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?
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How’s Business?

How’s Business?

“How’s business?”

How many times in any given week do we all hear this question?  The usual answers are given off the cuff: “Great!” “It’s been a little slow, but things will pick up” or “OK.” But after we answer, we tend to think a bit and wonder how our business really is doing in comparison to others.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a tangible way to really get that information?
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Inclusive In-Store Events

Inclusive In-Store Events

Inclusion is about offering the same opportunities to everyone. As a specialty retailer, most of you are offering in-store events to the community multiple times per month. What are the chances you have a child with special needs join in on the happenings? Well, statistics tell us that 1 out of every 6 kids (15% of the child population) participating in your in-store events has a developmental disability. Probabilities are high that you are providing activities for both kids that are typically developing as well as kids with disabilities like autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.

Your specialty store may just be the “go-to” place for fun activities and events in the community. How do YOU ensure you include everyone?

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