What is your favorite Peaceable Kingdom Memory?
We get excited when our reps come by to show us the new, fabulous Peaceable Kingdom items! That is how we ended up with our gorgeous, large greeting card rack that we love!
What are your thoughts on cooperative games?
The Peaceable Kingdom cooperative games are adorable, and our very best selling line of games for Preschoolers!
When you hear the words kindness, courage, and connection what do you think of?
We live in a town where community is a very big part of our lives, including shopping local in stores just like ours. We have a strong connection to our loyal customers, and appreciate the choices they make to shop with us and keep that money in our community!
What is your favorite game?
I’m kind of a grammar nerd 😊, so I love Say the Word! Making up the silly stories is always hilarious! I also love Listmania! It’s a fun, quick game that is great for long car trips as well!
What made you get into the toy industry?
We had carried Teaching Supplies for many years, as well as educational toys so it was a natural addition to our store. In September of 2009, we purchased another small, local toy store and integrated it into our store. It was a perfect fit from the very beginning! Toys are so much fun, who couldn’t enjoy running a toy store? 😊
What is something unique about your store?
We are the biggest little toy store in Oklahoma! The largest, locally owned toy store with some of best features you could want in a store, including a small “kids only” door beside our main door that sometimes even parents can’t resist! We also have fun play stations throughout our store for the kids to play with including a “book nook” with a child size couch, two different train tables to play with, scooters to ride through the store, and more! We also offer free gift wrap, even at Christmas! We offer a “birthday registry” that kiddos can pick out everything they want for their birthday, and we load it up into big buckets for their party guests and family to shop from!
Do you have any secrets or words of advice about running a successful store?
It’s a toy store. It is meant to be fun! When new toys come in, open them up and play with them. You can’t say they’re fantastic unless you’ve tried them. Get involved with your customers, let them know that terrific customer service is to be expected in your store! That gives them a reason to shop with you and not the big box stores. Give your customer a fun, unique, and personal experience that makes them want to come back. We know several of our customers by name, including their children’s names, things they like, etc. It is a connection that is essential in keeping small business alive!
- What is the most rewarding part of your job?
My customers. When you see the faces of children walk in the door and immediately light up, it warms your heart. When a grandparent comes in a seeks you out because you give “the best advice ever” in finding the perfect toys, it makes my job so rewarding. When you the giggles of kids throughout the store as they play with the toys, it will make your whole day.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
These days it’s the internet. We face that challenge every day. Fighting to keep customers shopping local, instead of saving a couple dollars (or sometimes saving nothing!) by ordering it online. Online shopping will truly be the death of all small business unless we make a conscious effort to keep our money local!
What trend are you most looking forward to/or enjoying this year?
We’ve been enjoying some really interesting trends this year-including anything to do with mermaids, sharks, and narwhals! 😊 Also, a growing trend are “fidget” toys. Things to keep your hands busy, like fidget cubes and spinners.
Any big events you are excited for this year?
We have several events happening this year, including both our Back to School Day in July and Neighborhood Toy Store Day in November. Both days include a 20% discount storewide, special giveaways, and goodie bags for our customers!
Anything else you would like the readers to know about your store? Unique, funny, interesting, celebratory, etc.
In addition to being a locally owned, family business, my co-manager Jennifer and I have been working together, running the store for 17 years! All of our children-my five, and Jennifer’s two, have been born in that time frame and have grown up in our store. We have customers tell us they can’t remember a time where the two of us weren’t here and helping them find the perfect toys! You might say we know our stuff a little bit! 😃