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Interview with a Toy Shop Employee - Dawn

Interview with a Toy Shop Employee - Dawn

Interview with a Toy Shop Employee - Dawn

What is your name, and how long have you worked at Grasshopper Toys/Curious Minds?

My name is Dawn and I have worked at Grasshopper Toys for about 2 years now, which is crazy to think.

I have however been an avid fan and loyal customer of the shop from the beginning!

What drew you to working at the shop?

The first thing that springs to mind is just my love for toys and all things fun!

I also have 3 kids of my own so toys have been a big constant in my life for a few years now.

In terms of the job itself, I saw it as an opportunity to try something completely different to any job I’ve worked before! It's not your typical retail job. It’s a place where you can grow and learn with support from those around you, at your own pace, while having fun at the same time!

And what has been your favourite thing about the job now that you’ve been here close to 2 years?

I’d have to say it’s the camaraderie with my colleagues. We’re able to bounce off each other and lift each other up in a way I hadn’t experienced before. There’s always some funny new thing to laugh about together in the shop.

You’re constantly restocking our overflowing shelves, what do you have to restock most often?

I feel like my colleagues already know what I’m going to say here… it’s gotta be the rainbow slinkies!

We sell silver, gold, pink, and rainbow plastic slinkies but it’s the rainbow ones that are constantly gone from the shop floor!

Aside from them, I notice the Warhammer stock flies out the door, pocket money toys like the flashing spike balls are always emptying out, and at Christmas time we are consistently bringing out more Sylvanian Families!

Quite often when keeping our shop looking perfect, we come across some odd bits and bobs, what’s the strangest thing you’ve seen left behind or moved about in the shop?

Recently, we had a weird one… there was just sand… lots of sand. There was a large pile in one area like someone had suddenly evaporated into dust, but then we just kept finding more and more!

Seems like somebody had built up a little sand collection from the beach and decided to gift it to us!

You’ve been a long-time customer of Grasshopper Toys, do you have a favourite memory of the shop?

The most obvious one is my first day working here! It was super nerve wracking going from customer to employee, but I knew I’d made the correct decision right away and quickly found myself at ease.

Aside from that, I would say the interactive in store activities! I used to take my kids to little workshops in the shop all the time - from badge making (Pictured Below) to excavating dinosaur skeletons to story times! They were all immense fun.

What was your favourite toy/s as a kid?

I’m an island kid and I partially grew up on my late grandparent’s farm, so my favourite thing was to just be outdoors, playing in nature and having total freedom.

I did rather enjoy whipping out my roller skates and racing about though!

If I were to choose a toy then I’d have to say Lego, it’s a classic for a reason!

What is your favourite range or product in the shop currently?

There’s lots that comes to mind for different reasons!

I really enjoy the Sylvanians just because they’re so classic and timeless - they never get old and always manage to stay fresh and relevant!

I obviously loooove Lego but other than that I'm a big fan of the Brio trains and how interactive they are. Brio always takes things to the next level, and I think that’s awesome – they’ve redefined train sets!

Not a toy but I personally think the range of Crooke’s Solar Radiometers are just fab. They’re a great little science gizmo for adults to marvel at!

You have 3 kids of your own, what do they love in the shop?

The oldest always loved the Science kits, especially anything space related, and the soft toys – we still have one from yeaaaars ago! (Pictured Below)

The middle one is into cars and Lego. He particularly likes Minecraft, City, and Technic Lego sets. When he was little, he loved all the bath toys – especially the bath flutes!

The youngest adores Sylvanian Families, Holly is always filling her in on the new releases! She is also a big fan of the Monster High dolls and the occasional whoopee cushion!

We’re all big kids at heart so tell us, what’s your favourite way to engage with your inner child?

My own kids of course! Plus, I come from a big family that’s just full to the brim with kids. Being around their childlike joy is the best way to stay young at heart.

Work helps as well, I’m surrounded by toys and the big kids that I work with!

I’m a big lover of Peter Pan and I firmly believe in the message: 
“Never grow up.”

What is one piece of advice you’d give to anyone working or looking to work in a toy shop?

The biggest thing I would say is you have to be willing to be open minded.

In an independent toy shop like this one, you’re entering a whole new style of work. It’s fun and interactive and you have lots of room to grow and learn!

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