Meet a Mom: Sarah Beyrent
Sarah has been in the toy industry for 21 years. Sarah and her husband felt Naples was missing a quality toy store so they decided to open Pop Toy. They love being able to live and raise their family in Naples while doing something they thoroughly enjoy.
“We are Pop Toy Co. and We are your neighborhood toy store!”
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I am originally from Illinois, I moved to Naples when I was seven years old. I have lived a few other places since then, mainly Asheville, N.C. and Tampa where I went to college. My husband (who is a Naples Native) and I moved back to Naples 8 years ago to finish raising our children.
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
We have 5 children. Our sons are 21 and 17 and our daughters are 19, 15 and 8.
Funniest shortcut/ routine for helping you through parenthood?
The Sock Barrel. I have never folded socks ever. All socks come out of the dryer and go directly into the sock barrel where you search for the socks you need when you need them, which in Florida is not that often. My kids have rarely worn a matching pair of socks in their entire life and I can tell you it has made no difference in their success as functional human beings.
Best mom hack that makes life easier?
I don’t separate laundry unless its fancy and pure white, or brand new and red. It has never made a difference. Also, I quarantine the kids in my bathroom if they have the stomach flu. With a large family, getting the stomach flu can take 2-3 weeks to run its course and that is just unbearable. So, if one of mine big or small gets the stomach flu they are quarantined in my bathroom. They can have a pallet to sleep on or a blow up mattress and an iPad but they do not leave that room until they are 100 % over it. Most of the time it stops the flu from spreading to everyone else since they aren’t wandering around puking in everyone’s bathroom and touching everything.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I am 43 and my husband and I have been together for 29 years.
What is your favorite thing about living here?
Only having to purchase 1 season of clothing for school. With 5 kids it would have been tremendously expensive to live up north.
Do you have a family favorite restaurant in Naples?
Hibachi Japan has got to be the best value for the fantastic food in Naples. All of my kids love it and it’s super affordable and really delicious. Our teenagers actually called our attention to it.
What do you love to do with your family around town?
We enjoy water sports. The kids like to go out on the seadoo, paddle board, or play spikeball at the beach. We also enjoying catching a high school football game on Friday Nights. We both went to our kids’ high school, so it’s funny to go and root for our team even though our own children don’t play.
Tell us about your business and how it came to be, what you love about it, what makes it unique, what your goal is, etc…
We have been in the Toy Industry for over 21 years now. It started as a side business when we were fresh out of college. My husband and I both attended University of Tampa – he was working with troubled youths and I was a teacher for Special Needs in the Autism Unit. I was pregnant with our first child and we decided to try and do something where we could have more time at home to raise our child. eBay was brand new to the world back then and my husband had a background in collectible toys, a love he shared with his mom and grandma. We began our business online selling collectible toys and then it blossomed into our first store. For a period of time during the dotcom era we went back to an online only presence and I went back to teaching for a bit but we loved the flexibility of running our own business. I missed the customers and meeting all of the new faces. When our oldest was in 8th grade I found out I was having a “late in life baby” or as we like to call her “the straggler.” We decided to move back to Naples where our family was and open a store again. Naples had been missing a local toy store for some time and Naples is such an amazing place to raise a family we knew it was the right call. We designed our toy store not only to carry educational and high quality toys but also to be on top of trends and collectible toys. We have really accomplished that I think. We want to be a toy store for grandma, who needs help picking out toys for kids that she doesn’t see often, for mom who needs a gift idea on the fly, wrapped and ready to go on her way to the party, for the teacher or therapist that need to enhance their work environment, for the collector kid or adult who is collecting the latest trend, and for the kid who wants to walk in a place and feel the magic that a toy store should deliver.
Are you involved in anything else within the community?
We get called on by numerous charitable organizations and we love to help where and when we can. We are also involved with our schools, The Optimist Soccer Club and our church Living Waters.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
We have the most wonderful customers on earth. We constantly have new customers come in and tell us that “some guy or some lady” in Target told them that they had to go to Pop Toy for whatever they are looking for. We have had customers volunteer to work our store for a weekend when we went to Toy Fair in New York and didn’t want to close for 3 days. We get so much love from the community and we hope they know how important they are to a mom and pop business like ours. I tell people who apologize for shopping right before closing time “Please never apologize for choosing to shop here, without you I can’t send my kids to college!” We value your business and I will gladly stay late to serve our customers.
2355 Vanderbilt Beach Rd. #170
Naples, Fl 34109
Monday- Friday 10am-6pm