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Easy come, not-so-easy go.

This time last year I was THRILLED beyond belief to announcing that I would be adding a manager to my already gifted team of employees. And not just ANY manager. Someone who was already known and loved and came with her own following. For the last year, Kira Brant (local artist, community volunteer, and former business owner) has been my right hand, my cheerleader, and head friendly face you see at the shop. She has selflessly taken so much off my plate, allowing me to have a more flexible schedule to do the hard work of growing my own business outside of its four walls. I've also had more time with my family and more flexibility knowing that my store and my customers have been in very capable hands. I've had more time to focus on building relationships in this community and in our downtown. With her help, we've implimented several new programs and even some behind- the-scenes processes that just make my store BETTER. Her loyalty, dedication, and friendship have all made ME better. And now, after just one year, we're saying goodbye to her as a manager.

The short story is that Kira and her family have decided that retail hours are not what is best for her family right now. If I say one thing on repeat to my employees, it is that I want this job to be a blessing to them personally and to their families. And also, "WHERE DO ALL THESE DUST BUNNIES COME FROM??" But seriously, no one is working for me because they want a decent pay check. Every single person here is invested in the store and in me personally. So when it stops being what is best for your family, it is time to make a change. I'm thankful that Kira has already found something that will be a perfect fit not only for her schedule, but also for her love of working with little people. There are about to be some very fortunate pre-k families--I'll leave it at that and allow Kira to make her own announcement about what is next for her.

For now, this means you will see much more of me in the store. I'm not actively seeking to hire a new manager because I wasn't even looking for a manager when I offered Kira the job. That is just how God works. Literally, (and I assure you I'm using that word correctly) every employee I have has been a God-thing. The day you see a "Now Hiring" sign in our window, you should worry a little. Because it will mean that I believe I and my store have fallen out of God's favor. I trust, for now, God wants me IN my store taking care of the day-to-day operations AND working diligently to see that it continues to grow AND serve this community. Having said all that, if you are feeling called to work/serve in a loving, playful environment-- This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ! Let's see if your talents fit our team. I'll need some extra elves before you know it...

As I reread this, I'm getting a gloomy vibe. Please know that I don't feel gloomy or even sad about this change of pace for the store. We have some VERY exciting things on the horizon! You've undoubtedly seen the new paint color, aka Toodleydoo Blue. Appropriate signage and a few more playful details will follow in the months to come. We have some cool partnerships emerging, amazing events with our fellow downtown businesses, and this snazzy new web site. Where, VERY SOON, you'll be able to shop from your couch and pick up your expertly wrapped gifts or even have them delivered... FOR FREE...on a Friday. 

As we embark on our FIFTH year of business, I'm confident that it will be our BEST year. I want you to know that I'm so thankful for ALL OF YOU! It is such a pleasure to know you and your families. I'm humbled to part of your special occasions. Whenever I am tagged personally or the store is mentioned in a social media post, I get a little knot in my throat. There is nothing else I'd rather do as "work" than to PLAY with your family! The friendships created because God allows me this position are worth the long hours and bad pay. I suppose that is why I'm not sad that Kira is leaving. I may have a little more work to do on my own, but I'm not losing a friend or a loyal supporter. THAT is what matters most, isn't it? Now, let's have a party and eat some cake! #wearefour

 

Well, that's puzzling...

 

I started in the toy business about ten years ago. At that time, in that store location, there was an entire WALL of puzzles ranging in piece count from 25 to 1000+, plus a nice, big spinning display of chunky puzzles, peg puzzles, etc. Puzzles were an everyday item back then. Meaning, pretty much everyday we sold a puzzle. Parents and grandparents snatched up the latest designs and appreciated the wide variety of art and style that our puzzle selection offered.

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