Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shop Around the Corner

If you are a lover of Target like I am, you know they carry pretty much everything a gal can hope for. Where else can you buy a great new pair of capris, dog bones, light bulbs and foot scrub? And 'fess many of you have hidden some very fun purchases in the name of it just showing up as 'Target' on your Quick Books? The Red Circle is near and dear to my heart and the Mother Ship often beckons me home when I have been away too long.

But, sometimes even Target doesn't have the perfect gift.

You know, like when your kiddo has been invited to his tenth birthday party of the year and you really would like to bring a gift that will not only be admired by the child but also will save the mom from having to cling to the gift receipt in effort to return it for something that might hold their child's attention for more than a few days.

My good friend, Brandi, has four daughters ranging in age from 4 months to 8 years. She, hands down, is the queen of catalog shopping. That girl alone keeps those brown trucks moving. She taught me some of the best toys are found in catalogs such as Toys to Grown On , Sensational Beginnings, and Constructive Playthings. Each one of these companies has really great unique toys that can't be found in most stores.

Imagine her joy when a little toy store called Learning Express opened in the Cypress area and they DID carry all those cool toys in the catalogs. Instant toy gratification and no shipping fees, bonus!

Learning Express is owned and operated by two of the spunkiest and knowledgeable gals you'll ever meet, Shannon Fritz and Kristin Janger. I just LOVE them, they are a blast! Their store is divided into sections (outdoor, science, arts and crafts, games and puzzles, babies, preschoolers, etc) and has great toys and educational products for all ages, babies through pre-teen. The staff is super friendly and they are so happy to offer age-specific suggestions for your shopping needs. But wait, there's more! Not only do they gift wrap for free (yes, EVEN at Christmas time) but they have a VIP program which takes the sum of 15 purchases and gives you the average in store credit. How sweet is that? Did I also mention that they offer Birthday Bucket service? When you child is having a birthday party, your kiddos are able to choose some of their favorite things and put them in their bucket. Then you put enclosure cards in the inviations saying selections have been made at Learning Express. It totally takes the guesswork out of birthday party shopping. This is particularly helpful when you have been invited to a party of a school friend you may not know as well.

To park close to the door, have a personal toy guide to help make your selection, gift wrapping is included and your purchases are tracked and then an average comes back to you as store credit. Love the Learning Express!

So the next time you are meeting a friend at Newks for lunch or see a movie at the Cypress Cinemark, pop into Learning Express and check out their Scrabble necklaces, Magnetic Mosiacs, Magformers and Pump Rockets. One visit and you'll be hooked!

And did I mention they are opening a new store in the Copperfield area? Yes! Two locations very, very soon!

Update: 8/7 My friend Sherry reminded me that they will ship your purchases as well! Check our her comment on how she tackled Christmas shopping!


Sam McClure said...

I LOVE this store; we have one right by my house; they will also ship your purchases if you need them to; great for us at Christmas time when so much of our family is out of town! I seriously went in and had all of the "cousins" shopping done and shipped to their houses in about 15 minutes!