Small Shop Spotlight // ZDough

I’m Kira, a former Elementary & Special education teacher, wife, and mom and also the founder of ZDough where I make handmade scented play dough. I’ve always been a maker and love finding ways to create extraordinary toys out of everyday items. 


A few years ago I started making play dough with my daughter, Zadie, as a fun rainy day activity. I found it strangely satisfying. I loved helping her measure the ingredients, knead the still-warm dough, and hear her call, "Is it ready yet?!?" Soon I started experimenting with colors, adding scents, and perfecting my recipe. Zadie loved playing with it, so I figured, "Oh, maybe I'll just make another batch..." I also realized that I liked playing with it too. I would show my husband and friends my new concoctions and soon we'd all have dough in our hands, intently crafting our own masterpieces while chatting about the day's events. I started giving dough to our friends and neighbors, bringing it to play dates and making it with cousins. Zadie chose her favorite color for party favors at her birthday. It wasn't until late one night when I found all of the adults in my family sitting around the table playing with my play dough that it occurred to me that I wasn't the only person who found joy in the simple squishing and shaping of play dough. Finally I decided the time was right to cast a wider net and start a proper business. 

The mother in me loves watching my daughter explore her world through the sensory experience of play dough. The elementary teacher in me thinks about all the ways play dough spurs her pretend play and makes her eager to pull out the letter stamps or cookie cutter shapes. The special education teacher in me welcomes the sensory experience play dough provides and the opportunity for her to "smooth out her feelings" when she's in a stormy mood. It has become my creative outlet and I have loved taking a vintage toy and turning it into something new, stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing.

When racking my mind for a name the only thing that came to mind was ZDough, after my Zadie. I never would have started making it if it weren't for her! I hope you enjoy ZDough as much as we have! 

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