Does Sarge master the toys or do they master him? I mean, who’s really the slave in this dichotomy? I married a man with a wide and wicked sense of humor, fluent in sarcasm, and smarter than your average bear. He also happens to have a panache for entrepreneur-ship – I think working all those midnight shifts prepped his circadian rhythms for the 20-hour workday he puts in on the regular now. He lives and breathes toys, buying, selling, and all the organization and work that goes into running a toy shop. If you do anything for that many hours in a day – it starts to…. ahem… overflow into other areas of life.
Oh sure, running an e-commerce business from home sounds glamorous and flexible; and it is those things. But, have you ever woken up to a creepy clown doll lying next to you in bed? No? Just me?! Combine toys with that wicked sense of humor and you can only imagine the shenanigans that go on around here. Here are just a few things you can expect:
1. Anyone in the vicinity of your store is under threat of becoming free labor. “Could you hold this bin, while I rearrange the stack?” “Com’on kiddos, let’s work on those alphabetizing skills!” “Mom, please save all those styrofoam trays for the store.”
2. Be camera-ready! Ok, I admit this is very hard for me because a) I’m a girl who has hair and a face – so makeup and styling are needed to feel ready and b) we’ve got little kids and c) I work a day job – from home. I’m not camera ready often (enough). That doesn’t stop Sarge though. One aspect of running a business is your social media presence and content, and sometimes the art of surprise works best.
I fell asleep on the couch – and Sarge woke me up with a mini-accordion, and filmed it for TikTok.
Sarge will suddenly appear in full hazmat suit with goggles and gloves… but I usually won’t even lift an eyebrow in response.
Sometimes me and kiddos just need to leave for a bit so Sarge can record a collection on video or do a live interview.
He’ll ask for random things and won’t explain why he needs them. Like a sponge – and I gave him a brand new one – which he cut up to make a micro-sponge for an action figure prop. I found out once I saw the post of the action figure of Michael Knight washing Kitt.
Stop everything because the conditions are just right for this scenario, help me stage it…. and rearrange the furniture “just for a minute”
3. Every space in the house is fair game… I try really hard to keep the store in the office and the warehouse, but it spills over to the rest of the house.
Giant Lego displays in the master closet
Coffee table is perfect place to sort cards
The family room TV is a test base for games and systems
Toy cleaning station set up in the laundry room
4. Surprise visitors… Someone is always stopping by to buy or sell something, or to help, or to check something out. I can’t complain about this ‘hazard’ tho because I like visitors. (so long as they don’t judge our housekeeping skills, because again little kids and a store live here!)
5. Smelling random things…. Sarge likes to make sure we are delivering quality items to our clients. Often that means he wants to make sure that a toy, card, etc doesn’t smell funny – and I’m the official sniffer. Lucky me!
6. Multiple transactions…. We’re an efficient family; or try to be, so we’ll combine trips to the store. If we’re buying things for the shop and for home that means we are those annoying people in the checkout doing multiple transactions and probably have multiple shopping carts.
7. Songs stuck in your head… you know that jingle you heard 4 million times as a kid and you sang over and over? Sarge just played it on YouTube so now it’s back and will never leave. We’ve both been singing Reading Rainbow all day!
Gummy Bearssssssss bouncing here and there and everywhere…
The more you know….
8. Bandits!! But it’s not who you may think… remember those kiddos who live in a toy store? Yeah, the temptation is everywhere. However, Tripp is starting to understand the concept of commerce though – so he’s always digging into his piggy bank to buy something from Daddy to play with.
I’m sure there are tons more ‘hazards’ to running an e-commerce toy shop.
What else can you think of? Drop us a note!