eeBoo Around Town: Summer at Nantucket Bookworks!

Posted by design on Jul 6, 2017 in eeBoo Around Town, Just for Fun, Special Interview, Uncategorized

Happy Summer! We headed to the beach to learn more about eeBoo’s long-time retailer  located on Nantucket Island- Nantucket Bookworks! Read all about them- and their summer reading picks below!

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Quick intro, who are you? Tell us about your store!

We are Nantucket Bookworks – a funky little shop located at 25 Broad Street and thirty miles out to sea on Nantucket Island. We have an eclectic mix of a little bit of everything from books, toys, games, greeting cards, and party accessories. Our Children’s Room features a book tree and is the perfect spot for the young and young at heart. We host Story Times every Saturday morning and just opened Barnaby’s Place – a new kid’s café featuring Nantucket’s Barnaby Bear. It’s a place where kids can meet, eat, read, and create. Above the shop is Second Story Loft, a luxury three-bedroom literary oasis available for weekly rentals or events. Nantucket Bookworks is one part of Nantucket Book Partners – two island independent bookstores together with Mitchell’s Book Corner. Visit both for the full story!

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How long has your store been open? Tell us your inspiration for opening! 

Nantucket Bookworks originally opened in 1972. Our goal is to put a good book and a great gift in the hands of our customers. Our inspiration for opening was to bring an alternative bookstore to the community! 

What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?
Bookworks manager Suzanne’s favorite toy was her Steiff animals. Steiff has been around since 1880 and makes tradtional German plush toys, they’re really beautiful and handmade. Suzanne and best friend of 50 years used to collect Steiff Piff mice as children and would make worlds for them in a tiny closet. Her friend is now aptly a stylist+prop manager, it was meant to be!

Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? 
We love the eeBoo watercolors and Italian watercolor paper and are partial to all of the “Sea & Whale” designs from eeBoo. We carry so much of your line, but we find that visitors want to take home a souvenir that is unique and represents the area.

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Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? 
We love the eeBoo Italian water colors and water color paper and are partial to all of the “Sea & Whale” designs from eeBoo.

Suggest some local fare. What is your favorite dish, snack, or drink in your neighborhood?
We have some of the most beautiful beaches that are fun for the whole family. We recommend getting a snack at Barnaby’s Place, grabbing a book at one of our book shops, and reading it at a beach of your choice. After the beach, swing by Cisco Brewery, a great place for live music and a cold drink. You can bring the whole family, even the dog!

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Give us some summer reading recommendations! What do you suggest?

For adults, we recommend these new books -
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
From our local best-selling authors and “queens of the beach reads”-
The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand
Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer
*You can order signed copies from Nantucket here! 

For kids -Ben’s Revolution by local historian and author Nathaniel Philbrick. Also from Nathaniel Philbrick is In the Heart of the Sea and Away Off Shore, two books perfect for Nantucket history buffs.

Thank you, Nantucket Bookworks!

Are you a small retailer? Do you carry eeBoo? We want to hear from you!

#eeBooAroundTown showcases small businesses we work with from all over! Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the heart of our business. Do you want to participate in our #eeBooAroundTown series? Reach out to samantha@eeboo.com for inclusion!

All photos provided by Nantucket Book Partners, 2017.

 

#eebooAroundTown- A visit to Black Ink

Posted by design on Jan 10, 2017 in eeBoo Around Town

Red and brown

Happy New Year! To kick off 2017, we sat down with a long-time friend and customer Susan at Black Ink to hear all about her inspiration for opening two stores in Massachusetts!

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Quick intro, who are you? Tell us a little about yourself!

As co-founder and owner of Black Ink, I am buyer, creative director, bookkeeper, master ladder-climber, curator, repository of obscure product information and chief maintenance engineer.  Luckily my mid-western upbringing gave me the necessary skills to operate a retail business – a crazy work ethic and resilience. Good thing, as I am also a single parent. My kids grew up in the stores, and now as young adults both work part-time with me. We’ve come full-circle!

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In which neighborhoods are your stores located in?

There are two Black Ink stores, the original on Charles Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston and the subsequent on Brattle Street in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Our two communities are just three miles apart on opposite sides of the Charles River, yet so different.

How long have the stores been open? Tell us your inspiration for opening and a little about your aesthetic. What kind of goods do you sell?

We first opened on Charles Street in 1994, fortunate to be given the chance to test our theories. As the business grew, product selection was informed by our experiences as parents, home-owners and members of the community. When the opportunity to expand to Harvard Square arose in 2002 we took all that we had learned and prepared to meet the challenge.

Black Ink was named for my favorite color to stamp with, yet our product selection soon expanded from rubber stamps and paper to include just about any category that felt compelling. There was a lot of experimenting as we sought goods that were functional, well-designed and fun to use. My love of paperclips, rubber bands, clothes pins, erasers and ephemera is still obvious in our mix. I discover many things while traveling with my kids, we love to get out and experience other cultures and come back home with a fresh perspective and maybe a few new product ideas.

 What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?

As a child I enjoyed detailed drawing and sketching, and made paper-dolls for my many younger siblings. I also learned to sew my own clothing – beginning a lifetime of projects including ceramics, jewelry making, weaving, carpentry and product design.

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 Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? Why?

eeBoo has long been a creative staple at Black Ink! There are a few absolute favorites/long term sellers – notably the French and Spanish Flash Cards and Bingo sets. Over the years we’ve also kept About Face on our shelves at all times and recently added puzzles. These products are constantly being newly discovered by customers as well-designed and really timeless interactive games. The aesthetic is just right.

Tell us about some of your favorite spots in your stores respective neighborhoods!

In Boston and Cambridge we are accustomed to sharing our community with the world. When asked, my staff and I always recommend local businesses, which are the backbone of our neighborhoods.

Harvard Square, what can I say? Most people begin their adventure in the Yard (Harvard University’s historic epicenter) and wander out to the actual “square” (which is not square by the way) to really experience the essence of our community.  On any given day you will hear multiple languages being spoken, interact with students and locals, and see our ever-changing urban landscape. Look closely for the truly local independent establishments: Harvard Book Store, Curious George,  Leavitt & Peirce, Bob Slate Stationers, and of course Black Ink. On a daily basis we suggest Crema for a great local cafe, and our neighbor Cardullo’s – best deli around – not to mention great people watching from their outdoor tables, Charlie’s Kitchen for a beer, and Tealuxe – not just for tea, for an experience.

Charles Street in Boston is a must for visitors, with probably the greatest concentration of local businesses in the city. Stroll down the street from the Charles Street stop on the Red Line to experience an authentic visit to the city, grab some food, peruse the many shops and boutiques and head for the Public Garden (swan boats, ducklings, et al.)

Hope to see you here soon.

Thanks, Susan! We really enjoyed learning about your stores and how you got started with Black Ink! Something that we at eeBoo noticed on your blog, but that you did not mention in this interview, is that you frequently donate proceeds from your sales to Planned Parenthood and Partners In Health, a Boston-based organization that has been working in Haiti for years on health issues, setting up hospitals and training caregivers.  We want to call out your good deeds and express gratitude toward you for giving back where you can! You’re an inspiration to us and a great reminder to spend our dollars within our communities!

Check out the interactive map featuring Susan’s local picks for both Cambridge & Boston below!

Are you a small retailer? Do you carry eeBoo? We want to hear from you!

#eeBooAroundTown showcases small businesses we work with from around the country. Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the heart of our business. Do you want to participate in our #eeBooAroundTown series? Reach out to samantha@eeboo.com for inclusion!

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#eeBooAroundTown- Hanging out at Momo’s Tree House in Philly

Posted by design on Aug 15, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town, Special Interview

Blue and Blush

Happy August! Today, we are going to take you to Philly to learn more about Momo’s Tree House, a local store where children can explore, play and craft! We sat down with the owner Heather to learn more about the inspiration behind Momo’s Tree House and life in Philadelphia!

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Quick intro, who are you? A little about you!

I’m Heather and I’m originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, and I’ve lived in Philadelphia since I graduated college in 2009. I don’t have much of a Southern accent any more, but I do say “y’all,” so it’s pretty obvious that I didn’t grow up here. My husband and I love mountains- hiking when it’s warm and skiing when it’s cold. I’m a competitive swimmer. My life revolves around toys, swim practice, and family, so maybe I haven’t changed much since I was 8.

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Where is your store located? How would you describe your local community?

We are located in Old City, the historic district of downtown Philadelphia. We’re quite close to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Ben Franklin’s house, and plenty of other historical attractions. Old City is also Philly’s hub for hip independent boutiques and art galleries.

Most of our customers are young families. More and more couples are choosing to stay in the city to raise their children. We also get plenty of visitors to Philadelphia. It’s fun to meet people from all over the world and to be part of their Philly experience.

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How long has your store been open? Tells us your inspiration for opening and a little about your aesthetic. What kind of goods do you sell?

Momo’s Tree House opened in November of 2014. My vision was to build a store where kids explore, play, and discover. We have a large play area and a cute little craft table that’s always available. We also have demo products all over the store.

Our core belief is that children learn through play. When I’m looking for new products, I’m thinking about how children play and how play helps them reach milestones. I tell my customers that it’s not about what the toy can do; it’s about what the child does with the toy. We stay away from electronics and licensed characters in favor of items that encourage creative, child-directed play.

What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?

I enjoyed building. As a preschooler, I loved a set of wooden blocks at my grandparents’ house. When I was older, I loved marble runs. My sister and I hosted quite a few parties for our stuffed animals.

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Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? Why?

We have a Best Pals’ Diner Pretend Play set displayed at our in-store play kitchen, and it gets a lot of attention. Children love to pretend to cook for their parents. Sometimes they even take my order and prepare something for me! It’s adorable to watch their imaginations at work.

Tell us about some nearby spots in your neighborhood! Food, drink, anything fun!

History buffs love Old City. My favorite historical site is Independence Hall, and I highly recommend that visitors take the time to go inside. The surrounding national park is beautiful, especially the 18th Century garden. I love having so much green space in the middle of the city.

Khyber Pass Pub is my favorite spot for after work. It’s one of those cozy neighborhood bars where the food is delicious and everyone is always in a good mood.

Old City is full of independent boutiques like Momo’s. My favorite shops are Scarlett Alley for women’s gifts, and Art in the Age for men’s gifts, and Lost + Found for myself.

Check out Heather’s picks on the map below!

#eeBooAroundTown showcases small businesses we work with from around the country. Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the heart of our business. Do you want to participate in our #eeBooAroundTown series? Reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

 

#eeBooAroundTown-Getting to know Brookside Toy and Science

Posted by design on Jul 21, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town

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 Happy Summer! For the latest in our #eeBooAroundTown series, we traveled to the hometown of eeBoo’s International Sales Manager Emily to hear all about the store where she worked  long before her days at eeBoo!  Brookside Toy and Science is located in Kansas City, Missouri. This local favorite is stocked with a variety of items including toys, games, dolls, collectibles, science kits, oddities and more.  Read below as we chat with owners Jim and Mary Jo Ward about their store, their community, and even taxidermy!

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 Quick intro, who are you? A little about you!

J: I’m Jim Ward and I’m 62. I started working in the store in 1964 for my mother. In 1970, I left and worked in commercial real estate. In 1995 I came back to the toy store and bought it from my mother.

MJ: Hi! I’m Mary Jo. I married Jim in 1978, and previous to that, I taught elementary school.

Where is your store located? How would you describe your local community?

 We are located in Brookside at 330. W. 63rd street in Kansas City, MO. It is a quant neighborhood with 100-year-old homes and lots of big trees. It is occupied by young families and professionals. There are lots of sidewalks and beautiful parks; statues and fountains.

How long has your store been open? Tell us your inspiration for opening and a little about your aesthetic. What kind of goods do you sell?

J: My mother bought the store in 1964 because she had five children and was always shopping here for birthday parties and there were lots of large Catholic  families in the neighborhood- many families had 10-12 kids.  A few years later, in 1967, mom bought a 50-year-old science company and that began a specialty niche for us.

In addition to toys and games, your store features some very unique items.  Tell us about  the taxidermy!

 J: Years ago I was in a lodge on lake Table Rock near Branson, Missouri before the store here was filled with taxidermy and it was a real draw. I thought it might be a good attraction for us and it has been! All of the mounts are from estate sales. Nobody here hunts.

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Two Headed Duck

 What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?

 J: I loved building models, race cars, gas powered airplanes and Estes rockets.

MJ: I loved playing games, especially  Monopoly, and card games. I wasn’t big on dolls, but I did have Pitiful Pearl and Chatty Cathy. My favorite activity with friends was playing either “school” or “store.” I also loved “restaurant.” I was super excited when eeBoo came out with pretend play.

Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? Why?

 J: I love the puzzles. eeBoo’s greeting cards sell well for us!

MJ: Hmmm, so many! I love the sketchbooks and pencils. They make a wonderful gift for all ages.

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*Just for Fun!* Check out this old photo of Emily at eeBoo back when she used to work at Brookside! Oh, the memories!

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Tell us about some nearby spots in your neighborhood!

There are many unique shops and restaurants. One of our favorites is Stuff Kansas City for unique gifts. Our favorite restaurants are Bella Napoli and Avenues Bistro. Foo’s has great custard. We have two wonderful art museums nearby and also a miniature museum!

Thank you, Jim and Mary Jo! Check out their local Kansas City picks on the Google Map below! Also, you can take a virtual tour of their store on their website!

#eeBooAroundTown showcases small businesses we work with from around the country. Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the heart of our business. Do you want to participate in our #eeBooAroundTown series? Reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

 

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#eeBooAroundTown Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day at Book Culture in NYC

Posted by design on Apr 26, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town, Just for Fun, Special Event, Special Interview

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In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, we had a chat with Annie at Book Culture on the Upper West Side in Manhattan for our latest in the #eeBooAroundTown series!  Book Culture is a favorite of the eeBoo staff, and all locations are just a hop & a skip from the eeBoo office!

Quick intro, who are you? Tell us a little about your store.

I’m Annie, co-owner of Book Culture, an independent bookstore in New York City. I began working in my local bookstore in Connecticut when I was 16 and fell in love with bookselling.  After college I came back to the store and  eventually became the manager and buyer. I still remember the day I discovered eeBoo at a trade show and couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was (that store, Books on the Common, in Ridgefield, CT still sells eeBoo!)

Looking for a fresh challenge, I moved to New York in 2006 to join Book Culture. We now have three stores, two of which have big children’s departments. I’m still very much a kid inside and I have loved creating and running the children’s shops. I now have my own child, Benjamin, who just turned two. We’re having a great time discovering books and toys together.

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 Where is your store located? How would you describe your local community?

Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side are both fantastic neighborhoods, full of families who appreciate good books and toys.  We love all the playgrounds in Riverside Park and Central Park and the Natural History Museum is around the corner from our Columbus Avenue store. When Ben gets tired of reading books at the bookstore he insists we walk over to the library (the St. Agnes branch on Amsterdam has a lovely, old-fashioned Children’s Room).

How long has your store been open? Tells us a little about your aesthetic. What kind of goods do you sell?

Book Culture, originally called Labyrinth Books, opened in 1997 as a scholarly and academic bookstore in the Columbia University neighborhood. By 2009 the neighborhood was filled with young families, so we opened a second shop around the corner with books (and gifts and toys) for the whole family. In 2014 we opened another neighborhood store on the Upper West Side.

We encourage families to come and spend time in our shop, reading books and experimenting with toys. Our children’s rooms are full of fun nooks, places to curl up and read or daydream.

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 What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?  What was your favorite book as a child ?

I played pretend for hours on end as a child and used everything I could get my hands on in my games. I dressed up and played house or restaurant or library.  I would have loved eeBoo’s new pretend play sets.

Growing up, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little house books and the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Other favorites were The Borrowers, Strawberry Girl and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books.

 Which eeBoo product is your favorite? Why?

My long-time favorite eeBoo product is the Life on Earth Matching Game. But I’m looking forward to getting to know the puzzles, games and art supplies much more intimately as Ben gets older.

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 Tell us about some nearby spots in your neighborhood

In Morningside Heights the best place to eat is Community Food & Juice.  It’s casual but upscale and has excellent, fresh food.  One of the best bagel places in town, Absolute Bagels, is just a few blocks away.

There are tons of restaurants near our store on 82nd Street. My personal favorite is Peace Food Cafe, a vegan restaurant with especially delicious baked goods.

 

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  #eeBooAroundTown showcases the many small businesses that we work with around the country!
Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business.
small retailers,  want to participate in our eeBoo Around the Town series? reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

 

Hanging out in South Brooklyn at Picnic

Posted by design on Mar 23, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town, Just for Fun, Special Interview

Red and brown

Welcome to #eeBooAroundTown, our newest initiative to showcase the many small businesses that we work with around the country through a series of fun interviews! Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business. To kick off our series, we hung out with Lindsey Engler, owner of Picnic in Brooklyn!

Lindsey, tell us a little about you! Goodness… who am I? Well, first and foremost I’m a mommy of a 4 ½ year old little gal named Grey who was (and is) the inspiration for Picnic. Prior to owning Picnic I had worked in womenswear for many years doing both fashion show production and sales. After Grey was born I was wandering around our Brooklyn neighborhood while on maternity leave searching for cool, unique infant clothing. When I couldn’t find anything (shocking, as Brooklyn is the birthplace of cool) that I wanted to buy the concept of Picnic started to take shape. I ended up leaving my corporate position when my daughter was six months old, and we opened Picnic when she turned eight months old. It was a completely insane time, but sometimes a hint of insanity goes a long way! Who else am I? A doggy mommy, a wife, a native New Yorker, a BROOKLYNITE, a party thrower, an amateur baker, a traveler, a terrible singer (who sings at the top of her lungs) a reader, a foodie… and I’m also pretty funny…

What neighborhood is Picnic located in? How would you describe your local community? Our store is located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. We touch upon a lot of other South Brooklyn ‘hoods so we encompass families from Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and DUMBO. We have a great mix of families who have been in Brooklyn for an eternity as well as those who have just moved to enjoy the amazing lifestyle that Brooklyn has to offer. In either case we are all pretty passionate about our community and are very much a community based boutique. With the popularity of Brooklyn as a tourist destination in recent years we are getting more of an international crowd then we did when we first opened.

How long has Picnic been open and what is the inspiration behind it?  We have been open for 4 years and I am thankful for each day and each customer. The most rewarding part of owning your own business is growing within your community and in our case, growing up with all of the kids! Our slogan is “outfitting kids for everyday adventures.” When you look at the world from a child’s perspective everything becomes so fresh, fun and exciting. Picnic is about embracing that excitement and providing products that makes both children and parents smile a little brighter. For a little girl there is nothing more fantastic than wearing a dress covered in rainbows or a tutu skirt with a hint of sparkle… the same goes for our guys who love superhero capes and dinosaur tees… we like to help get their imaginations going wild! For the parents, I like to think we provide a nice range of unique, quality products that make them feel good about what they are buying for their children. We always try to address their specific needs while making sure that we add a bit of whimsy for the kids! We sell a range of products from apparel and accessories to gifts, books, crafts, plush toys and more! If it fits within our aesthetic and we think our kids will love it then it makes the cut! eeBoo is a perennial favorite!!! I’m pretty sure we’ve sold thousands of The Cupcake Game!

What were your favorite toys to play with as a child? Imagination is my thing so I’d have to say Cabbage Patch Kids! I was a child of the 80’s and as an only child I LOVED playing with dolls! (Never ask my mom how many of them I actually had… the number is embarrassing…) I also loved legos and dollhouses… maybe that’s why I married an architect?

Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? Why? Okay, I HAVE to say The Picnic Game, right? Actually I do love that one as it is a great gift, totally gender neutral and fun for kids from ages 2 – adult! We play it all the time at our house! However, the new Pretend Play sets have been life changing! They are so amazing and inspire such creativity within our kids! My daughter’s favorite is the World Traveler but they are all AMAZING! We hear there are new versions coming soon!!!

Suggest some local fare. What is your favorite dish, snack, or drink in your neighborhood? Ummm… this is Brooklyn, good food and drink are our THING! Okay, when visiting Picnic (with your child, of course)… we suggest lunching at Bar Tabac. I am a Francophile at heart and this place always does it for me. Tuna tartare for me and chicken paillard with fries (the best fries) for my gal? Oui! My husband has the moules…oh, and don’t forget a glass of Sancerre… or two. Then let’s stop at One Girl Cookies for one of their signature whoopee pies or cupcakes… then, if you need a coffee, or another fabulous sweet later in the day,stop into Café Pedlar just down Court Street… a little pick me up… and the perfect end to a great Brooklyn day…

Thank you, Lindsey for kicking off our #eeBooAroundTown blog series! We loved hearing more about Picnic & your special slice of Brooklyn!

Check out our interactive map below with Lindsey’s picks and of course, Picnic!

  #eeBooAroundTown showcases the many small businesses that we work with around the country!
Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business.
small retailers,  want to participate in our eeBoo Around the Town series? reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

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