Category: Retail Store
|January 1, 2018||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Retail Store|
Vote Aidan’s Toy Trove Best New Business For 2017
It’s hard to believe that 2017 has come and gone. Welcome 2018! Last year was such a whirlwind that I have hard time remembering what happened. On July 4th, we opened our Aidan’s Toy Trove retail store location in downtown Crescent City, California. Word spread slowly about our new toy store but we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of foot traffic for the holiday season. Thank you to everyone that took the time to come and check us out. It was a blast to see so many familiar faces as well as meeting new people. Our store has changed a lot since we first opened. We still have a nice selection of Breyer horses but we have an amazing amount of new product too. Those who saw the store at opening commented that they barely recognized it anymore!
Last Thursday, we received an astonishing phone call from the Crescent City Chamber of Commerce. We were nominated for the Best New Small Business award for 2017. There are numerous other deserving new businesses in the running. We would be flattered to receive your vote but we would be equally as happy to see any of the other businesses recognized for this award. You can vote for the Best New Small Business (as well as the Best Nonprofit Organization) at the link below. You can only vote once so choose carefully!
Voting closes on January 5th, don’t forget to cast your vote!
Thank you everyone for your support. Have a very happy New Year!
|December 25, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse, Retail Store|
Aidan’s Toy Trove Retail Store Hours & News
We hope that you and your loved ones had a wonderful Christmas. Christmas Day marked the first time that our retail location has been closed in over a month and gosh golly, it was NICE! From this point forward, our retail location will be closed on Sunday. We will likely close for a second day during the week as well. For now, we want to keep the store open Monday – Saturday so that we can get a feel of when people are most likely to come in. We are now open at 10:30am instead of 11:00am as it seems that a lot of people are downtown in the mornings. We may even choose to open earlier but we don’t have any employees and we don’t want to spend the entire day at the store. Yes, even Aidan can get bored at a toy store! Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! For those wondering, the horse pictured above is Phineas, a Breyer Custom Clydesdale Foal by Karen Griegsen.
Aidan’s Toy Trove Retail Store will reopen on Tuesday, December 26th and resume the normal hours of 10:30am – 5:30pm. It’s a bit up in the air if we will be open on New Years Day. I need to poke around downtown and see what stores are open and what stores are closed. We had a blessedly busy time at the retail (and online!) store in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We expect the pace to slow down in January and we will hopefully have time to rearrange the shelves into something that at least resembles order. I find myself constantly putting toys back on the shelf where they ‘belong’, kids have an uncanny knack for finding toys in every nook and cranny of the store! And please don’t apologize if you tobble the Tobbles! They are after all TOBBLES. Who can resist pushing the gravity defying tower just a little more?! As a side note, we only have 2 Tobbles left in stock.
We are running low on a lot of merchandise. Our Pocket Magic and Magic Kits were extremely popular as were our magnetic games and Brainteaser puzzles. We are having a hard time stocking our super fun Brainteaser puzzles so what you see in the store now is all the we will have for a while. Our Fat Brain games Coggity and Crankity flew off the shelf but we still have a few left. We have both of these challenging games set up in the front of the store. If you haven’t seen these games, please come and check them out. I promise that they will get your mental gears cranking!
We also made some progress assembling and filling our exciting and ever growing Toy Tower!
Last Friday, we received a big shipment which included the Breyer 2018 Holiday Horse Winter Wonderland and an assortment of Breyer barns, dolls and accessories. I knew that the Breyer Traditional Deluxe Wood Barn would be big but I didn’t know that it would be THIS BIG!! At last Breyer, you have provided me with something that I can’t ship!
We originally sold out of all of our Winter Wonderlands but now we have a few more to sell 😊 If you haven’t seen him, he is the Totilas mold in a lovely pearly perlino with Holiday attire and 2 adorable new owl sculpts hidden in his tack.
The Standing Owl is part of the Collecta 2018 Lineup. I didn’t see the other owl in the catalog but I could easily have overlooked it. Speaking of Holiday Horses, Breyer revealed the 2018 Holiday Horse as Celestine. She is the new Premier Club Lipizzaner mold in a pearly white with wintry tack. Some collectors think that she looks partially translucent. I personally don’t think that she is but only time will tell!
As this blog post is already getting rather lengthy (and I am rather tired), I’ll make a separate post about the Breyer Christmas Special Runs Emerald, Sapphire and Amethyst.
Thank you everyone for your support. The holidays aren’t quite over yet and we sincerely hope that you have a fantastic end to the year. You might even see a special New Years Sales from us! Happy Holidays everyone and thank you, thank you, thank you!
|December 17, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Model Horse, Retail Store|
Where I’ve Been & the Breyer 2017 Collector’s Club Appreciation Offer
I truly feel like I’ve gone through a bit of a time warp. Thanksgiving crept up on me and now Christmas is just 1 week away. Yikes! Business has definitely picked up at our retail store, our eBay Store AND our Website Store. This is FANTASTIC but I’m physically and mentally drained. Aside from our online business, I have never worked in retail before. When we opened our retail location in July, I had no idea just how big of a chunk I had bitten off.
Truth be told, our primary intention with the retail store was to move our massive Breyer inventory out of the house and to provide me with a quiet place to work on the online business. We were keeping a watchful eye on the commercial space available for rent and when a down town location opened up, we jumped on the opportunity. And when we jumped, we jumped high and we jumped blindly.
Our first hurdle was getting the store into move in ready condition. We took possession of the store in June and set our opening date as July 4th. That time frame was optimistic to say the least. The store had mold on the floor where it met the back wall. And by floor, I mean uneven sheets of plywood. We were able to get the owner to cut out the mold and even out the plywood. We installed new laminate flooring ourselves, we painted the inside blue and spent a silly amount of time masking off the molding which was to be painted white. We finished installing the flooring and had the painting completed the last week of June. But nothing went smoothly. We failed building inspection twice. Once for not being ADA compliant and once for not having exit signs that lit up when the power went out.
While waiting for the signs to arrive and be installed, we started to set up shelving. The checkout counter arrived in the nick of time and the day before opening we were still stocking the shelves with inventory. Somehow, we had made the store presentable enough to open as planned on July 4th. But then I blinked and POOF, summer came and went and then fall went missing. Just where had all the time gone?
I was mystified and to a point still am. I put a lot of time into placing orders, tracking inventory, stocking the shelves and sourcing new product. I spend a huge amount of time promoting both the retail and the online store. To start with, I was able to work on our online business for several hours while watching the store. Much to my amazement, the holidays brought out the customers (duh!). I found myself accomplishing less and less for the online business. With the increased foot traffic, there also came an increase in online sales. We’re still scrambling to pack and ship orders while having the retail store open 7 days a week. As of right now, on Sunday evening, we have 15 packages to ship out Monday and the night isn’t over yet. I can’t wait for Christmas to come so we can go back to being open 5 or 6 days a week. We will have to shuffle the retail store hours with the New Year but logistically I’m too brain fried to think that far in advance. On a side note, eBay rescinded their ban on watermarks. We need to give this some thought but this will likely allow us keep our eBay Store open. We haven’t found the time (there’s that word again, time!) to migrate the Website Store to Shopify but that is a move we will be definitely making, it’s just a matter of WHEN. Originally, early 2018 was the planned migration time for the website but when eBay changed the watermark ban, the website migration became less urgent.
I did not have time to post any videos to YouTube last week and my posts to Instagram have been on a sharp decline. It feels like I’m never able to finish a blog post. Checking in on Facebook seems to be my most frequent online activity. So where have I been? Simple, the store ate me! I’m not kidding when I say I’m chained to the store. It feels like I live there!
I haven’t been able to keep up with the Breyer News. Tonight, I noticed that Breyer is offering a ‘free’ Mystery Model Gift to Collector’s Club members with a $125 purchase. I happily took the bait on the freebie model last year which was a Glossy Cosette or a Glossy Julian and Sophia.
The 2015 Collector’s Club Appreciation offer was a chance at receiving a glossy #1730 AQHA Anniversary Horse in glossy chestnut or a glossy grulla.
I definitely preferred how a glossy model was guaranteed in 2016 versus just a chance of one in 2015. Breyer states that the 2017 Collector’s Club Mystery Model has a value of $74.99. Breyer’s email says that the offer is limited to the first 500 orders and will be one of the following:
Glossy Liberty (I don’t have a picture of this one, sorry!)
It’s worth noting that both Bandera, Hickory Hills Wallstreet and BHR Bryant’s Jake will be discontinued in 2018. Liberty is already discontinued. I think glossing models is a great way for Breyer to clear out the warehouse but I’m too worn out to feel very excited about this offer. Perhaps I will feel differently after a good night’s sleep. Speaking of sleep, that has also gone missing. Can anyone help me find it?!
|December 14, 2017||Posted by aidanstoytrove under Retail Store|
New Fat Brain Inventory Now In Stock!
We received another shipment from Fat Brain Toy Company this week. Fat Brain is one of our favorite companies to work with. The careful thought put into each creation and the exceptional quality truly sets this company apart from the others. We have setup touchable displays in our retail store of most Fat Brain products so that you can see the uniqueness and quality for yourself!
A small sampling of our toys and games from Fat Brain Toy Company include:
The very popular Spin Again and the newly received Mini Spinny.
We just received buildable Dado Cubes to compliment the Dado Squares. The Dado Cubes add a whole new dimension to building!
We have a variety of sizes of Squigz, the fun little suckers in stock.
If you haven’t seen the The OffBits yet, we have restocked our nearly sold out inventory. The OffBits Characters and The OffBits Vehicles breathe new life into recycled metal hardware and provide endless building options and an online community to share your creations.
Please stop by our retail location to see many other fun and educational toys and games! Our stocking stuffers are selling quickly. Don’t delay if you still have a stocking to fill!