#eeBooAroundTown-Getting to know Brookside Toy and Science

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

brookside

 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!

eeBoo with  staff

 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.

butterflies

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.

eeBoo display

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

Emily green wig

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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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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