SQ1 June Superfriend of the Month – Building Blocks Toy Store!

May 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm 1 comment

Each Month, we’re putting a Spotlight on a Superfriend.  We’re so excited to have one of our Super Tour Partners as SQ1’s June Superfriend of the Month!  Building Blocks has been providing specialty toys to Chicagoland for over a decade and although they may be a small shop they have big ideas to help you find the perfect gift for any child!  We sat down with shopkeeper, Katherine Nguyen McHenry to get an exclusive SQ 1 interview. We asked Katherine some fun questions about herself; see her answers below!

Q:  Katherine, tell us a little bit about how and why you started Building Blocks Toy Store?
A:  I was born to retail.  I started my own retailing business when I was barely ten years old – buying candy in bulk and selling it to friends and family.  I always thought retailing was means to an end, giving me extra spending money in high school and putting me through college.  When I graduated and became a CPA at a large law firm, I realized the corporate world wasn’t where I felt most self-expressed.  That’s when I chose a product type to retail that I love most, toys.  That was fifteen years ago, and it feels like yesterday!

Q:  How has owning the store impacted your life and what about your job brings you the most joy?
A:  Business owners take work with them.  It lives in our minds.  I love my work, so I love every day of my life that I get to think about my business.  I am truly blessed to be in love with my business.  I mostly enjoy when I get to make a positive impact on the families who shop in my store, the schools and organizations I’m able to donate goods and resources to, etc.  I get to control what my business does in terms of supporting my community and my customers.  That’s really Super Duperly Fantabulous 🙂

Q:  What gets you through juggling family life and work at Building Blocks Toy Store?
A:  I’m so fortunate to turn my business into a viable, successful entity before I became a mother.  It’s always a challenge to balance home life and work life, no matter what type of work/commitments any mother is involved in.  I remind myself that “balance” is not static; it’s a constant goal to strive for.  I have to keep reassessing what I need to focus on, whether it’s me, work, marriage or my son.  Then I just have to figure out how to get some sleep in too!

Q: Tell us the philosophy behind the mission of the store and why that is important to you?
A:  We offer a great selection of quality toys and products, service and expertise that is second to none as we support our community to the fullest.  This is important because I want to be a valuable resource to our community.

Q:  What was your life like pre-parenthood?
A:  I can’t remember; I can’t imagine life without my son.  I know my whole world changed when he was born, but I really can’t remember being this happy.

Q:  If there was a movie about your life what would it be called and why?
A:  I’m totally stealing a cigarette ad slogan (NOT condoning cigarettes here!)… “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.”

Visit Building Blocks’ Chicago locations:

Lakeview                                         Wicker Park
3306 N. Lincoln Ave.                    2130 W. Division St.
773.525.6200                                  773.235.1888

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Cindy McCarthy  |  June 7, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Building Blocks is one of our favorite toy stores. They have an incredible selection of toys, and their staff always helps me pick out the perfect gift for friends or surprise for my kids. Keep up the great work Katherine. Those of us living in your community appreciate it!


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