2012 is officially in the books! Every January I like to take some time to reflect on what went well the previous year. (I also reflect on what went not-so-well, but I’ll spare you that part.) Here are some of the highlights.
A strong year for charitable donations. In 2012, we donated right around $8,000 to charitable organizations serving children and families in the Staunton area — including a $1,500 donation to the Augusta Regional Free Clinic.
A new look for our Made in the USA items. At the very end of the year, I hired Print Smitten to help me create a new graphic sticker for our many American-made toys and games. As I implement it throughout 2013, this beautiful new graphic will help you quickly identify which of our items are American made both in the store and on our website.
More baby carriers and wraps. We added Boba, Ergo, BabyHawk, Gypsy Mama, and Sakura Bloom to our baby carrier wall, and got comfortable, safe new carriers into the hands of nearly 100 families in our area.
A new baby play group. This year we introduced PufferBabies, a weekly play group for lap babies and crawlers. It really took off (especially when we added SNACKS for the grownups), and now we see between 6 and 10 babies every week. We’ve started strong again in 2013, and can’t wait to meet the new babies that will come along this year.
The Upstairs Art Room. We scrubbed and painted and hauled stuff to the dump, and made a beautiful new art room in part of our upstairs storage space. The room hosted some Crafternoons, a Crafter After Hours for grownups, the meetings of our first-ever Summer Art Club, and a babywearing class (with HUGE attendance!) with the Valley Babywearing Libaray. It’s currently home to my new photography “studio” — a project I’ll update you on a little later in the year.
A record year for Santa. It was our third year hosting Santa on Fridays and Sundays in December, and attendance has increased so much it’s hard to believe. This year Santa visited with more than 450 children! We experienced a few growing pains, but we have a great plan in place for next year and can’t wait to do it all again.
Events galore. When we opened Pufferbellies in 2006, we knew we wanted to be “more than just a store” — we wanted to be a gathering place for families in our community. In 2012 we hosted dozens of weekly Storytimes, baby play groups, and Crafternoons … plus two Crafter After Hours events, a Summer of the Sock Monkey party with free cupcakes, our annual Costume Parade and Halloween Hullabaloo, Sparkles and Sweets, Easter treat giveaway, Halloween treat giveaway, several Pajama Parties, Neighborhood Toy Store Day, Small Business Saturday, six Santa visits, a holiday window unveiling … and more that I can’t remember. We hope you had a great time at Pufferbellies this year — we sure did!
Our sixth anniversary. We opened Pufferbellies in July of 2006, and celebrated our sixth anniversary in 2012. We can’t wait to see what’s next for our little toy store! Thanks for all your love and support.