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BUSINESS Photos by David S. Spence of Spence Photographics

Building A Bigger Bear

Longtime toy store owners have big plans for the future By Molly Fellin Spence After 10 years of offering battery-free fun, games, books and toys at their shop at 12 N. Market St., in Downtown Frederick, Marlene and Tom England announced in May their plans to move to a more spacious location just around the corner at 15 E. Patrick St. The big move is set for early July, and more surprises and changes for the iconic shop have been promised as well. Though the Englands are extremely busy these days, shopping for new offerings to make available at the new Bear, they took time out to answer some questions about how their business got started and how it remains so successful in Frederick.

Please describe when and how your business got started. Where did the idea come from? What inspired you as you made plans? Talk about where the name originated We always wanted to work together somehow and own our own business. For a couple years, Tom did the craft show circuit with his handcrafted wooden toys – it was a great stress relief from his

work as an environmental scientist for the government. We saw the positive response to non-tech handcrafted toys – and saw a gap in the marketplace for high-quality toys that really inspired creativity and hands-on play. So we decided to take the plunge and open a brick-and-mortar store. Our first location was at 200A N. Market St., (current home to Sky’s the Limit Boutique). Our original plan was to sell all handcrafted toys – mostly Tom’s – but we quickly discovered that running your own business doesn’t leave much time for woodworking! So we sought out other products that met our high standards as parents (our boys were 4 and 8 years old at the time) and as business owners. We were inspired by a love of play, a strong belief in the importance of family fun time, and a desire to demonstrate that good oldfashioned play – whether it’s a wooden baby rattle or a classic board game – never goes out of style.

FREDERICK COUNTY GUIDE

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Profile for Pulse Publishing

Frederick County Guide – Summer 2013  

Whether you are a long-time resident or newcomer to the community, turn to the FREDERICK COUNTY GUIDE for current information about life in...

Frederick County Guide – Summer 2013  

Whether you are a long-time resident or newcomer to the community, turn to the FREDERICK COUNTY GUIDE for current information about life in...