founders of Sprig Toys). The company is a client and resident of Rocky Mountain Innosphere, Northern Colorado's innovation-based business incubator.

Learning the lessons from past experiences has really solidified Chris and David's vision for their company's future. Bring back the days when all American toys were built with natural materials, when children were in charge of their playtime, when kids didn't need batteries or electricity to do extraordinary things.

The spokesperson for the toy company is Benjamin Barlowe—he's a Fort Collins native and toymaker. Benjamin will tell the story of toy making in Colorado and help kids and parents rediscover playtime spontaneity and curiosity.

Using only natural products as their tools, Chris and David have created a line of toys to fulfill kids' love of art, sports, superheroes, adventure and more. Toys are made from natural cotton, natural rubber, and an eco plastic primarily from wheat starch.

This summer, BeginAgain has the chance to introduce itself to a new market of niche toy retailers at the ASTRA Marketplace. ASTRA, or American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, is the perfect spot for BeginAgain -- their market is children and parents who understand the importance of quality toys and play and who shop in specialty retail. You won't find any battery operated anything in the line up. Kids make the noises. Kids provide the entertainment. Wasn't that how it used to be for us?

The company's business philosophy is clear—work with local companies as often as possible, locate U.S. based manufacturing facilities to make their products, and spread the message of Colorado innovation and entrepreneurship to their network of businesses.

BeginAgain is committed to Fort Collins and the kids who live and visit here. They recently made a donation to the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Science and will partner with the program coordinators to host toy workshops and classes in the museum's new space.

The ASTA Marketplace takes place June 19-21; at that time the BeginAgain website will go live. Click through to see the magic and ingenuity from some spectacular toymakers. The company's product line will hit the shelves in September.