Hi, local friends! We are hosting a special event on August 7. Kids ages 5+ can drop in to make a PlushCraft change purse with us between 2 and 4PM. The cost is $2.50 per child and tickets are limited, so please click here to register.
The Canadian brand Lulujo has been making incredibly soft, super cuddly cotton and bamboo muslin swaddling blankets since 2009 — but they weren’t readily available in the States. UNTIL NOW. We are so excited to be one of the first stores in the US to carry Lulujo swaddlers and muslin security blankets.
You can get all snuggly with them here in the store (we have samples of both the cotton and bamboo out to feel), or you can shop right here on our website.
The great thing about Lulujo muslin blankets is that even if you don’t use them for swaddling, there are about a million other uses. Tummy time blanket, changing mat, stroller cover, nursing cover, security blanket, on and on. And they really do get softer with every wash, even though that sounds like a cheesy marketing slogan.
Lulujo muslin blankets on display at Pufferbellies Toys and Books in Staunton, Virginia
We are working on a project. Something BIG. Something SECRET. We will be able to tell you alllll about it soon, but in the meantime, we need your help!
Our project involves things that are quintessentially STAUNTON. What are the best, most iconic parts of our little town, especially for kids? If you had friends coming into town with their children, where would you take them? What would you show them? We want to know!
Share your photos with us on Instagram and you could win a $25 gift card to Pufferbellies!
You must tag us (@pufferbellies) and include the hashtag #hellostaunton. We’ll collect photos until July 25, and choose a winner then.
Private profiles: If your profile is private, we can’t see your pictures even when you tag us! Please send your entries to us in a private Instagram message.
You can enter as many times as you choose; just don’t forget to tag @pufferbellies and #hellostaunton.
One winner will be chosen by the staff of Pufferbellies Toys & Books to receive a $25 Pufferbellies gift card. The gift card may be redeemed in our store or on our website.
We can’t wait to see your #hellostaunton pictures!
We don’t get a lot of snow here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We can count on about one big snowfall per year, usually after Christmas, and sure enough — it showed up this week. We got about 16 inches of snow here at the store and it was beautiful.
Belle the giraffe was up to her neck in snow
We never close Pufferbellies for bad weather unless the power’s out, but there aren’t usually a lot of customers when it’s snowing — so we invited the neighborhood over for a snowball fight and some hot chocolate from The Split Banana. We had a great time and even got a little attention from the local paper.
It turned what’s usually a pokey kind of day into a lot of fun. I’m almost wishing it would snow some more so we can do it again! Almost.
Playing in traffic! Don’t tell mom.
I was so excited to find out recently that I can buy soft toys from Jane Foster Designs wholesale for the store. I really admire Jane’s work, and my dream world is full of fresh white and lots of bright colors — a lot like her studio.
I just put in an order for a bunch of these Scandinavian flower bunnies that will be here in plenty of time for Easter. That means that our local customers won’t have to pay for postage from the UK! Happy dance! Look for the bunnies on our website and in our store in mid-February.
Jane Foster flower bunnies (photo from Jane Foster Designs)
I’ve also been working on lots of other Easter orders the last few days. Easter is a pretty big toy-buying holiday — which actually took Mom and me kind of by surprise when we first opened Pufferbellies. (When I was little, we didn’t get toys in our Easter baskets; we got candy and usually a little flat of flowers that we could plant in the garden.) Bunnies, lambies, chicks, and lots of other basket stuffers are coming our way, and I can’t wait!
As a retailer, it can be really hard to come down off the high of November and December, and head into the long, cold months of January and February. There’s a lot to do, but none of it seems really appealing. We’re in the middle of this polar vortex (WHAT? WHY?), too, and it’s 5 degrees outside — so that’s not helping.
One thing that is fun is getting all the new catalogs from my favorite toy companies in the mail. I’ve already ordered all the new Playmobil that’s coming out this winter and spring — that’s one of my favorite January tasks, so I always knock it out first. There are some new unicorns and dragons coming out this month, but I’m most excited about the camping line that should be here in late February or early March. I am sort of obsessed with Playmobil; I admit it.
It’s also fun to think a little bit about reinvention. What’s been working? What hasn’t? How can we capitalize on the things that worked last year to make 2014 even better? One thing we are starting to hear from our customers is that children are “outgrowing toys” at an earlier age than ever before. It’s interesting to think about the evolution of toys in the era of the iPhone — is there still value in hands-on play? I obviously believe that there is, but it can be a challenge convincing people of that, especially when children are getting phones and tablets at such an early age. It’s something that I plan to explore more on this blog in 2014.
I also plan to talk more on the blog about the behind-the-scenes workings of our store. Partly just for fun, but also because I think I would have really valued that kind of info when I was getting started in retail — and maybe there are some other retail entrepreneurs out there that could use it, too.
I’m looking forward to an exciting year at the store. I have some goals in mind and some new paths to explore and I can’t wait to share more of that with you here. Happy new year.
We were lucky enough to snag some of the coveted, limited-edition 2013 Christmas Thinking Putty from Crazy Aaron’s. There are two colors: Holiday Lights and Candy Cane.
I’ll blog about Candy Cane tomorrow, but first a look at Holiday Lights. It’s a translucent green putty that glows in the dark. And it’s FULL of glitter. Green, red, and even some holographic gold glitter. Texture-wise it’s a little grittier than most other Thinking Putty, but for me that glitter punch makes it well worth it. SO SPARKLY.
You can buy it on our website here, while supplies last!
Holiday Lights Thinking Putty is packed with green, red and gold glitter. And it glows in the dark!
Holiday Lights Thinking Putty comes in a limited-edition tin.
PS — Thinking Putty is made in the USA!