Small Business Spotlight: Ruckus & Glee in Wauwatosa

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They met in business school, fell in love and now they live their passion every single day.

Matthew Poulson and Sarah Fowles opened Ruckus & Glee in Wauwatosa about three and a half years ago in an effort to embrace their own sense of whimsy and play.

Inspired by their daughter, Elinor, the store is a toy, book, and game store is a place for the young at heart to be themselves and have fun.

What else do you need to know about the beloved neighborhood spot in the heart of Wauwatosa Village? We recently had the unique opportunity to learn more about the store from Poulson himself. Here is what he had to say:

Reserve at Wauwatosa Village: What do you enjoy most about Ruckus & Glee?

Matthew Poulson: Interacting with children on a daily basis. I get a chance to make a kid happy every time someone walks in my store.  What’s a better job than that?

WV: Who inspires you and why?

MP: Teachers. All of them. The hardest, most underappreciated, underpaid job in the world.  

WV: What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered and how did you overcome it?  

MP: Riding the retail wave of highs and lows during the course of the year. We have some days that feel like they go so slow, and other days where we can’t catch our breath. When sales are slow, I try not to take it personally and remind myself of the times when I know it will be busy. I find it useful to talk to other specialty toy retailers across the country through our Facebook groups and our national trade association, ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association).

WV: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about running a business?

MP: Opening a business is like having a baby. Sure, you should read all the how-to books and you  look at all the parenting trends, but in the end you are opening your own business that is uniquely yours! There is no how-to book on your kid; there is no specific roadmap for your business. Don’t be afraid to do things the way they make sense to you just cause no other business does it that way.

WV: Can you describe a moment or moments when you stopped and realized this is why you are doing what you’re doing with your life?

MP: I can’t really. I mean the best I can come up with is an a old cliche’, I never feel like I’m working when I’m at Ruckus & Glee. So I guess everyday I’m at the shop feels that way, that I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing.

WV: What advice would you offer to other small business owners?  

MP: Always be prepared for success and growth. The simplistic axiom in business is; if you aren’t growing you are closing. Plan on success. You can always scale those plans back as need be.  

AT A GLACE

WHAT: Ruckus & Glee

WHERE: 805 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

CONTACT: (414) 395-3201

 

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