Work hard, play hard: Kentucky toy business started in a garage
LAWRENCEBURG, KENTUCKY (WDKY)-- When you watch the packing and shipping operation at Toyburg, it's hard to imagine it all started with a husband and wife just trying to find a little extra cash.
"We were looking at a K-Mart ad and they had some toys really cheap and I said 'Honey, we could buy these toys at K-Mart right now and resell them on Amazon, '" said co-founder Steven Seeberger.
So, that's what Seeberger and his wife, Jessica, did 12 years ago. They made a nice profit. It seemed easy and a hobby was born.
"It was fun," Jessica said. " We'd go out looking for toys, kind of like scavenger hunts., I used to love going to yard sales, flea markets, or finding treasure you could make money off of."
Soon, the couple's garage was overflowing. So, they rented space in neighbors' garage and found themselves immersed in the world of ebay and Amazon.
In the first year, the hobby turned into a big business, reaching one million dollars in online sales. It's only gone up from there.
Now, Toyburg employs 35 people who work out of a warehouse that has been expanded three times.
"We've got an operation that looks like NASA's about to launch a satellite into space," Steven said.
Several employees sit surrounded by computer screens, trying to find popular toys and track trends. Toyburg specializes in hard-to-find toys-- ones that are no longer in stock or were underproduced.
CEO Jon Linwick said, "I've got four kids at home and I love finding neat toys and bringing them home and knowing there are families all over the world benefiting from what we provide to Amazon."
Toyburg is definitely a place where employees work hard to play hard. They have flexible hours, can bring their kids to work and last year got 12 weeks paid vacation and cash bonuses. Each day, they all sit down for a free lunch, prepared on-site by a full-time cook.
"It's the environment we have that makes us want to come to work each day and give it our all," Steven said.
Turnover has not been a problem and job openings are rare.