Membership  /  Member Spotlight  /  Azhelle Wade

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Azhelle Wade

New York

President, The Toy Coach

"The word can't is more limiting than you'll ever know, and easier to overcome than you first believe."

More About Me

Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up here.

My career in the toy industry started with my education at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I graduated from the Toy Design program and landed a job with Horizon Group USA as a part of their new product development team. Over the years I've worked for a variety of toys and arts and crafts companies, including Toys R Us! And after 10 years of successfully inventing new products, climbing the ladder, and helping companies grow, I decided to help educate and inspire other toy people do the same.

Describe yourself in 5-7 words.

A business-minded creative and motivational educator.

Tell us about a time when you thrived at work, and what you learned about yourself from that experience.

I remember the first few company brainstorms I organized as a VP. Early on I worried that I wouldn't be up to the task of motivating and inspiring such a big group. But when the meetings commenced, my fears subsided and I naturally started to lead. To this day I remember how it felt watching these meetings unfold as team members got more and more comfortable sharing their ideas. They started collaborating, helping, and inspiring valuable new product ideas. I remember feeling so proud to be heading that meeting and found myself really inspired by the collaboration.

What I learned about myself is how much joyful energy I receive from being in a position of leadership. Watching the growth and success of the people I mentor was so exhilarating, that it inspired me to foster the best possible environment for them to thrive within.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the work I do today, with The Toy Coach, is connecting with people. I get to meet so many different people from both inside and outside of the toy industry. It's inspiring, educational, and keeps every day new and exciting!

How about when you "turn off" and go home? Any hobbies or fun activities you are involved in?

I love salsa and bachata dancing. Pre coronavirus I would go dancing in NYC regularly. Now, I have mini 2-person dance "parties" at home or I take online dance classes. I'm also a fan of Kickboxing, and I miss the gym so much! Other than that I enjoy playing board games with friends and driving out to overlooks to take in the views.

Any must-read, must-watch or must-follow recommendations?

Books To Read:
One Simple Idea by Stephen Key
The Art of Click by Fisher Glenn
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill

Podcasts To Listen To:
Making It in The Toy Industry by me!
The Art of Online Business by Rick Mulready

Anything else you want to share with the WIT Community?

Whether you are a toy inventor, entrepreneur, or just starting out in your professional toy career, you are invited to listen to my podcast Making It In The Toy Industry.

Making It In The Toy Industry is a weekly podcast to inform and inspire toy people like you. This podcast gives valuable step by step toy advice, insightful interviews and so much more. If you don't want to miss an episode, make sure you subscribe!

Listen to the latest podcast episode by visiting www.makingitinthetoyindustry.com.

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