If you visit the small village of Bethel, CT in New England, you will definitely notice a charming toy store which is situated at the Greenwood Avenue. It is a bright example of one of those successful small businesses, that survive and prosper despite the recession and onset of large supermarkets and online trading. Kim Ramsey, the owner of the store, is sure that the secret of her success is in personal and very warm attitude to every client.
The Toy Room was opened in 2006 on a small street, where it was hardly possible notice it. Two years later Kim Ramsey decided to change the location and move to the town center. Actually, the store moved just across the street, but from that moment, it was situated on a popular pedestrians path. Everybody was saying that she had chosen the worst time to do that. In 2008, the economic recession was killing small retailers all over Europe. But Kim decided to take a risk and to expand her business. She opened a new Toy Room, which was impossible to overlook. And that was the first big step to success.
The second was done almost unconsciously. Once a client called The Toy Store and asked: “Could you, please, choose and wrap a present for me? I’ll give you my credit card number and later I’ll come to pick it up”. Kim fulfilled the task. The client was happy. And then, the “word of mouth” advertising started to work. The client told to his friend, that friend told to their friends and relatives… Kim became what she calls “the gift concierge”. Ms. Ramsey also used social media platforms to promote her business. She often posts new arrivals and promotions. Clients are able to communicate with The Toy Store online, book some hot items and leave their suggestions.
Good location and fantastic reputation of a gift concierge are not the only specialities of this retail business. The owner of The Toy Store found another good way to compete with big stores. She tries to find local manufacturers of toys and games and source good for her shop from them. So, she supports local Connecticut-based business and proposes original and quality goods to her clients.
This year The Toy Room is celebrating its 10th birthday. Kim Ramsey has become an active and influential supporter of the Buy Local movement and her store became a “place to go” for everyone who lives in the neighbourhood. She always participates in charity events and town-sponsored activities, and always act like a sponsor for numerous community and school-related fundraisers. All that because she still believes in small retailers, in local business, and loves her community and The Toy Room. After 10 years of hard work Kim is still enthusiastic about the future of her retail in the world of mega-markets.