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Amy Saldanha - Kiddywampus Toy Store - ASTRA Toy As we all deal with the impact of COVID-19 and “Social Distancing”, retail stores are heavily impacted.  In many cities and states non-essential stores are having to close their doors and look for creative ways to survive.  In this episode Thom Singer has an in-depth conversation with Amy Saldanha, the owner of kiddywampus, a specialty toy store in Minneapolis, MN.  Amy is also the incoming chair for the American Specialty Toy Store Association (ASTRA).
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In this podcast they discuss the realities of running a small locally focused retail store in good times and in challenging times.  They share their thoughts and ideas about how all business people can get creative and work together to thrive in the future.
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About Amy Saldanha

Amy Saldanha is founder and CEO of kiddywampus, a specialty toy retailer and destination for families in the Twin Cities. She is also the incoming Chair to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. Prior to founding and running kiddywampus in 2006, Amy practiced law as a civil litigator in Chicago, followed by stints in operations and talent management at several digital start-ups. Amy graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communications. She also holds a social sciences degree in political philosophy from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She earned her JD from Valparaiso School of Law. Amy also serves on the Board of Trustees at The Blake School, and the Boards of ResourceWest and Hopkins Business & Civic Association. She and her husband, Kenneth, have three children, all of whom are active at kiddywampus.
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About ASTRA

Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is an international not-for-profit trade organization that serves more than 1,800 independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives of the specialty toy industry. ASTRA is a dedicated community of professionals committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have high play value. ASTRA members build their businesses around specialty toys, which are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. ASTRA members are leaders who have a positive influence the economy, culture and creativity of the communities they serve.
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ASTRA provides members with access to networking, education, discounts, business products and services to assist our members as they grow their businesses. ASTRA Academy, which houses our education and training resources, was established to provide ASTRA members with on-demand access to up-to-the-minute training in an ever-changing industry. Marketplace & Academy is a four-day trade show and education conference featuring industry leaders and hands-on product demonstrations. The conference draws more than 450 exhibits and includes more than 30 hours of education.
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A volunteer board of 14 retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives governs the associations.

About Thom Singer

Thom Singer is an expert in human connections.  He is a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremoniens / EmCee (as well as experience with virtual conference hosting). Thom works with companies and associations to ensure their employees and members find better ways to engage in person and virtually.  He is the author of 12 books and the host of two podcasts.