Karen Carson, co-founder of Fat Brain Toys, tried working at the company's 2,200-square-foot retail store, but it wasn't for her.
“I worked one day in the retail store, and I think I had to fire myself,” said Carson, laughing. Good move. Otherwise her sister, Sharon Gish, might have had to lower the boom. Since the store's 2008 opening, Gish has managed Fat Brain's single retail outlet, at 16909 Burke St. in Omaha.
Fat Brain Toys celebrates the fifth anniversary of its retail store this month, and Gish has been there since “day one,” as have many of the store's 14 employees, Carson said.
The Elkhorn-area company was founded by husband and wife Mark and Karen Carson in 2002 after they couldn't find appropriate toys for their three children. Today the mostly online toy seller employs about 45 people year-round, and Karen Carson sticks to the online portion of the business.
Gish, who was tapped to manage the new store in 2008, had been writing product descriptions for the company's website since 2004 during her stint as a stay-at-home mother. The timing was right, with her three young boys either in school or heading to school.
“Because she wrote so much about the products, she knew the products,” Carson said. “She has a knack for presentation and merchandising, the ability to work with people.”
As part of the five-year anniversary celebration, which will be held from Sept. 16 through Sept. 22, the store will offer $5 gift cards for every $25 spent in the store. There will also be in-store treats and daily toy drawings. Anyone who makes a purchase will be registered to win a $250 shopping spree. A free toddler event featuring the Omaha Fire Department will be held at the store from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sept. 17.