Welcome to the How Did You Get Started Show with Felicia Slattery! We air live in the Talk 92.3 FM / AM 760 Studios in Knoxville, Tennessee each Saturday morning at 11:30 AM – Noon Eastern Time. If you’re interested in sponsoring the show, contact Felicia on her contact page here. You can call the studio with a question for Felicia or our guests at: 865-888-8255 and listen live from anywhere around the world right here:
Now, meet TODAY’S guests:
You could say my very good friends, husband and wife power couple Kristen Joy and Tony Laidig get to play for a living, and you wouldn’t be far off. They are the proud owners of not one, but two distinctive toy stores in Chambursburg, Pennsylvania. Their original store, Toy Box Gifts and Wonder, opened it’s doors on June 1, 2017. Just about a year later, their second toy store, Nerdvana Outpost is also now open.
As you can see from the photo, we’ve been friends long enough for them to invite me to their intimate beach wedding in August of 2016. I was there when they met, I was there throughout their friendship, and I watched as friendship grew into love. But this isn’t a love story – exactly. Yet no conversation about work with Tony & Kristen could ever not include love.
Not only did neither one of them set out to being toy store owners, they also didn’t set out to being married to each other either. We’ll save the love story for a different podcast, because their path to becoming retail store owners is fascinating enough!
Tony Laidig began his career as a newspaper and commercial photographer, and then a graphic designer. He’s designed hundreds of professional book covers over the years, had his photos appear in art shows, and also has been a podcaster for years. During that time, he found the Internet, learned about online marketing and has since taught thousands of hours online and helped people around the world make millions of dollars using the design, public domain, and research skills he’s attained while building his own multi-million dollar business. He’s also the proud father of two and grandfather to four love bugs he gets to see all the time.
Kristen Joy Laidig started her career in the publishing field and was (and still is) an author of 32 books and counting. I remember the day I met her on Twitter about a decade ago and we had a short conversation on the phone, which led to her multi-million dollar online teaching business where she’s created thousands of hours of training to help people write, publish, and market their own books. She is a speaker (so is Tony!), has coached thousands of authors from idea to published, built a livelihood from negative $300-a-month to a multi-six-figure business, studied martial arts and earned her black belt in karate, has her conceal-carry license, and, she says, eats way too much chocolate.
When they found each other and came together as a couple, they were already each accomplished on their own, but together they are building an empire of fun. Kristen’s lifelong dream of owning a toy store became a reality, but in true Kristen & Tony style, they didn’t stop with simply opening and running one single store. This couple is the epitome of work hard and play hard, but with what they do for a living, you’re never quite sure if they are working or playing because they’ve found a way to incorporate everything they love into one big, busy, successful, fun, amazing life. I am honored and thrilled to interview them.