CMR_CM.pngThe 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. This week, we’ll be featuring ASTRA members who have received their Certified Master Retailer designation.

What do you enjoy about being in the toy business?
I really enjoy the nostalgia that comes with seeing toy companies bringing back classic toys as well as seeing the new items that come out and how children get excited about them just as much as I do.


What has been your biggest challenge in this business?
My biggest challenges are learning how to manage product levels and knowing the right time to re-order product. Another challenge is knowing which licensed items are worth bringing into the store and which ones won’t sell as well.

What inspired you to become a Certified Master Retailer?
I am not yet an owner of our store, and I was looking for something to help me become a better manager. What ultimately came out of this certification is, yes, I have more knowledge about how to manage, but I also have some knowledge that will help with the transition of the business when my husband and I eventually take over the reins.


How has being a Certified Master Retailer enhanced your business acumen?
Our store is currently in the process of re-designing our website. The CMR training is helping us create a better website because we are more aware of how we want to present ourselves to the community and world.

What is one “a-ha” moment you had while earning your Certified Master Retailer designation?
My “a-ha” moment came during the Marketing portion of the certification when I realized that we, as a company, were already doing some of the things that were encouraged. However, I also figured out that there were a lot of things that were not helping us–both things we were doing that weren’t contributing to our success and also things we were not doing. This lead to our re-thinking our website and how we want to communicate with our customers in the future.

What would you say to someone who is considering become a Certified Master Retailer?
I would encourage someone who is interested in the CMR certification to not go in with any pre-conceived ideas of what it will be and to keep an open mind. I thought going in that I was really going to enjoy and excel at certain aspects and dislike others. I did enjoy the sections that I thought I would, but I also found enjoyment and helpful information in some of the most unlikely places.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Emily!

Interested in being featured in a future Member Spotlight post? Apply at the volunteer opportunities featured on ASTRA Connect.