Today Ete chats with Amy Schulthess, owner of Wigglish.
Amy has what many would consider a dream job. As owner of Wigglish, the Heber toy store with the delightful name, Amy spends her days surrounded by toys and books and excited children accompanied by their parents. And here she is absolutely in her element.
One of her favorite aspects of the job is choosing and purchasing toys for the store. She hand-picks everything that comes into Wigglish. Her discerning eye for quality, creativity-focused toys that will go the distance with children, not just end up in the trash within the week, is one of the things that sets her shop apart. Amy wants the toys she sells to be the kind of toys that are lovingly passed down from one child to another, spreading a legacy of joyful play throughout families.
The experience of shopping at Wigglish is another thing that truly differentiates it from other toy sellers. In the age of Amazon and big box stores, children can come into Wigglish and be drawn to what they want, physically seeing, touching, holding their potential toy choices. Amy says her staff really knows these products, in fact they have typically already bought the toys themselves. They also know and understand their clientele. Helping children, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles find that special toy is a particular gift each of the staff members have. And they love doing it.
But on the business side of things, Amy and Wigglish have also run into hardships. Located outside the center of town, foot traffic has always been somewhat of an issue. Online-only toy sellers with lower prices have proven to be serious competition to this brick and mortar shop. Covid 19 has hit the store hard. But Amy and her able staff are determined to keep going.
One of the greatest potential threats to the business came when Amy and her husband, who had started the company together, decided to divorce. Amy, who had enjoyed a self-described “sheltered” life of “privilege,” now had to figure out how to do everything herself, from paying the rent to doing taxes. With the encouragement of family and her extremely supportive staff, she was able to do what she need to do and be there for her three children. She has learned to run a successful business and found a new strength in herself.
Amy and Wigglish provide a unique and much needed service to the Heber Valley. Please be sure to check Wigglish out on Facebook.