Being in the toy business is rewarding, but it isn’t all fun and games, says Emily Finegold, owner of Emkin Toys in Hatboro, Pa.
Despite her creative genius and nearly a decade of experience as a toy designer, she’s found promoting a startup toy company to be difficult at times. Fortunately, the popularity of her breakout product (pictured) is effectively telling competitors to put a sock in it.
“My mom asked me if I would make her a puppet to use as a prop when she was asked to read at my nephew’s school story time,” Finegold explains. “I decided that I would use a sock, since it seemed like a simple way to make a puppet. It didn’t work out quite as I planned, but luckily a new creature was created, and that was My First Socktopus.”
My First Socktopus was the first toy officially designed and developed by Emkin Toys, the company Finegold launched in 2013. The bright colors and patterns of this imaginative, ultra-cuddly octopus — which has socks for tentacles — have been a big hit with little ones, she says.
“I gave one to my friend’s baby on a whim, and he loved it,” Finegold says. “And so I started making more.”
She’d eventually like to bring My First Socktopus to children around the world. To that end, Finegold recently entered QuickBooks’ Small Business Local Buzz campaign.
“This prize,” she explains in her entry, “would provide us with a way to engage in online promotions through blogs and Facebook, create a video for our Kickstarter campaign, and present to potential investors.”
QuickBooks didn’t play around with Finegold’s request. It notified the small-business owner this week that she is a recipient of a customized marketing package worth $5,000.
“The video is what I’m really excited about and just being able to reach another level — another tier of people beyond my Facebook and LinkedIn friends,” Finegold says. “I want to branch [out] beyond that, and I hope this is a stepping stone.”
Finegold intends to leverage the popularity of My First Socktopus to expand Emkin Toys and “create all of the other ideas inside of my head.”
Check Out the Buzz
QuickBooks’ Small Business Local Buzz campaign is announcing one winner a day through March 28. To learn more about the campaign and those vying for an epic marketing boost courtesy of QuickBooks, click here.
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