In 1963, when the Schwarz family sold their last shares in the business, FAO Schwarz went through a series of owners beginning with Magazine. The company was subsequently sold to W.R. Grace in 1970, and then to toy retailer Franz Carl Weber of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1974. In 1985, Christiana Companies, a San Diego, California based company, owned FAO Schwarz for just one year. In 1986, Peter Harris, with the help of Philadelphian investment banker, Peter Morse, bought the company under Morse Partners Ltd. and moved the toy store across 58th Street to its current location in the at 767 Fifth Avenue at 58th Street. FAO Schwarz was sold to Netherlands-based NV Koninklijke Bijenkorf Beheer (later renamed Vendex/KBB) in 1990. Throughout the 1990s, new FAO Schwarz stores opened throughout the United States and by 2000 the company had 40 locations.
It is virtually impossible to walk into Wind Up Here without feeling the corners of your mouth curl up into a smile. The Downtown Olympia toy store has a knack for turning even grown men and women into playful, adventurous children. I’ve visited Wind Up Here with my daughter on many occasions and, without fail, I always end up tinkering with something. And with over 4,000 square feet, there is plenty of room for everyone to tinker.
It wasn’t until checking out , a toy store located in The Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, that it occurred to me how boring standard toy stores are. Sure the stuff on the shelves is exciting, but the way in which it’s all presented could clearly be much cooler. Why shouldn’t a trip to the toy store be a magical and interactive experience?! More than just a place to find popular brands, Jou Jou offers original toys and books, in addition to a whole lot of whimsical fun. via
Established in 1993 by a group of 4 friends, Wind Up Here has sought to bring joy to Downtown Olympia through educational toys and an engaging lineup of children’s events. That vision and energy is what attracted current owners, Brekke Hewitt and Gail Small to purchase the business in March 2007. The mother-daughter partners had just opened their first toy store, , two years earlier. They soon decided to expand and began searching for new opportunities. When they found that Wind Up Here was for sale in Olympia they decided to take a look. “It was just a perfect fit. We came down and met the owners and met the staff and it was love at first sight,” says Hewitt.