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 and toy store, and one we hope you’ll return to again and again!
Q: Tell me a bit about what you do at Magic Beans.
I provide parents and expecting parents with product advice based on years of experience within the baby goods industry, whether they’re looking for a properly fitted baby carrier, the perfect stroller for their lifestyle, or that special gift that a child will cherish for years to come.
Q: Tell me a bit about how you got started at Magic Beans, and your trajectory up through the company.
At the time I had been doing work in childcare and the job opening was recommended by a good friend. I started off as a sales associate in the Brookline store back in the spring of 2009 (back in the days when they still had carpet!). Eventually when the Boston store was first opening I came here as a Sales Lead to get the staff and store all set up. After a year I then went back to the Brookline store as their Assistant Manager, but eventually the Boston store called me back and I became the Manager!
Q: Describe a bit about your training process. What was your favorite part of learning about baby gear and toys?
I really like to get hands on with the products, because having firsthand experience with every aspect of the product will make it that much easier to see where it offers the most benefit for a customer. My favorite moment is when we get new products and I am able to get my hands on it and just play around. How much you can figure out without looking at a manual initially can really say a lot for how intuitive a product is as a whole. And if you see me playing around with the toys in the store, I like to call it “product testing.”
Q: What do you think makes your Magic Beans store extra-special?
The Boston store is a really amazing place because we not only have our wonderful group of local moms, but we also cater to kids and parents from all around the world. And being inside the Prudential Center also makes us a great place to stay warm and visit when the weather goes sour.
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.
With Registries, my first keystone item I like to establish is what stroller they are going to want. From there you can branch out into accessories and what car seats will be compatible. After that we will try on some carriers (always good to try on as early into the pregnancy as possible to be able to see how it will properly fit on you). And with registries, the more the merrier. It can be a great way to sample multiple brands (like bottles and swaddles) and really see which ones will end up being the best fit for you and your child. Never forget to add some gift cards!
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?
I’m originally from Western Massachusetts, where I was able to run around in the woods, and eventually found my way to Boston. I came here after High School to attended Massachusetts College of Art, where I got my degree in Sculpture. After I graduated I had already fallen in love with this city, and have been here ever since.
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?
I always will have my art to work on at home. I also enjoy experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen, and I am also a fan of reading, be it books or comics. I’m a fan of playing games (card, video, and board). I guess this makes me a large bearded kid!
Q: What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
I have to say when growing up I was a big fan of PeeWee’s Playhouse. I loved the puppets and the overall craziness of the set pieces. It also introduced me to “ice cream soup,” and I would carry my talking Peewee doll around everywhere.
Q: Do you have any special babies or kids among your family or friends who inspire you at your work?
I am “Tio Theo” to my little niece. She can be a big help for when I make toy recommendations, knowing what she loved to play with at a certain age or stage. She’s a DUPLO stacking, doll stroller pushing, dress-up princess.
Q: Let’s talk about your favorite products: what’s your favorite stroller at Magic Beans?
My favorite stroller is definitely the Bugaboo Cameleon C3. It is just a great balance of weight to features that can be perfect for both the suburbanite shlepping it in and out of the car and the parent living in the city who walks to all their destinations.
Q: What other baby gear do you always recommend to new and expectant parents?
I am a big fan of wraps like the Ergobaby Wrap and the Moby Wrap. Once you get beyond the intimidation factor of it being a very long piece of cloth, you will find it is actually really easy to put on (I have trouble putting a tie on but I can put a baby wrap on with my eyes closed).
Q: What are your go-to toys to recommend for customers shopping for birthday presents?
I love to recommend arts and crafts kits for both boys and girls. I feel it is really important to nurture creativity in kids at a young age and not be afraid to explore new mediums.
Q: What toy at our stores would you have been begging for as a little kid?
The Bruder Trucks would have been perfect for my GI Joe figures. Also any and all of the Star Wars Lego sets, I would have died for since I had to to try to invent my own when I was a little kid.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about working for Magic Beans?
My favorite thing about working at Magic Beans are those return customers of mine. It truly is a special experience when a parent brings in their newborn child for the first time in the stroller (and hauling other baby gear I had recommended for them) to express how grateful and happy they are. Over the years I now have customers whom I helped with their first, second, and even third child!