Fleishman's Tiny Town is the Southeast's Largest Children's Specialty Department Store. It was started by my grandparents, Marilyn and Herbert Fleishman in 1951 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Its doors are still open, delighting parents and children for decades, with children who later become parents bringing their own kids into the store.
I grew up with my grandparents' owning a toy store and my dad managing it. Though I'm grown, I get to help tell the story of this very special place through branding and web projects. To me, Tiny Town is a part of my family, my childhood, and my love and understanding of what it means to be a small business owner.
- A Few Favorite Brand Stories -
Starting with a Strategic, Old-Fashioned Business Card
Tiny Town had the same business cards for nearly 30 years, a traditional design created by my grandfather. Though simple, they had an effective strategy - a picture showing the sheer size of the store.
When my grandparents would go to industry shows, many people would assume they weren't a big player since they only had one toy store. The business cards showed the huge size of Tiny Town and communicated that the business was a great and special place for new toymakers and others who wanted to reach kids in the marketplace.
Creating a Strategic, modern Business Card
To give the existing cards a facelift, I wanted to do something inspired by my grandfather - show an experience, show what's special about the store.
I did a photoshoot to capture the colors, feelings, and elements of the store itself. Then we used the printer Moo.com to print 12 different versions of the same card. The back has all the same information, but the fronts are all unique - telling one story or another about the store. For someone who's never been, it invites them in to a new toy and children's store experience.
A Website fit for a town
Somewhat along the lines of the strategy behind the business cards, I built Tiny Town's current website (www.visittinytown.com) around the idea of inviting new customers into the experience of coming to the store.
I leverage the photoshoot I did to put forward large, beautiful and fun images of visiting Tiny Town, so those coming to the website could see that going to the store was more than just an ordinary shopping experience - it was a special visit back to your childhood.
Tiny Town's current site runs on WordPress and was developed in 2013 (under my previous business, anniemade). In the future, I plan to work with my family to refresh the site and move it to the Squarespace platform, for an even cleaner and dynamic web experience around the business.
While Tiny Town had an existing brand in the form of a logo, it didn't have cohesive branding beyond that and a giraffe on its kraft paper bags.
I created a refresh for their brand, using the core colors of yellow and purple and whimsical giraffes (my grandmother's favorite animal). As part of that refresh, I put together branded store signage for a more consistent brand experience.