Shopping for kids can be a rather disappointing experience, in my humble opinion. As the Holidays grow near, people flock to major mass retailers to buy the same, cookie-cutter gifts. (Which happen to be out of stock the vast majority of the time. Remember the whole Tickle Me Elmo fiasco?) Also, trying to get real help from the staff at these stores is like trying to find a Unicorn...Darn near impossible. I have noticed that at larger retailers, most of the staff has no real knowledge of their inventory and they're not overly eager to help. They're simply there to perform basic duties, earn their wages, and go home.
Now I am certainly not knocking mass retailers. I shop at them often for groceries and household essentials. They definitely serve their purpose, and I am glad that they're around for late night toilet paper runs. But when it comes to buying unique gifts for my kids, I highly prefer smaller specialty stores. There's just something I love about these small businesses. Maybe it's the excellent, friendly customer service. Maybe it's the fact that the staff is passionate, cares about the customer, and knows their inventory. Or perhaps it's because specialty stores carry products that you simply won't find on the shelves of larger retailers. Honestly, I think it's a combination of all of these reasons. Nonetheless, there is just something magical about shopping at specialty stores.
One of my favorite specialty stores this Holiday season is Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. This is a small chain of 15 stores (and growing!) that take shopping for kids to a whole new and exciting place. Here's a bit more about this great company and what they stand for:
In an era where customer service is often a computerized telephone voice or find-me-if-you-can cashier, imagine walking into a specialty shop where the sole mission is to not just assist but delight the shopper! That's the true story inside every Brilliant Sky Toys & Books store, an enchanting place where shoppers, toy manufacturers and franchise owners wake up every day ready to play. They've even coined their own annual best of show, the Brilliance Awards, where a handful of specialty toys rise above all others.
The first Brilliant Sky Toys & Books® was founded in 2002 in Lansing, Michigan with the singular goal of being the finest upscale specialty toy store in America. Based on the belief that the right playthings give children a gateway to physical, emotional and cognitive development Brilliant Sky Toys & Books provides the highest quality products in an atmosphere that is both active and interactive. Its unique aesthetic approach is vibrant yet warm, exciting yet comforting and exploratory yet safe. From rich colors and woods to low sightlines and custom fixtures the Brilliant Sky sensory experience is unlike any other. Now based in Okemos, Michigan and featuring more than 10,000 high-quality specialty products, Brilliant Sky Toys & Books is truly the place where everyone can find their way to play.
Sadly, we don't have a Brilliant Sky Toys & Books here in Ohio. I wish we did, because I would be there all the time. They'd probably have to dust me off as they would their permanent store fixtures. While I haven't had the opportunity to visit one of their many locations in person, I have spent a great deal of time on their website doing research on this company, and I am delighted with what I have found. Thankfully, I am able to shop online via their website. Their online ordering process is quick, easy, and super-convenient.
Take a look at a few photos showcasing what makes Brilliant Sky Toys & Books so incredible:
Doesn't this shop look sensational? I know in the future, I will be checking to see if there is a Brilliant Sky Toys & Books location around whenever I have travel plans. Until I happen to find myself in the vicinity of a store, I am happy to shop online.
Remember I mentioned the Brilliance Awards? These toys stand out above the rest, and earned this coveted honor by being creative, inventive, and enchanting for kids of all ages and stages. Some of the products that tout this title include the Boogie Board, which I happen to own, the Candy Cottage, which can be reused for loads of sweet fun, and the Neurosmith’s Musical Touch, which allows even the youngest of kids to learn to love the world of music.
But the Brilliance Award winner I was most excited to see is the artistic marvel, Master Kitz. With these easy to use art kits, you can make your own famous artwork. But, before you begin to create, learn about the history of the piece.We received Starry Night by Monet, and this kit teaches all about the original artist and the Impressionist Era. The kit comes with a reusable art toolbox, 2 reusable stencils, 9 child-friendly soft pastels, 2 pieces deluxe art paper, 1 shammy for color blending, 1 shadow maker tool, instructions, and learning materials.
As you can see, I am not showing the finished piece of art. There's a good reason for this! My 12 year old, Kyle, is a highly creative child and loves anything artistic or creative. He doesn't know we have this kit, and it will be waiting for him under our Christmas tree this year. I will be sure to post photos and maybe even video showcasing this treasure from Brilliant Sky Toys & Books after the Holiday season. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
Overall, I am in love with Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. They offer unique, beautiful gifts that allow kids to express themselves through imaginative play, and many of these products have a nostalgic feel to them. I love simple toys made from wood and other sustainable materials. My kids really enjoy playing with puzzles and wooden trains the most. When they were smaller, a favorite was a wooden shape sorter. Now they're very into building blocks. Maybe I will pick up some Tobbles, another Brilliance Award winner.
Brilliant Sky has something for everyone, whether they are toddlers simply discovering the world around them, or older kids who enjoy brain-teasers and puzzles. If you live near Brilliant Sky Toys & Books, I highly suggest you keep them in mind for all of your gift-giving needs. The staff is amazing and the selection is truly magical.
HOW TO CONNECT :
You can check out the awesomeness that is Brilliant Sky Toys & Books on their website. You can shop online, but be sure to use their handy retail locator so you can enjoy the full experience in person!
You can also connect with Brilliant Sky Toys & Books on Facebook to stay on top of their newest products and promotions!
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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