Tye & Joan Steinbach
*Parents of Kyle (BS, UO 2011) and Ellie (BS, UM 2014)
Locally owned since 1994...
Or how a couple of science teachers opened a toy store two decades ago.
Armed with a short "Start Your Own Business" class, a dozen-page biz plan, and almost no relevant experience, we opened Thinker Toys in 1994. Our own kids were two and five years old.* We started in a tiny 300 square foot space with a month-to-month lease secured by a handshake. We've moved three times, ultimately landing in our current location that's more than tenfold our initial space. We've had two decades of slow-and-steady, tortoise-not-hare success selling terrific toys - and hopefully making kids' lives a little richer and happier along the way.
We knew we wanted to be a "destination" for parents and kids, an out-of-the-ordinary, hands-on store with great service, outstanding toys and a fun vibe. We've worked hard and a little bit smart and had our share of luck along the way. We've come to know many of you and your kids on a first-name basis. We count ourselves fortunate for both the success of the business and our connection to our community.
This has been twenty years of on-the-job-training. Thinker Toys has never been just a math exercise. It's human in scale. We do things that we don't or can't measure - things that surely aren't as efficient as they might be but that feel like the right thing to do. Hopefully our store will continue to resonate with you. So come on in, Shop Local. We're all in this together - right here in Keep Portland Weird!