In honor of National Toy Store Day, BRO is featuring Treehouse Toy Store – the city’s ever-faithful one-stop-shop for a wide range of fun and inspirational toys.
“When you shop at an independent toy store, you are entering a universe of play possibilities,” explains Kathleen McHugh, President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). “Neighborhood Toy Store Day is about celebrating the role the local store plays in the community. We are highlighting the expertise your local store has in selecting just the right innovative, exclusive and engaging toy to help your child grow and learn through play.”
Gaetana and David Schueckler, owners of The TreeHouse explained, “With our understanding of how kids play, we along with the other ASTRA members have created a list of toys that deliver the highest value, inviting imaginative discovery and encouraging creative thinking. This list represents a small selection of the unique quality toys we hand-select to carry in our store every day.”
Interview with Dave and Gaetana by Maddie Vilardo…
Q: What inspired you to open a toy store?
A: “We lived in the neighborhood and both had full time jobs… We were looking at the space at our first location for a market research business for David. The more we thought about it, the more we started to realize we should open a business we enjoyed doing; we should explore our opportunities and do something that would be a better fit for us personally. David used his market research background to pull demographics on businesses and we noticed that there was not a specialty toy store in the area. This seemed like a better fit for us to connect with the community and put something back in the area that was missing.”
Q: How do you differentiate yourself from other toy stores?
A: “You have to attract two different customers, the child and the purchaser. We offer a unique shopping experience, an atmosphere that ignites the child’s imagination and also makes the parent feel good and have a bonding experience with their child. Adults come into the store and are taken back to a great time in their lives as a child. Being in business 18 years, our customers do outgrow our store. But we hope that we create an experience for them and that they come back with their children. Being an independent toy store allows us to select every toy that comes through your door—based on what we see. Sometimes at toy shows we will see something and think of a particular customer that would love it.”
Q: What do you love about owning a toy store on Elmwood?
A: “We grew up outside of the city but we’ve been in the community for 30 years. It is a unique area, and it has a great energy. We have been fortunate to have wonderful customers that support us and we hope that we deliver on what our mission is. One of the most rewarding things in our 18th year here is having the opportunity of having our first customers bring in their children… and also parents who have now become grandparents. Customers will say, “I am so happy to have a reason to come back and buy toys.” We are fortunate to be a part of creating an experience or a memory for a child and also to be a part of growing up and people’s families.”
Q: What will you be offering for neighborhood toy store day?
A: “We try to make it a special day at the store. We always have game demonstrations, toy trivia, and a lot of interaction in a fun way with customers. We will have giveaways and a raffle at the end of the day. New this year, we will be offering the chance for a limited number of kids over the age of 8 to have the chance to become a TreeHouse toy tester. We will also have the famous caramel corn!”
Be sure to stop by The TreeHouse this Saturday, November 8th, for Neighborhood Toy Store Day! 793 Elmwood Ave.
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