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an image of a toy shop with a cat sat outside and the words: Interview with a Toy Shop Employee Part 1: Holly

Interview with a Toy Shop Employee: Holly

Interview with a Toy Shop Employee: Holly

What is your name?

My name is Holly, but in the shop I often get referred to as ‘the lady behind the till’!

How long have you worked at Grasshopper Toys/Curious Minds?

It'll be 3 years this November so currently about 2 years and 5 months. It’s flown by!

What drew you to working at the shop?

Lockdown impacted everyone in different ways. For me, I was at university and after an amazing first year suddenly all of my classes went online and I couldn't meet new people or have the typical university experiences I had looked forward to. I made the decision that this new style of learning wasn't right for me and set out to find a new, more fulfilling venture for myself.

When I came to Grasshopper Toys for a job interview, I immediately felt that it was a welcoming place and somewhere that I could continue to grow and learn while having a little fun!

What is your role in the shop/online?

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is that I get to take on a large variety of roles every day!

One day you'll find me behind the till in the shop helping our lovely regulars and new customers with their every need. The next day I'll be packing up orders for our many wonderful online customers.

But my job stretches beyond even those roles! Some days I make fun window displays and other days I have a Lego delivery so big I can't see behind it! I regularly work on making our online shop the best it can be and in turn I do a lot of work on the marketing side, like posting fun little snippets of shop life to our loyal Facebook followers!

My favourite aspect of my job however is curating new ranges for the shop and then down the line, making those new ranges pop on our shelves!

What is your favourite day to work in the shop?

I don’t know if it’s a controversial answer but I quite enjoy the weekends (Fri/Sat). Those are the busiest days in the shop and sometimes it’s nice to have the shop pull your full focus rather than online work! Plus the day goes much faster when you’re swept off your feet!

Is there a day in the shop that stands out in your memory?

Last year we did a Halloween event in store, I loved that! I'm not usually in the shop all day but I opted to stay at the till because I was having so much fun!

We gave out goody bags to kids who came in costumes, we gave sweets to kids who cracked a joke or showed us a trick, and we even had a 'Guess How Many Eyeballs are in the Jar' competition to win a Halloween Lego set!

I was dressed as Wednesday Addams and got the most adorable photo with a little girl dressed the same! It soon became one of our most popular Facebook posts!

What was your favourite toy/s as a kid?

I was OBSESSED with Bratz. I had a ton of dolls and a big white limousine with a hot tub!

The Bratz PlayStation games were great fun too! Though my brothers had to complete any tricky bits for me!

I was mainly a big reader as a kid but I liked to use my Bratz to tell my own stories too!

Down to the important details, what is your favourite range or product type in the shop?

Anyone who knows me knows that our fashion doll section is my baby! We have LOL dolls, Rainbow High, Monster High, Barbie, Disney Princess dolls and more!

If their popularity continues we may have to expand to include the likes of Shadow High and Bratz!

Out of all the dolls, dare we ask if you have a favourite?

Ohh, it’s such a big decision! Monster High dolls are a bit of a Roman Empire, as the cool kids say, for me. I always wanted them as a kid but it just never happened!

My current favourite is probably the
Monster High Skulltimate Secrets Neon Frights Twyla Doll, but I also loooove the Rainbow High Junior High PJ Party Violet (Purple) 9” Posable Doll in Adorable Pajamas’.

What would you say is the best-selling range in the shop?

It’s difficult to gauge… Lego and Brio will always be massive sellers, but some ranges that surprised us by their popularity would be:

-  our arts and crafts range full of pipe cleaners, glitter, stickers, and lots more
- the bath toys are a popular buy because what kid doesn’t love fun in the tub!
- we have a massive local Warhammer clientele, there isn’t a day that goes by without a Warhammer sale
- the Keel Eco Baby range has also done incredibly well for us in-store and online!

What is your dream range to stock in the shop?

I’ve seen that Littlest Pet Shop is making a comeback! I loved those when I was little so it would be cool to have them in store!

I also was a Top Model super fan and I’ve recently found out they’re still going and still popular, so it’d be cool to get them in!

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

For me, it’s blind boxes! I collect PopMart blind box figures, they’re overtaking my room at this point!

I also quite enjoy doing a Lego set, especially the Lego flowers as they make a cute home décor piece when they’re finished!

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

I would say the best piece of advice I can give for this type of job is to keep your childlike wonder about you. Of course, you have to complete all the usual (sometimes dull) work tasks but when it comes to selecting new ranges or working in the shop, it’s good to keep in touch with your inner child and share in the joy with the kids.

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