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Well, we're finally doing it. After nearly fifteen years in business, we're taking
the plunge into the dark and scary waters of the Internet. We've spent
long hours and perhaps sprouted a few new gray hairs in recent weeks
painstakingly designing our website and planning our next steps. During
this process, it has been important to reflect on the history of jaZams
up to this point and the philosophy that has guided us along the way.
Since our original opening in 1996, our mission has been twofold.
First, we have strived to offer a wide selection of quality, imaginative
toys and books for all ages. To this end, we've perused the catalogues
of countless vendors from around the world in search of the most
beautifully designed and finely constructed products available; we've
frequented toy fairs and gift shows to stay up to date on the newest and
coolest items; and along with our friends and families, we've
personally tested nearly every item on our shelves. In an age of media
saturation, it has been our hope that such a carefully selected array of
creative, enriching and let's say it – fun! – toys and books will serve
as a reminder to step away from the TV or computer screen.
Second, as a local independent retail store, we have aimed to
strengthen and sustain our community. We've always stressed the
importance of shopping locally in order to preserve healthy and
functional neighborhoods. In stark contrast to Internet discounters and
big-box stores, we've built our business around human connection. We
know many of our customers by name and take pride in the highly personal
shopping experience that jaZams provides.
It should come as no surprise, then, that we have been
hesitant to establish an Internet presence. A website is by nature far
less personal and localized than a brick and mortar shop, and it
promotes the very screen time that our ethos tends to discourage. On the
other hand, we would be foolish to dismiss the Internet entirely and
overlook its merits. We understand, for example, that not all of our
customers live in the area, and that even our local customers can't
always find the time to visit us. Our online shopping page will make it
easy to bring some of our favorite products to your neck of the woods at
the click of a button. Our website and email list, along with our new Facebook
page, will also allow us to communicate with you much more efficiently.
We can now notify you instantly of upcoming events, recent developments
at the store and the newest items to come through the door.
When all is said and done, we hope that our website will prove to
be a fun and useful supplement to the jaZams experience. Though we've
approached the Internet with some degree of trepidation, we're also
excited to jump in. We welcome your feedback as we get started, and hope
that you're excited to join us!
If you'd like to read more of our musings, rants and ramblings in the coming weeks and months, be sure to visit our blog.