Open since 1982, Kinder Haus, located on Fillmore Street in the middle of Clarendon, has been a company based on the community. Locally opened by Sue Pyatt and her family, as well as managed by her daughter Jen Pyatt, the childrens’ toy store has taken great pride in their connection with customers and employees.
Many customers remember the store from its old location in Seven Corners, but since moving to Clarendon, a move many were not aware about, shoppers have received a memory filled surprise when they find out that it was the same store from years ago.
The Pyatts contribute to many school plays and various community gatherings such as Clarendon Day and other organizations that take donations. For the past few months Kinder Haus has taken canned food donations to give to local food banks. They have also been collecting money donations to help send Ugandan girls to school who cannot afford it; they have currently raised enough money to send seven girls to school and are working on sending an eighth. Since many children there cannot afford schooling, the Pyatts have taken it upon themselves to help as many girls as they can to get an education.
The store has held various other activities, such as storytime at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays for children and their families. The stories are read by another manager, Laura DeGrossi. Customers call throughout the week to ask about these events. A significant amount of families join in on the experience in the playpen section of the store. Kinder Haus also holds book signings since Sue Pyatt has written two childrens books, Call Me Madame President and President Amanda’s Whistle Stop Trip. From inspiring matching accessories to book signings, these two books have become the signature product of the store. “We really enjoy connecting with our community in as many ways as we can find” said Jen Pyatt. “We have many customers that we have become close friends with and we like to build a connection with each of our customers. That will make their experience with our store, and us, a memorable one.”
Many students from Yorktown and W-L are employed at the toy store. Kinder Haus hires students with the intention of having them work throughout their college years. “I think it is one of the best first jobs a student could have,” said junior Bailey Hall. “It is such a warm and loving environment, we all have really good connections with our bosses and we all get along really well.” While many college employees study far away from the store, they are welcomed to work anytime they come back home and many work during the holiday rush in December.
Through many years of service to their community and their connections with their customers, Kinder Haus Toys is a establishment that hopes to make better and new connections with their community everyday.
“During the holidays we of course get super busy, but it is all a wonderful experience for the employees and the customers,” said junior Rebecca Wroblewski. “It is an amazing atmosphere, you really feel the spirit of the holidays and it gets you in a wonderful mood, it is hectic and a bonding moment all at the same time, but it is all apart of the many memories we create together.”