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At WiT, we love to shine a light on our members' stories and give them a chance to answer questions about themselves, plus offer advice to other members.
California - Southern
McWiggins Wonder Emporium
"Work Hard, Dream Big, Have Faith, and Hoard Toys!"
More About Me
Tell us about your career journey and how you ended up here.
My Mom (Ellie) & I have always loved (all) toys. As a child, I absolutely loved my dolls, Barbies, Breyer Model Horses and more. My Mom Ellie has always loved Teddy bears, as well as any Snoopy or Mickey items. About 10 years ago we fell in love with a little toy shop in a historic town and fell in love with it. Let me rewind real quick. My Mom Ellie had lots of experience in retail from her younger days. She ran and owned a Tack shop and fitted boots for famous actors like Patrick Swayze and others! Fast forward, I didn’t have any experience with retail but am a people person so I wasn’t worried about working the store. We purchased the store and made it “ours”... (The Treasured Child) in La Grange, Ky. In 2019 the store was slightly struggling, the town was quiet. Suddenly out of no where, a town not to far from us invited us to their recruitment event. Long story short, We fell in love with Madison, IN and decided to purchase a building on the historic main street where we relocated our toy shop and renamed it to McWhiggins Wonder Emporium. Along the way, I found Women In Toys at Toy Fair in NYC and I had always been interested in being involved. I decided a few years ago to go ahead and join the membership and I am so glad I did. So, I guess, this is how I ended up here!
Describe yourself in 5-7 words.
27 yr old Eccentric, Cool Mom, Rodeo Wife, Toy Loving, Business Owner
Tell us about a time when you thrived at work, and what you learned about yourself from that experience.
A time I feel like that I thrived at work was when COVID really hit and we had to shut down. It lit a spark inside me and my mom, Ellie. We decided we weren’t going to sit around and wait to be able to open our doors again. I quickly built a website myself and am still running it and tweaking it. Throughout this COVID journey I really learned that the community does truly care and wants to support so it fueled my fire to keep going. I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to and there are so many people behind me cheering and supporting.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I hands down love going to market (Atlanta and Toy Fair NYC). I also really love going through catalogs and ordering. To be honest, I love everything about my job. I am technically a co-owner and manager. I love editing my website and creating new emails. It’s all a lot of hard work and time but it’s so worth it. One of my other favorite things is being in the store and customer service. I love to hear the good things and the compliments. I love reading the reviews and the check-ins. I love hearing the kids just go crazy and the older generations gasping and laughing about how they had this or that as a child. So many memories come to their minds as they take a walk back in time in McWHiggins. I love pulling in everyday and knowing that I am living the dream.
How about when you "turn off" and go home? Any hobbies or fun activities you are involved in?
Yes! Way to many. I don’t think I ever “turn-off”. I have two children under the age of 2. My Lizzie is 2.5 and Mikey is 7 Months old. WHen I get home I spend time with my Rodeo Husband Mike and my two kids. On the weekends if there isn’t any big events happening My Husband and I take the kids all around the USA to Rodeos and sight seeing. My husband is a professional Rodeo Cowboy so we go on many adventures. A hobby that I’ve had since I was a child is horse back riding. I show on regional and national levels with my Arabian Horses and American Saddlebreds. It is probably my absolute favorite thing to do when I get free time.
Any must-read, must-watch or must-follow recommendations?
Well, my favorite “must-watch” has to be Outlander. . Far from G rated. I also am completely obsessed with Game of Thrones... oops another far from G-Rated must watch. I do find my self watching way to many TikToks... which is mindless and helps me just laugh sometimes when I just need to decompress. A “must-read” would have to be anything from Rachael Hollis.. but I really enjoyed “Girl Wash Your Face”. A “must-follow” has to be Adrian b Brannon. She’s a musician and everything cowgirl.
Anything else you want to share with the WIT Community?
I am not your typical 27 year old. I guess you could say I have a pretty old soul. I love coffee house music, I am obsessed with collection vintage Native American jewelry, I am addicted to anything Disney. I love puzzles, and drinking coffee in the mornings and before bed. I am a total night owl, I love horror movies and reading books. I love taking pictures with my Nikon in my spare time which I never have HAHA. Thank you for including me in this community. I love it!