Every individual passing by means of this life will unknowingly leave anything and take some thing away. Most of this something” cannot be noticed or heard or numbered or scientifically detected or counted. It’s what we leave in the minds of other individuals and what they leave in ours. Memory.” ― Robert Fulghum, All I Truly Want to Know I Discovered in Kindergarten In July, I was lucky sufficient to be capable to take a few days to go on the road to meet with members. This was our second On the Road” show. This time, Sue Warfield, director of member relations, and I went to the west coast visiting a number of toy retailers and talking to retailers, sales reps and companies. We also participated in Portland’s renowned Game Day, an adrenaline-filled day of laughing and learning.
These trips are an opportunity to meet members and experience the toy market, very first-hand. It is an chance to share and to listen. Most importantly, it is an chance to be a component of the magic that is ASTRA.
Portland is a beautiful city. It is home to national favorites, like Stumptown Coffee and Voodoo Doughnut. And in spite of the reputation for rain, the city’s famously great for outside adventures, from hiking Mount Hood to the supremely bikeable downtown. And Portland gets it” when it come to indie retailing. I visited Oodles four Kids in an region of Portland known as Sellwood. There we talked with Bobbi about the tactile/fidget items that are extremely popular.
Next cease was Mudpuddles exactly where Kate was hosting a Where’s Waldo treasure hunt to encourage shoppers to uncover the elusive Waldo even though going to indie retailers throughout the location.
I also visited Piccolo Mondo Toys. Michelle has provided her shop a worldwide feel with a mural of well-known destinations around the world.
And lastly, I couldn’t leave the west coast with no visited with the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Mary Sisson at her gorgeous shop in Vancouver, WA, Kazoodles.
While there, I was also in a position to participate in Game Day. There have been retailers there from as far away as Alaska and the occasion was sold out. Game Day was an opportunity to play but also an chance to chat. Usually, we did much more speaking than game playing.
I heard from a manufacturer who has been with ASTRA for numerous years. For the duration of that time, he has sold his organization to a big manufacturer. Although his new parent business was a lot more mass industry focused, he has helped them comprehend and appreciate the good results he has discovered in specialty. They are discovering the energy of functioning with ASTRA retailers. I talked to a retailer who walked me by means of the productive transition of shop ownership from parents to youngster. I heard repeatedly from men and women the power of being a member of ASTRA and assistance of the community.
Every day of the trip itself, and every day since we’ve returned, I am thankful for what I was in a position to expertise. These conversations and experiences serve as a reminder of the essential operate we do.
While this was my final road trip for 2018, I consider of this as a starting not an finish. I hope I can continue to pay a visit to stores in 2019 to continue to convey the support of the employees, board leadership and ASTRA membership due to the fact we continue to be mighty together.
Kimberly Mosley, CAE is the President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). Kim has been a leader in the association sector for much more than 20 years with expertise in technologies. She is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and Association Forum exactly where she served in several leadership roles including serving as chair of the Diversity Workforce Committee. In 2002, she was awarded the Diversity Executive Leadership Scholarship and in 2003, she earned distinction as a Certified Association Executive. She also lectures, blogs and writes articles on association management and technology.