For a dozen years, small business owner Stacey McRae ran a photo studio in Tumwater.
But when she grew tired of photography and began thinking of a new venture, she knew she wasn’t tired of running her own business.
After researching toys and toy vendors and getting feedback from her own children, McRae decided to convert her studio into Two Monkeys Toy Store.
The business opened Nov. 18.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
“I felt there was a need for an independent toy store,” said McRae, estimating that Tumwater was last home to a toy store about 15 years ago.
Walk into her former photo studio now and it is wall to wall toys. She carries a range of items for infants to ages 10-12. Brands include Brio, Calico Critters, German brands Hape and Haba, and Melissa & Doug.
She also sells novelty toys, games, science kits, rock tumblers (to produce smooth stones) and a bow and arrow set — with kid-friendly, padded arrows — produced by Two Bros Bows. McRae says customers are welcome to try it out (this reporter did) but please be careful.
And if you shop at the store before Dec. 20, you can enter a drawing to win a giant giraffe.
McRae is not exactly a stranger to the toy business. Years ago in Pasadena, California, McRae worked at a bookstore where she not only bought books for the business, but also toys.
There is parking next to her business and directly behind it. And once you visit, you’ll get the hang of it, she said.
Some might think it an unlikely location for a business, except that when traffic backs up on Custer Way, drivers have a tendency to look to their right and see the toy store.
A school bus stopped in front of the business the other day, she said, and it wasn’t long before the children had alerted their parents to a new discovery.
Two Monkeys Toy Store
- Owner: Stacey McRae
- Location: 510 Custer Way SE, Suite 202, Tumwater
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
- Online: Find Two Monkeys Toy Store on Facebook.