Business Close Up: Imaginations run wild at Imaginuity
National ‘Neighborhood Toy Store Day’ is Saturday, November 8. Imaginuity in downtown Rhinelander has two reasons to celebrate. It is also the toy store’s first anniversary. Owner Kay Hatch says it’s been a busy first year.
“The store space is fantastic, and we like being part of the downtown,” she said. “I have great staff, and we have amazing and loyal customers.”
Hatch, who also owns an Imaginuity store in Minocqua, says both will be ramping up the fun Saturday by offering in-store specials, prizes and refreshments. Additionally, the Rhinelander store recently donated toys and games to Kids in Need; and Minocqua has donations for The Lakeland Sharing Foundation. Customers have the option of donating Toy Store Day raffle prizes to these organizations, too.
This is the fifth annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day, and Hatch says she is pleased to be participating. “Events like these bring awareness to the downtown area and the value that independent businesses bring to a small town community.”
The Day is made possible by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) of which Hatch is a member. According to a press release, the organizers hope that families will discover the advantages this holiday season and beyond of shopping at an independent toy store. ASTRA has created a list of toys members have selected as delivering the highest value that promote imagination, discovery and creative thinking. Hatch says Imaginuity’s play experts will find the perfect toy or game and gift wrap it, too.
Independent stores like Imaginuity are known to carry toys and items from smaller manufacturers – things shoppers cannot get anywhere else. “I like to carry brands that have a story behind them,” Hatch pointed out. “Like these magnetic blocks which are becoming really popular for children to play with and adults to have on their desks to fiddle with as a stress reliever. They are made by Tegu, a company in Honduras which has a mission to foster a positive social impact.”
Another example of a ‘brand with a story ‘is Green Toys, which, like many of the brands Hatch carries, manufactures creative and durable toys in the United States. Green Toys makes theirs out of 100 percent recycled plastic. Less in the landfill; smaller carbon footprint.
Imaginuity’s customer service keeps them coming in the door, too. “Our game selection is unparalleled,” Hatch said proudly. “Our staff will steer customers in the right direction depending on whom they are shopping for, will play the game with them, and teach them how it’s played.”
In addition to the family games, Hatch says the store has a variety single player and logic games and crafts that can benefit older adults as well as children.
Imaginuity at 21 S. Brown St. in Rhinelander. The store is open year round, Monday – Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays in December. The phone number is 715-362-7778.