Amy Pennington WIT Stories

How long have you been a WIT member?
Four years.

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I reflect on the things I have to do for the day and read through my mountain of emails. I try to be as responsive as possible to our team, our customers, and to our factories. Strong communication is so important in maintaining your relationships. You need to be a good communicator with your internal team, your customer partners, and your vendor partners. All parties should feel invested and a part of your mutual goals. At the end of the day, your success is everyone’s success and it is highly dependent on all of your partners.

What is your single best piece of business advice?
Have the courage of your ideas. It is so important to have confidence in yourself, your ideas, and your vision. If you have confidence, you can stay the course.

What is your favorite productivity tip?
Your team is your most important investment. It’s really important to curate a motivated, passionate, creative team that can execute. Ideas are important, but it’s your team who will be tasked with transforming them into products. If you have a strong team, you can achieve your goals quickly, efficiently, and happily.

What drew you into the toy industry?
At the time I started my company, my children were toddlers and I was looking for something entrepreneurial to do. I have always had a passion for horses and thought it would be fun to create a realistic toy horse line that recreated an authentic horse ownership experience. This led to the development of Paradise Horses®, a realistic line of horses with brushable hair and poseable features. From there, we have continually sought to enhance our line through various product extensions and to grow our brands. That’s what drew me into the toy industry. What keeps me in the toy industry– creating toys is fun! Trying to understand consumer sentiment, anticipating how a new item will perform… it’s exciting to see what works and what doesn’t.

What unique challenges does the toy industry present?
The toy business is really competitive. We are not only competing against other toy businesses, but also against technology and various electronics. It’s increasingly challenging to keep children engaged as they are aging out of toys at earlier ages than ever. Our biggest challenge is to keep children engaged in our toys through innovation and exciting product offerings. We are always looking to keep it fresh!