working at the toy maven
Post written by guest writer and employee at The Toy Maven in Dallas, AW.
I think that I’ve learned a lot about people in the past few months. When you work for a small, local business, much of what you do is customer service oriented, so you’re already predisposed to studying people, but lately, that has been so amplified.
I’ve begun to really notice nuanced things about the different people who come into the store and have developed a greater appreciation for the individuals that I meet each day. This comes as a relief to me because these past few months have been very trying for Toy Maven.
We were displaced by the tornado last Fall and although we were able to secure a temporary location in the Preston Forest shopping center, many resources have been spent remodeling our Preston Royal location, not to mention, the global pandemic hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk for small businesses.
But through all of these struggles that we have faced as a business, I have really come to appreciate my boss and the store owner, Candace Williams.
This incredibly resilient woman has constantly spread positivity and love despite the many challenges she has faced over the past year or so. No matter what life throws at her, Candace remains sharp and resilient, never ceasing to put her customers first and keep a smile on her face. She is the life of the party and anyone who enters the store can probably hear her singing from the other side of the room for there really never is a dull moment at Toy Maven.
Something else you should know about Candace is that she’s a teacher and one of the most important lessons that she has taught me and so many others is about the power of play.
Play is an extremely important aspect of early childhood development and remains important throughout our adult years as well. The concept of play may seem a little ludicrous to most teenagers and adults these days especially when we’re busy dealing with trivial things like friends, high school, work, and a global pandemic, however I believe that play can serve as an important unifier and coping mechanism during these unprecedented times. People tend to be the most themselves when they enter a state of joy and curiosity, uninhibited by whatever social norms they are conditioned to conforming to.
So today, amidst a global pandemic and one of the largest civil rights movements in our history, we must remember to play. Play with your children. Play with your friends. Play with life. Because in order for us to truly learn, we must first learn to play.