ASTRA Member Spotlight: Paul Doxsee, Gepetto’s Workshop

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 Certified Master Retailer graduate Paul Doxsee, CMR, of Gepetto’s Workshop in Stevens Point, WI.

Paul DoxseeHow did you get in to the toy industry?
Gepetto’s has been a fixture on Main Street in downtown Stevens Point for more than 35 years. The store was started by my sister-in-law, Bonnie Brown. Back in August when Bonnie’s store manager left for another position, Bonnie asked me to step in. I happened to be available as my job in the healthcare industry was recently eliminated. I had years of managerial and technical experience that Bonnie thought the store critically needed

How long have you been an ASTRA member?
It’s a perk that comes with Gepetto’s being an ASTRA member! I think I only got formally into the ASTRA database about a month ago. However, I had been working with the ASTRA technical experts on a significant revision of our store website since September. Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Paul Doxsee, Gepetto’s Workshop”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Andrea Adarve, Miniland Educational

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 Certified Play Expert graduate Andrea Adarve, MBA,  CPE, of Minland Educational in Miami, FL.

How did you get in to the toy industry?Andrea Adarve
I have worked in sales ever since I graduated with my MBA. I didn’t start out in the toy industry but a very unrelated (more boring) industry – telecom. I love everything to do with sales including the interaction with people, financial analysis, target setting, etc., so I started looking for sales opportunities in a new industry when I got lucky enough to be given the opportunity to become the National Sales Manager of an amazing educational toy manufacturer who saw the drive in me even though I had no toy experience. Now I would not trade industries for the world! Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Andrea Adarve, Miniland Educational”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Amy Barrett, Lasso the Moon Toys

play_expertThe 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. 

Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Amy Barrett, Lasso the Moon Toys”

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations, Graduates!

Congratulations to the class of 2017! Commencement season is upon us and ASTRA is ready to celebrate the hard work of our Certified Play Expert (CPE) and Certified Master Retailer (CMR) graduates. We are gearing up to recognize the achievements of our members awarding 60 certificates to those who have completed the CPE & CMR programs on Monday, June 26 at the Marketplace & Academy Annual Business Meeting. We are thrilled to celebrate their achievement!

Continue reading “Congratulations, Graduates!”

ASTRA Member Spotlight: Nicole Jakob, Part Time Renegade

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 Nicole Jakob of Part Time Renegade in Winnetka, IL.

Part Time RenegadeHow did you get into the toy industry?
I invented a line of craft and activity kits that teach kids to be kind when no one is looking a few years ago and spent three years developing them and manufacturing them. Once I started shipping Renegade Made Kits, I was officially a freshly-minted toy maven! In the process of developing these, I went to a local toy store, The Children’s Gift Shop in Northfield, IL, and asked the owner and employees about what they would need for packaging, and what their concerns for a product were. They were so excited about my product and so helpful in the process, and suggested that I join ASTRA.

Continue reading “ASTRA Member Spotlight: Nicole Jakob, Part Time Renegade”

Guest Post: Is Your Computer Running Slow? Here Are 5 Reasons Why — And 5 Ways to Speed Things Up

Guest Post: Is Your Computer Running Slow? Here Are 5 Reasons Why — And 5 Ways to Speed Things Up

The New Year is in full swing and everyone is motivated to work hard after persevering through the post-holiday lull. But as you race from task to task trying to knock out that to-do list before 5:00 PM, perhaps you’ve noticed that your computer can’t seem to keep up.

First things first, don’t panic. Slow-moving desktops and lethargic laptops are more normal than you think — unless you started working on a new computer at some point in the past few months, chances are you’re actually using one right now. But that sluggishness is simply due to your normal activity, as well: running programs, surfing the Internet, and slowly filling up your hard drive.

Below, we’ve collected five of the most common reasons why your computer might be dragging, followed by five ways you can fix those problems and make your desktop or laptop keep pace with your work ethic.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Is Your Computer Running Slow? Here Are 5 Reasons Why — And 5 Ways to Speed Things Up”