Since 2006, The Toy Room has been providing fabulous toys and personalized shopping experiences to the town of Bethel, CT and surrounding areas. Kim Ramsey has “always loved going into toy stores” and decided to open one of her own. Years ago, Bethel had consistently had a toy store in their downtown area, but it unfortunately closed and Kim felt like there was a “void” in the town after that. One day she was driving down Greenwood Avenue, the hub of downtown Bethel, and turned to her husband to declare “I am going to open a toy store.” Now, 12 years later, The Toy Room continues to serve the community and was honored with Bethel’s Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award in 2017.
When it comes to being involved in the community, Kim says her “space is always open.” The Toy Room is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and actively involved with the public schools. Kim makes sure to be a part of the middle school’s Career Day festivities and has Girl Scout troops paint her store windows every year. She opened her store to an eighth grader who wanted to host a “Valentine’s Day for Veterans” in the store. Kim had the girl set up a table in her store and gave customers a chance to create valentines to be given to a local veteran organization. Neighborhood Toy Store Day is a big event for The Toy Room as well. Kim is a part of the American Specialty Retailing Association and works with them to make Neighborhood Toy Store Day special for the community. The Toy Room is always involved in the town’s events and hosts their own as well.
The Toy Room is a special store in Connecticut. Kim makes sure she offers unique products and a variety of toys. When asked what makes her store remarkable, Kim responded, “I try to offer toys that are original and toys that I enjoy and toys my kids would like.” She also mentioned that the Toy Room becomes a “one stop shop” on Saturday mornings as parents rush in to buy presents and take advantage of complimentary gift-wrapping before dropping their kids off at birthday parties. The Toy Room is not just a shopping destination, but also a resource for the community and has grown to become an important part of downtown Bethel.
Kim offered some excellent advice for other retailers. She says, “Don’t stress about being online.” Rather than focusing on the headlines about brick and mortar stores closing, think about your store and what makes it special. Figure out why people come into your store and make that your center of attention. She also tells retailers to, “find what makes you happy. Love what you do and everything else will fall into place.”