So therefore I run my own little rebellion from my toy store, PRIK
On the legendary shopping street in Frederiksberg/Copenhagen, Gammel Kongevej 127, lies a toy store by the name of, PRIK. The store accepts Artmoney as a partial payment and sells a large selection of unusual and adventurous toys.
I visited PRIK and was so fortunate as to talk to the owner, Annette Nymark. Here is what Annette told me on how to run a toy store.
I have operated the store since November 2006, so it's been more than 12 years since I opened.
I have a past in the film industry. At that time had a close partner and friend who died in the tsunami in Thailand in 2004. For that reason I wanted to work with something else. And then I decided to open a toy store.
At that time I did not have any special relation to toys. But I have worked as a film and TV production designer for a number of years. From that experience I gained my interest in collecting exciting and unique things. I felt that there existed no toy stores where I myself wanted to shop.
However, I am fond of the wide spread Danish toy shop, “Fætter BR.” They sell everything I don't want to sell myself. They are not my competition. The segment that shops at Fætter BR can also shop at PRIK. What has created success for PRIK is that my customers always to act from their own taste. I never buy anything just because it's modern because it sells well elsewhere or because a seller tells me it's becoming popular. I only deal with toys that I myself would give to my own kids or to my friends' children. I always purchase my merchandise with the heart.
I buy stuff today, which I probably wouldn't have done 12 years ago. You have to evolve over time. That's why I'm on Instagram every day to keep up with what's going on around me. It would be boring for me to keep buying the same items year after year. I have a million suppliers that I gently hand pick from. With all the different suppliers, big as small, I also do not care about branded goods. Although a wholesaler has 98% junk, it may be the last 2% that I think is cool.
In this way you need some self-confidence and courage to shop at PRIK. My customers should not be bothered with what everyone else thinks is the right thing to buy.
Sometimes I get a visit from grandparents who have been sent in the city with a shopping list that contains several different branded goods. Those branded products that I can rarely provide. Fortunately, there are some people who have the courage to buy something else than that mentioned on the list.
Then again, I think to myself, that I almost never swap, the gifts we sell!
Although we are very open to exchanging gifts bought at PRIK. You can switch to all sorts of other goods in the shop, and it can easily happen without you having a receipt, as we can easily recognise the item, whether it is from PRIK. Even after Christmas, where it has been really busy, I still only exchange less than 15 gifts.
You can spend Artmoney up to 50% at PRIK, which makes it more fun for my customers. From there, I can resell my earned Artmoney or spend them at other stores.
I keep a couple of employees at PRIK, but I myself also work at the shop typically 3-4 days out of six days. A mistake that many people make when they want to open a store is to work too much.
At the same time, some people underestimate the importance of being at the shop during business hours. When you have small children, it is difficult to run a shop unless you have a partner who can pick up the children from the institution every day.
The store was named PRIK because I wanted something short and graphic. I didn't want anything based on my children's names. It is not so easy to remember kids names. People never forget what my store is called. However, I did not expect the name to be as effective as it seems to be!
I'm not a romantic. So I'd rather have a name with a great impact. Although the shop's decor may seem romantic, I do not regard it as romantic in a classical sense. I love decorations and things that are beautiful and aesthetic. But I think that many of the new infant products are unilateral and conservative. They are simply too "girly".
I'm an old hippie who thinks girls and boys should be equal. So all the gender stereotypical products that are on the market are not in my interest.
It's nice that girls sometimes get pink clothes, but I think there is far too much gender-based behavior. And I try to do put an end to this at PRIK. I had a customer who said, "Wow, how nice that you don't ask what color of ribbon I want for the gift." I had some purple ribbons with sparkles and some blue, and I just used that purple, even though I knew it was for a boy.
That's why I love Sweden. I like that they are fighting against gender stereotypes. Everyone should be allowed to be exactly whatever he or she wants to be.
So therefore I run my own little rebellion from my toy store, PRIK.
Any shop in the world can JOIN by accepting ARTMONEY as partial- or full payment. It is free of charge and the shop profile works as a friendly window to curious shoppers. You can JOIN as a shop HERE (NB: you can not JOIN if you are allready logged in).
Text and photo by Lars Christian Kraemmer, 2019