We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Mawcinitt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started Wildlings Toy Boutique because I wanted a toy shopping experience for myself and my family that wasn’t readily available in my community. I’ve been able to explore lots of amazing toy shops across the country but when it came to my own backyard, options were limited. I started with a business plan and lots of research on starting and running small businesses in my area. I consulted with accountants, lawyers and other small business owners to ensure that we made wise decisions about setting up the business from day 1. I’ve been able to create something unique that adds value to my community and allows me to share my passion for play every single day.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was inspired to open Wildlings Toy Boutique because my experience working in classrooms and raising my own kids helped me to discover the power of play. I wanted to work in my community to help educate families about purposeful play and the impact that it has on child development. It was important to me to provide a shopping experience that was curated so that anyone shopping in our store could be assured that whatever they or their child picks out, there are mind or motor building benefits. We’ve really been able to offer added value to our neighborhood by hosting events with local authors, cookie decorating with a local baker and sensory playdates that allow families to connect.
Connection is foundational to our business. When I first had the idea to open my shop, I was battling post partum depression that came on during my pregnancy with my second child. One thing I knew that always helped to improve my mood was spending time connecting with others. I knew that whatever big change I decided to make, I wanted a large component of my work to be centered around building relationships in my community. My shop has truly enabled me to do that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
With two toddlers, we tend to stick to a few great places that we all love.
La Grande Orange is one of our favorites- a great causal atmosphere or curbside pick up make it an easy and delicious option for any meal of the day.
Whenever we need a gift, we head to Frances Boutique. Their eclectic collection of gifts for men, women and kids ensures that we always find something just perfect.
If we have guests in from out of town, they always want to have some tasty tacos. We host annual “taco tours” where we hit up four or five taco spots and all eat one taco at each…. it makes for a super fun afternoon. One that always pleases everyone is Gallo Blanco. We can never just get tacos there because the churros are just too good to pass up.
If we need treats for an event or holiday we always turn to Shanny’s Bakeshop. This local mom is AMAZING at baking and decorating. Everything is delicious and beautiful.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been lucky to have a whole team of individuals devoted to the success of my business from the first day I said, “Hmmm…. maybe I should open a toy store.” Lisa LaRock, of LaRock Designs, is responsible for all of our branding, starting with the most perfect logo and expanding through our website and all of our marketing materials. Karah Tennyson, Vice President at Corgan, worked to create a look and feel for our storefront that aligned with our vision and she designed a space that is incredibly functional as well as just flat out adorable. Steve Watson, President at True Performance Construction, built out or gray shell space in record time and helped to value engineer so that we could achieve all the beautiful, brand specific details that were important to us while also being mindful of our budget. I also can’t go without mentioning the amazing support of my husband, Rico Mawcinitt, who has cheered me on in this journey loud and proud.
Adrian Baird (all photos of children) Whitepoint Digital (photos of the shop) Laura Liz Photography (family photo)