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.
Take a look at a few photos showcasing what makes Brilliant Sky Toys & Books so incredible:
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.
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.***