Sunday, February 03, 2013

That Time I Opened A Store

I opened a shop on Black Friday 2012.

More specifically, on Black Friday 2012 I opened a toy shop and soon-to-be playspace. The urge to do this was not unlike the urge (for me) to write: I just wanted to tell a story. It turned out to be a story about two friends who have the best tech-free playroom ever. And they have these eccentric traveling relatives who send them toys from all over: Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Peru, France, Spain, Italy, Vermont, New York, San Francisco. And they have parents obsessed with good design and, apparently, the color orange.

Here's command central:

And here's some Danish foxes and monkeys chilling in a French pram:

Here are some very lovely things sitting upon a shelf:

Judging from the expressions of confusion and disconnect that have flitted across the faces of friends and acquaintances, my "walking off the plank" (someone said that!), has caused some confusion. But the truth is that small biz-ownership suits me well. First of all, as I said, this whole undertaking feels like a big story to me. Plus, I love experiential retail; I truly believe that customer service is an art; I thrill to the hunt for beautiful things; and I enjoy tearing the learning curve to shreds.

Oh but wait, there's more: the collection that I curate in the shop reminds me of a simple and sweet time in the lives of my own children. Yes, I have been pleasantly surprised by the tween and teenage years, but the truth is that I miss being able to scoop them up with one arm, plop them on the couch, and read board books together. And then on the flip side of that is that I wanted them to see me do something...not so amorphous. Like most women my age, I'm still a jill-of-all-trades/responsiblities, but now there is at least one thing I do that's simply defined.

Oh my god. I opened a toy shop.

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