Monthly Archives: January 2012

Please Donate. It’s For A Good Cause!


Almost before our doors were open, we were getting asked for donations to one event or another.  And because we’re suckers, we wanted to give to everyone who asked for a handout. But we quickly learned that not everyone is legitimate and even if we just gave to the genuine causes, we would have nothing left to actually “sell.” So we tried to limit the number of gifts we contribute each month.


As a new store, we want to let as many people know about our store as possible. Working on a shoestring budget doesn’t allow for a lot of advertising, so we consider very carefully the audience before we commit to giving away anything. If the function is occurring in a town that has a perfectly good stuffed animal store of their own, we probably will not participate. Compassion aside, we are in business to make money and if none of the people going to the event will ever cross our threshold, it’s not in our best interest to “advertise” there.


Along with one of our stuffed animals, we always include a gift certificate. Getting the winner into our store is the goal. Most of the time, they will spend more than the donated amount and, if they really like your merchandise, they’ll keep coming back. Occasionally we do get visitors who tailor their purchase to the last penny. But they are the minority.



2012 is the Year of the Dragon. Other Dragon years include 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916 & 1904.

Last year (2011) was the Year of the Rabbit. Other Rabbit years include 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915, & 1903.

2010 was the Year of the Tiger. Other Tiger years include 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914 & 1902.

Sorry, this is as close to an ox as we carry

2009 was the Year of the Ox. Other Ox years include 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913 & 1901.

2008 was the Year of the Rat. Other Rat years include 1996, 1984, 9172, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, & 1900.

2007 was the Year of the Pig. Other Pig years include 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, & 1911.

2006 was the Year of the Dog. Other Dog years include 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, & 1910.

2005 was the Year of the Rooster. Other Rooster years include 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, & 1909.

2004 was the Year of the Monkey. Other Monkey years include 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, & 1908.

2003 was the Year of the Sheep. Other Sheep years include 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, & 1907.

2002 was the Year of the Horse. Other Horse years include 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, & 1906.

2001 was the Year of the Snake. Other Snake years include 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917 & 1905.

So, what animal are you?

The First Thing You See in Our Store ….

is our window display. So many people tell us that the window caught their attention …. and then they came in. Which is one reason* why we change our windows a lot.

Current window display for Chinese New Year

We like intriguing our customers and having them keep coming back to see what the window depicts this week.


*The other reason is I get bored easily and like to switch things up. It makes life more interesting:)

Employees of the Week

On Mondays, we open the store at noon because Monday mornings are reserved for therapy work with our favorite care-givers.

We have a few nursing homes/rehabilitation centers we visit where Spike and Dru do what they do best – make you feel really loved. All it takes is a lean against your leg and staring into your eyes, and you’re lost.

The facilities are so grateful for the visits and we try to tell them that we get just as much out of our time there as the people we see. I love watching Spike and Dru change from rambunctious young dogs to quiet, gentle therapy dogs. And the expressions on the patients’ faces are priceless.

And since my brother posted this picture on Facebook,

now I want to find a VA hospital to visit.

*Bandannas from Doggie B'dannas by Karen

Do you ever have times when the giggles threaten to take over? If you work in the right environment, it happens occasionally and yesterday, when a shipment of hand and finger puppets from Folkmanis arrived, the silliness came too.

The armadillo was taking on anyone and everybody. He seemed to think he had magical forces that would offset any size difference in his opponents.

The orangutan spent quite a bit of time residing on someone’s head (I won’t say who).

There was a lot of swooping through the air going on  by the eagle.

The jack rabbit just went around kicking everyone

while the donkey ate everything in his path.

My mother stopped by and wandered around with the raven in her arms. Sooner or later, she will have one for herself!

And the ferret? I can’t even begin to describe what he was doing! No one would ever come back to our store!

Just imagine the fun you could have with Folkmanis puppets in your life.

Dragons as Protectors

In the middle of December, a grandmother came in looking for a red dragon with wings. Her young granddaughter was starting chemotherapy soon and she wanted a red flying dragon who would help protect her from her cancer for Christmas. Unfortunately, we had sold our last dragon the week before.

Luckily, Helen thinks quickly on her feet. She showed the lady a picture of this red dragon from Happy Horse

and explained to the lady that, while we didn’t have it in stock, we could try to get it before Christmas. The customer thought Drago was perfect for her granddaughter.

We quickly called the guys from Geared For Imagination, our suppliers for Happy Horse and all things ultra-cool, and explained the whole story. They had our dragons in the mail the next day and we got them within a week. When we let the grandmother know that the dragons had arrived, she was so appreciative. Her granddaughter’s immediate future is looking bleak and she was able to get her the one thing she really wanted for Christmas.

I love having this store!!!

Window Display 1/3/12

On January 7, 1785, Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries made the first hot air balloon flight across the English Channel. They took off from Dover, England and landed near Calais, France 2 1/2 hours later.

This is our take on that historic event.