Kaleidoscope Toys

Business veteran rooted in Round Rock

Kaleidoscope Toys owner Terry Myers said she got her start in the toy business 25 years ago with $100 and an idea.

Looking to supplement her income, Myers read a local newspaper and mapped out local garage sales. She said she became a "garage saler"—buying used toys then cleaning, fixing and reselling them from her home.

Myers then took her used-toy business to a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Round Rock. She began slowly integrating new toys onto the shelves. At first she said she incorporated troll dolls, then Brio train sets and, for a time, Beanie Babies.

Over time the business transformed to one that now only sells new items.

When Dell Inc. arrived in Round Rock, Myers said she anticipated a transformation in the city. She moved the business to its current location in a strip center on the southwest corner of the intersection of I-35 and RM 620 in Round Rock in 2012.

"There is always something new, not just new toys, but new in what the community is doing, where the community is going, how it is growing, how it is changing," Myers said. "There are always new adventures, new challenges, and a good business person looks for those and changes with the times."

A major change Myers said she has seen has been the rise of online retail.

"The Internet is a big player," she said.

Despite the reach and size of online retailers such as Amazon.com, Myers said she remains competitive by staying rooted in her community and giving back to it. As a small-business owner, Myers said she can act on business decisions more quickly than large retailers.

Myers also holds events at the store throughout the year that feature sales, learning activities and more. Many events at the store also benefit causes such as fighting cancer and helping the troops.

"I cannot be an Amazon. I choose to compete on my own turf," Myers said. "I am very much a part of my community, whereas Amazon is not."

Myers said she researches all the toys in the store before putting them on the shelf. She said she looks for quality toys that can educate children's minds and bring a family together rather than cheap, mass-produced products.

Friday Family Fun Nights

Kaleidoscope Toys owner Terry Myers said she engages with her community through Friday events at the store. The summer get-togethers are family-oriented and often feature entertainers and games. Admission to Friday events is food for the Round Rock Area Serving Center. Myers said the events promote family time. She also holds weekly craft classes during the summer.

"[Families] come for the entertainment. They maybe go to dinner afterward, and they maybe go home and play a game," Myers said. "[Patrons] just get that family feel in a world full of iPads."

110 N. I-35, Round Rock, 512-388-5048, www.kstoy.com, Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.