Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Toy Bug!

This weeks small business showcase is all about the gorgeous Jo Debnam, owner of The Toy Bug, an online toy store specialising in educational and fun toys.

Jo lives just outside Noosa. She has been married for 17 years to 'the best husband imaginable' and has a gorgeous little boy called Lachlan, who is the inspiration behind starting her business - The Toy Bug.

Lachlan was diagnosed with Autism in January of 2006. Jo wanted to find the great range of toys his therapists (speech, occupational therapy and early intervention centre) were using on her son. The search began and when Jo found them, she decided that she also wanted to share them with other parents, and this is how her flourishing business was born!

Jo's love of toy shopping was also how she decided on the name for her new business. She said she was bitten by 'the Toy Bug' so what better name to call her business than just that! I think it is just perfect.

Jo originally started selling the toys through her Early Intervention Centre, Local Day Care Centres and Kindergartens, though she quickly found the need to open an online store in July 2008. She works from home and is very lucky to have a huge 5 bay car shed to store all her wonderful products in, so they are ready to ship off as soon as orders are taken.

Jo said she loves working from home as she can incorporate work and her son's therapies, though its also challenging at times for her to balance her family and work life, as it is for lots of other home run business's.

Jo has found that joining online forums like connect2mums or celebrating women has been good for her as it allows her to be able to talk to other WAHM's (work at home mums) and she also gets a lot of tips and support from her peers there as well.

Lachlan is Jo's toy tester, which she says he loves, but it does make her house look like Toy World. Lachlan's favourite toys that he tries out get a special listing in Jo's "Lachies Favourites" link on the website, so he can share them with everyone.

Jo's favourite toys are the puzzles. She said she loves puzzles so much as you can teach many different concepts with them. Jo also stocks novelty toys because as a young girl she loved collecting knick knack things like fun stationery and things that were cute. She really likes the novelty toys and thinks they are her side of the business to play with and enjoy.

Jo would never consider selling anything that she wouldn't purchase herself and she treats her customers the way she would like to be treated as a customer. This is very evident in her customer feedback and which she is very proud of earning.

So take a trip over to Jo's website and have a look around. Jo offers a 12 week lay-by service and free gift wrapping on any purchase, which is a great help getting ready for Christmas!

I suggest if you are not already a fan of Jo's facebook page, go and join up now to be the first to learn of any specials or competitions she has going. You can visit her facebook page HERE and you will find her blog HERE.

Jo has a great range of toys and is a lovely lady to deal with. I promise you won't be disappointed shopping with her!


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