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A Breath of Fresh Air

by Alyssa LaFaro


Customers of the Magnifilous Toy Emporium in Charleston shop there so often that it’s hard to stay ahead of them with fresh product. “They tell us, ‘We’ve already bought everything you have!’” says Nancy Sommer, who opened the store with her husband Blane in 2012.
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Cooking With STEAM

by Alyssa LaFaro and Tina Manzer

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) without the art, is like flour, butter, sugar and cheese without the eggs. The “soufflé” won’t rise high above its own vessel. Here’s what I mean: A 2013 study of a group of Honors College graduates from Michigan State University – graduates who majored in STEM subjects from 1990 to ’95 – revealed that the ones who owned businesses or patents were also the ones who had received up to eight times more exposure to the arts as children than the general public.
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From www.smallbiztrends.com

"Unchain Us" Says Independent Restaurant Group
September/October 2004
Similar to the big box retailers that take business away from small independent toy stores, chain restaurants have seemingly unlimited budgets for marketing campaigns and real-estate acquisitions. The Council of Independent Restaurants of America (CIRA) is one organization creating initiatives to ... [click here to read more]





10 Ideas to Shake Up
Your Store

by Rene Nordhus and Kristen Dodds, ABC & Toy Zone

With four locations in Minnesota, ABC & Toy Zone was recently named the “Best Toy Store in Minneapolis” by the local newspaper City Pages. After hearing that, we decided to contact the owner, Rene Nordhus, and ask her what she does to be “the best” and how she continues to “shake up her store” after almost 20 years of business. Here’s what she and store manager Kristen Dodds told us.

1. Bright blue labels with yellow lettering help arrange our store by categories, which include LEGO, puzzles, crafts and teacher resource books, to name a few. They’re easy for customers to see, and help them locate the type of toy they desire, as age and ability do not always match.
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by Kevin Fahy

kevin fahy

Keeping
the Books

I was leafing through the mail at my house and I came across an invitation to a baby shower. I don’t know what inspired me to read it, since it was not addressed to me and is hardly the sort of thing in which I would normally take an interest, but I did.
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