Just as all of our customers are individuals, so are our brilliant staff members. This series of blogs is here to introduce you to the kaleidoscope of personalities that makes Magic Beans an extraordinary baby store, and one we hope you’ll return to again and again!
Q: Tell me a bit about what you do at Magic Beans.
A. I am part of our wonderful web team here at Magic Beans. If you’re live-chatting with someone or calling customer service, you’re probably talking to me!
Q: Tell me a bit about how you got started at Magic Beans, and your trajectory up through the company.
A. My good friend worked for Magic Beans for years, and needed some help putting gift bags together for the Drool Baby Expo. I obviously said yes, because that’s what friends are for, and halfway through the day Eli came in to check on how things were going and spotted me. He interviewed me seconds later, and basically hired me on the spot! I worked in our Boston Prudential Mall location as an associate, became the assistant manager, and then was asked to take on a role at the office as Head of Customer Service. It’s been a whirlwind, but a fun one!
Q: Describe a bit about your training process. What was your favorite part of learning about baby gear and toys?
A. Working at the Prudential store definitely keeps you on your toes. It’s one of our busiest stores, and my training process was basically to learn everything quickly as I worked with customers. My favorite part of learning about baby gear and toys is that there are so many options, and while some may look exactly the same, there is always something new coming out and something new to learn.
Q: What do you think makes shopping at Magic Beans better than your average web retailer?
At mbeans.com you’re able to get in touch with real people, whether it be via live chat, emails, or phone calls. I think it’s nice to be able to establish a human connection with someone. After all, you’re shopping for the most important people in your life, those little beans!
Q: One of the many services we offer parents-to-be is their very own Baby Registry concierge. Talk a bit about how you walk expectant parents through the registry process, and what situations you’ll help them navigate.
A. Registries are one of my favorite things to help out with. We get a lot of new parents coming to Magic Beans who are overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge there is, but the truth is that you don’t need to learn it all in a day, and figuring out what your family needs is probably easier than people anticipate, with a little help from us. I like to make building a registry a fun experience. People are going to be buying you gifts that you need and want, so learn a little, play a little, and pick things that work for you, not the items that got the best internet reviews.
Q: Let’s get a bit into some autobiographical details: where did you grow up? Are you from Boston? If not, how did you wind up living out here? What do you love about our town?
A: I’m from New Hampshire, but my entire family is from the greater Boston area. It just made sense for me to live here after going to school in the area. I love that Boston is big enough to explore and find new areas but small enough to do so in a day. We have so many wonderful hidden gems here. I especially like going to see the seals outside at the aquarium.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
A: I’m big into cooking and crafting. I love creating things that are new to me whether it be a crazy kind of donut or a new cocktail. If it is home-related I want to own it. My Kitchen-Aid is my most prized possession.
Q: What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
A: If I’m watching TV I’m probably watching No Reservations. I wish Anthony Bourdain was my uncle! He and his job are so interesting to me, and I love that he can learn a little more about a place in such an unconventional and relaxed way.
Q: Do you have any special babies or kids among your family or friends who inspire you at your work?
A: My nephew is 6 and is the light of my life. I never knew I could love a human so much until the day he was born. I once went to his ocean-themed birthday party on no sleep and carved a watermelon into a shark. He is genuinely the sweetest and most kind-hearted little guy I’ve ever met and takes every opportunity to share what he’s learned about dinosaurs or the Titanic with anyone who will listen!
Q: Let’s talk about your favorite products: what’s your favorite stroller at Magic Beans?
My favorite stroller at Magic Beans is the Bugaboo Cameleon. We get a lot of people who are shopping with limited space in mind (Boston apartments aren’t the easiest to start a family in). The Cameleon comes with both the bassinet fabric and the toddler seat fabric, so the transition is super easy and storage isn’t a problem, even for the smallest of spaces. The suspension on the Cameleon is awesome because you can change it with the weight of your child so they aren’t getting the shock of every bump on your walks, and the easy handlebar position change makes a huge difference if you don’t want to take the time to flip your toddler seat around.
Q: What other baby gear do you always recommend to new and expectant parents?
A. I have two things that I suggest to add to every registry:
1. The 3 Sprouts hooded towels: they are SO adorable and cozy for your baby, my favorite is the chicken!
2. The NoseFrida and replacement filters: this is so necessary and will get you so much more sleep if your child is stuffed up!
Q: What are your go-to toys to recommend for customers shopping for birthday presents?
A. Depending on the age of the child I have a couple of recommendations.
1. The Kidoozie nest-and-stack buckets. These are awesome because they help children with basic motor skills, teach them shape sorting, AND they store in one bucket. I think it’s important to keep the parent’s sanity in mind, and everyone appreciates an easy cleanup.
2. Anything craft or science related. I often suggest the My First Airplane kit. Again, kids love presents, so they’ll probably love whatever you picked out (Magic Beans is full of gems) but this keeps the parent in mind because the child will be entertained with something they can do or make themselves and it also creates a sense of pride. I was always so excited to show off things I made as a child.
Q: What toy at our stores would you have been begging for as a little kid?
A. Sands Alive. I have this game I like to play with myself to see how long I can go without touching it. A lot of the people who buy the Sands Alive kits are actually adults who just want a cool and natural zen garden, and this is awesome because it’s just sand, seashells, and mineral oil. We actually had a customer whose son started eating it (he may have been a tad young for it), and the worst thing that happened was that he pooped white for a day.* She got a kick out of it.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working for Magic Beans?
A. I love the sense of family we have at Magic Beans, whether it be between co-workers or between us and our customers. When my customers bring in their babies in a stroller I helped them pick out, I feel like a huge part of their lives. I have a bunch of wonderful customers who keep in contact about their child’s needs, as well as restaurant recommendations and things like that. Real customer interaction is very important to me, and I genuinely care about what my customers need, even if we don’t sell it at Magic Beans.
* Editor’s note: yikes!!!! Glad he was ok!