ASTRA Member Spotlight – Scott Friedland, Timeless Toys

Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight – Scott Friedland, Timeless Toys”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Marcia Haut, SmartNoggin, inc.

The ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series.

Marcia Astra.JPGToday, we feature Maria Haut, president of SmartNoggin inc.

How did you get into the toy industry?
As an early intervention developmental therapist for children ages newborn to 3 years old, I was unable to find the ideal toy or learning tool to help parents begin to encourage their baby’s early milestones and begin their learning journey.  In 2010 I set out to create “that toy.” Using early childhood research, collaboration with early childhood experts and the “home made” toys that I had been using in my therapy with little ones as a guide, the NogginStik Developmental Light-up Rattle was created and launched in November of 2012. Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Marcia Haut, SmartNoggin, inc.”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Kimberly Freeman, Diverse Marketing

The ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series.

Today, we feature ASTRA sales representative member Kimberly Freeman of Diverse Marketing.

Kim Freeman.jpgHow did you get into the toy industry?
I found the job posting on LinkedIn. I flew to Dallas to interview and left with a job and a sample bag.

Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Kimberly Freeman, Diverse Marketing”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Tammy Clower, Giggle Monkey Toys

The ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series.

Today, we feature ASTRA retailer member Tammy Clower of Giggle Monkey Toys in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Tammy Clower.jpg
How did you get into the toy industry?
The toy industry found me. I am a retired kindergarten teacher and I’d heard that the local toy store was hiring for a part-time position. Perfect! I loved my 10 hour per week job. After working at Giggle Monkey Toys for 10 months, the owner called me to say they were going to close. [My husband] John and I decided to buy the store. We bought Giggle Monkey Toys in August 2014 and we are having a ball. I truly feel that this is a calling. Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Tammy Clower, Giggle Monkey Toys”

What If…?

What If…?

I remember feverishly taking notes during Jon Acuff’s Opening Keynote session at my very first Marketplace & Academy in Nashville. I hadn’t actually planned to write anything down, but I ended up typing the insights and ideas Jon shared as fast as I could on my phone. The thought-provoking ideas Jon shared in his session (along with his humor and humility) really resonated with me. How many of you were there and remember his session?
Continue reading “What If…?”