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Remembering the first 5 years

2ndbirthday

7/7/2006

It’s crazy to think that tomorrow, 5 years will have passed since the humid Wednesday night in July when, after months of preparation, we quietly opened the doors to our new store on Harvard Street in Brookline. I still remember the anxiety – like we were throwing a party, but wasn’t sure if anyone would come. We turned up the kids’ music and waited to greet our first customers. We had invited friends and family to stop by so we could practice our newly-forged skills on the cash register, but as it turned out, we barely had time to talk to any of them. From the moment the doors were unlocked, we were flooded with customers, most of them walking in off the street, totally oblivious to our rookie status.

It was a promising beginning.

In July of 2004, my oldest daughter had just turned 2 and my baby was just barely 3 months old. Looking back, I start to wonder where the time has gone, but then I realize that my oldest is about to start second grade, and my “baby” is going into kindergarten, and is now a middle child. We’ve just renewed our lease in Brookline for another five years. When that lease is finished, My kids will be 12, 10 and almost 6. This blows my mind a little. I can only hope the next five years are as much fun and as fulfilling as the first five. And it would be OK with me if they went by just a little slower.

Thank you – to our imaginative vendors, our incredible customers and last, but certainly never least, our amazing team of people, in our stores, our warehouse and our headquarters, who make this adventure possible. Most of all, thank you to my partners in crime, my husband and my brother-in-law, two of the smartest, most creative and collaborative people I could ever hope to find, and to our parents and siblings, who all believe fervently in the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Here are some of my favorite memories:

– Selling Mountain Buggy strollers out of my basement, after we were listed as a dealer on the Mountain Buggy website two weeks before the store actually opened.

– My daughter, Mira, chubby and sweet, hanging out in the Svan chair in the front window of the store. “Is that a REAL baby??”

– A very sick little boy at Children’s Hospital who wanted a die-cast yellow Hummer, and meeting Dr. Dan Heller because of him.

– Isaac saying, “I think you should start a blog. It will be easy!” My response: “What’s a blog?”

– Events like Potterpalooza, First Light, Stroller SpeedDating and Dr. Ferber in our Playscape

– Company picnics and bowling parties, the Magic Beans relay race

– Traveling to Germany and Norway with Stokke

– Opening 2 new stores 1 week apart and the amazing Grand Opening weekend

– Annual pilgrimages to Toy Fair and ABC

– The thrill of filling certain celebrity orders (our lips are sealed)

– Watching products go from concept to reality to blockbuster success, and being part of that journey (shout out to Orbit)

– Watching our customers’ bellies grow, and then getting to meet the babies – it never gets old.

– The adrenaline rush I still get every time I say to a customer “Can I help you with anything today?”

Your turn. Do you have a favorite Magic Beans moment?

19 comments

  1. Hi Sheri,

    I can’t believe it’s been 5 years. I can’t tell you how honored we are to be among your earliest memories. I wish you only continued success.

    Alan Jurysta
    President
    Sycamore Kids Inc
    Mountain Buggy USA

  2. Sheri,

    This was your vision to turn the vacant Imaginarium space into Magic Beans. As with everything else, you have been amazing to partner with, and you impress me everyday.

    Thank you to all of our unbelievably talented team of people in the stores, the warehouse, and the office.

    We would be nothing without our customers. The best customers ever. Really. I enjoy working with you everyday.

    Eli
    Co-Founder – Visionary – Dad

  3. My favorite Magic Beans moment? It was the night your new website launched. That I will remember forever. 🙂

  4. Steven, I still remember the first time you and I ever spoke, in the middle of that crazy blizzard at Toy Fair in 2006. I felt like I was talking to a rock star. Thank YOU for all the great memories and the amazing work you, Julie, Mark and e-Mark have done for us. We heart you guys so much.

  5. Michael Gurock

    Congratulations!!!! I remember that 1st Thanksgiving, tagging toys, albeit incorrectly (oops still sorry!) to all ours of the night and thinking my brother, and sister-in-law must be crazy…now you guys have three stores and three kids…amazing

  6. I actually have tears in my eyes… Go beansters!

  7. When I was in college, I walked past the Imaginarium every day on my way to class. Every day I thought, “I should go in there sometime.” When it closed, I thought, “Too bad, I guess I missed my chance.” I’m so glad I was wrong, and have been able to spend plenty of time in that space over the past 5 years! Congrats on reaching such a milestone, and thanks for letting me be a part of it.

  8. The opening of the Hingham and Wellesley stores is a great landmark in my mind. I hope to see the openings of many more stores! :o) -MB

  9. Sheri – I have a Magic Beans memory. In August of 2007 I ordered a Go Go Kidz car seat attachment thing for my best friend who was visiting her sister alone in Alabama and was flying with an 8-month old. The item didn’t make it to her before she left for her plane ride home, but your customer service person was so kind and re-routed the package from Alabama to New York free of charge to us. Though she had to manage in the airport with both a big car seat and a stroller alone, the kindness of your customer service agent was so memorable that it kept me coming back to your site/store.

    Thanks for hiring the right people.

    Allyson Kane
    Pocklock.com

  10. My favorite memories:

    *Hearing about the idea from your mom
    *Getting the MBUD (and, especially, the double bassinet)–to this day, still probably the best purchase for the girls we’ve ever made

    Here’s to 115 more!

  11. I, too, have tears in my eyes.

    My favorites:

    The idea (Mom, I think I want to open a toy store.)
    The concept (baby gear, playscape, customer service)
    The synergy (Sheri, Eli, Isaac)
    The bean (everywhere, anthropomorphized)
    The innovations (stroller matchmaker, stroller test drives, wowbabybaskets.com)
    The passion (for your business, for your community)

    Congratulations on your fifth anniversary!

  12. My favorite memories? Well, this is the first one that comes to mind.

    It was in the summer about two years ago. Most people had called out sick that day, so it was only Dave and I working the warehouse. Despite it being horridly hot, the day wasn’t that bad. That is until Dave had to leave for deliveries, leaving me all by my lonesome.

    So there I was, (literally) running around trying to get everything done. By mid-afternoon, I was not a happy camper.

    Eli heard that I was the only one at the warehouse and came over to see how I was doing. After I told him how the day had gone and what was left to be done, he asked what my favorite ice cream was. He then left and came back a few minutes later with a little bucket of Ben&Jerry’s and told me to take a break.

    Eli, that made my day like you wouldn’t believe.

    Here’s to many many more years of success and awesomeness!

  13. My favorite Magic Beans moment will always be the time that 200 Mini Goober Bears “escaped” from their boxes and formed a line weaving through and around the Magic Beans office. (I may have slightly assisted)

    No other job would give me access to 200 tiny teddy bears and I can’t think of any other bosses who would put up with it, and enjoy the joke, the way Sheri and Eli did!

  14. I’ve had a couple of great moments at Magic Beans- opening the Hingham store, the flag day race, potterpalooza were all great moments for me. However, the one that takes the cake is most definitely the day that I met Carly. Without Magic Beans we may never have met and for that I am so very grateful.

    Congrats on making it five years Eli, Sheri and Isaac! And cheers for many more years to come!

  15. Well, now seems like a good time for me to add my favorite moments! Of course meeting Colin as well as all of the great friends I’ve made is the top of the list. 🙂

    Others include:
    – helping my very first stroller customer start to finish– a turquoise Volo that I was so happy to sell, I followed the customers to the door and waved goodbye!
    – strangely, anytime I ended up staying late at the store–Potterpalooza, stroller speed dating, and merchandising nights.
    – making and selling Wuzzies!
    – and most recently, adding to all the antics in the office.

    Congratulations to Magic Beans, for getting better every year!

  16. i will never forget the day eli found me at my previous job. after an hour or so of chatting and catching up, he said, “well, what do you think, do you want to come work for us?” i replied, “well what do you want me to do?” he said, “we don’t know, but sheri’s parents said we had to find you, and hire you.”

    that was all the reason i needed. serendipity at its finest.

    -dustin
    part time sales associate.

  17. So many happy memories! It is hard to believe it has been 5 years, but they have been great (mostly 🙂 )
    Of my memories- I would say-
    -working part time a week after our honeymoon, and finding a passion for strollers and baby gear that newlyweds should not yet know…
    -playing with Mira on a blanket in the window (oh the beginning…)
    -constant dinner conversations about the bean (I guess that is what happens when you are the odd one out)
    -the cakes – oh the cakes….
    -magic beans office becoming day care
    -playing in the playscape the first time with Avery
    -becoming an everyday shopper at the store (I still get a thrill from buying stuff there)

    Can’t wait for many more wonderful memories to come.
    Love to you all!

  18. Michael Minialoff

    Amazing, simply amazing.

  19. the look on 3 year old nadav’s face when he found a magic beans golden egg on harvard street…

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