It has been a busy year here so far at Bannor Toys. Stacey, Kim, and Emilie went down to Texas to take part at the Spring at the Silos event hosted by Joanna and Chip Gaines. That was a super successful event and so much fun for them. If you missed the pictures be sure to scroll through the month of March in our Instagram feed (@bannortoys). Kim and Stacey also launched The Bannor Toys Collective, a Facebook group dedicated to moms, kids, toys, and everyday life. I’m not allowed in, but I understand it gets fairly rowdy in there. All the members of the group get fun exclusive sales and early notice on upcoming promotions. If you’re interested, search for Bannor Toys Collective in Facebook. I’m sure you already know that you should be following our FB and Instagram pages but make sure you are getting all of our posts, Kim is doing a lot of fun new giveaways. She picks the best brands to work with and I’m guessing you will find a few new favorites.
Bannor Limited is kicking off soon. Basically it is a new exclusive toy launch every 2 weeks. It is only available for 2 weeks or while supplies last and then it goes back into the Bannor Toys Vault for the rest of the year, some may never be launched again. Make sure you get our newsletter if you want to know about each new toy and be reminded of the launch date so you don’t miss it.
Bannor Limited was something I thought up one night while I was playing around with some toy prototypes I had. They were toys “waiting in the wing” so to speak. Some toys are really great but they require so much hand work, or so many parts that they are impossible to scale up. What I mean by that is that we would not be able to keep up with demand on an ongoing basis and we cannot automate any of the process so it would be a never ending battle to keep them in stock. And sometimes they are just too expensive to offer all the time. So all of these really fun toy ideas were sitting on a shelf and we had no way to get them to you. Enter Bannor Limited- a way for us to set up shop for 2 weeks to do a special onetime run of some of these unique toys. Stacey and I spent a long time getting everything just right for this new branch of the Bannor Toys brand, we really think and hope that you will love the new limited edition toys.
If you are in Nashville, TN or are planning a visit add the Magnolia Goods store to your list. We have set up our first store within a store concept at Magnolia Goods and are super proud of it. It is currently the only physical store where you can see almost our entire line of Bannor Toys in person. We offer wholesale to lots of retails stores, but only one offers ALL OF IT. We hope to eventually have roughly six of these stores around the country but we have no time table set up. We will evaluate ideal cities and stores as time allows. I can tell you that our first store in Magnolia Goods has been a great success up to this point and we are excited about the future.
Stacey and Mardi have moved the shipping studio to temporary quarters for the next couple of months. Mardi is kicking butt, getting your toys sent out so fast! I will be doing a complete remodel and expansion of their space from the studs up. To be honest, its long past due. See, when we bought our current property, we had to move the shipping area from our previous location to our new location in just one weekend. It’s the one part of our business that can’t go down for any length of time because we have to ship out inventory as you all order toys! So we moved the shipping area into a small converted machine shop to operate while we set up our new home and new wood shop. It wasn’t ideal for them, the lighting left a lot to be desired as did the particle board walls and ceiling. But it got the job done for the year. The wood shop was a priority because we had to get the insulation, HVAC, electric, and walls all set up and the machines running before inventory ran out. So after dragging my feet through the cold months, here we are. I will be doubling their space, adding a 2nd laser engraver so they can run two at a time, new doors that allow more light, new inventory shelving, cabinets and counter space, and nice finish work including dry wall, new lighting, paint, etc. It should be a nice upgrade in both aesthetic, space, and function.
The wood shop is not being ignored this year though, the entire exterior of the building is getting a fresh paint job this spring. If you have seen any of Stacey’s pictures you know it is currently a worn out white with an orange/brownish color straight out of the 80’s. The new paint on the metal building will be a gray roof and trim with fresh white walls. I don’t have the skill or desire to go up that high or paint a building that big so we have contracted it out to a small local company.
On a more personal level Kim, our marketing director, finally made her way back to Iowa for a visit. It was nice having her at the Bannor Homestead for a couple of hours and meeting with her husband and all her little ones. She is super committed and doing a great job for us, give her a shout out on one of our Social Media pages. We also brought a couple of goats to the homestead this spring. You already know about our small flock of chickens from previous posts, we added two fainting goats to the family. They are brother and sister and are inseparable. They have home in the barn but they mostly enjoy following us around the yard eating our grass and dandelions. We will be adding 2 more goats (pygmy goats) after the memorial day weekend. The kids and us went to meet the new goats last weekend and when they fell asleep in Emilie’s arms we were pretty much hooked.
I think that is all I have for now. We are only in April and already have so much on the calendar for this year. I have such a sincere gratitude for all of you who buy our toys, follow our blog, comment on our posts, and send us your pictures. It means so much for us to not only be able to support our family this way, but to see that our toys are becoming a part of your families. It also allows us to help support other families like our employees, contractors, vendors, etc. It’s all a giant circle and I’m humbled to be a part of it. So thank you so very much for all that you do for Bannor Toys and our family, the support is overwhelming.
Executive Toy Maker / Goat Wrangler