Despite what you might have heard on the street or in certain Facebook groups that shall remain unnamed, the Kaleidoscope toy store (8722 Third Avenue) is not going out of business! When owner Inna Trinidad decided to have a sale to clear out her inventory and make space for the holiday merchandise, she knew it would only be a matter of time before someone jumped to the wrong conclusion. Sure enough, it only took a few days before rumors started circulating. We’re here to put those rumors to rest; the popular store isn’t going anywhere.
Trinidad and her husband took over the store, a local fixture since 1999, six years ago, when the former owners were thinking of closing the shop. The couple revamped the store inside and out, giving it a fresh, inviting look on the inside as well as a whole new focus on digital marketing and social media, all of which have been popular with the neighborhood’s key young-parents demographic. “It’s tough to make it in a digitally oriented business, though,” she says, “especially here in New York, where rents and overhead are so high.”
Not content simply to make her mark as a tech-savvy, go-getting entrepreneur, Trinidad has been a staunch supporter of local charitable causes since taking over the store, raising money for a wide range of local groups including the Guild for Exception Children and Bay Ridge Cares. The latter, founded by local activists in response to Superstorm Sandy, has since engaged in a number of community issues including raising money for childhood cancer and, most recently, a cleanup of JJ Carty Park.
The Kaleidoscope Toy Store started raising money for BRC on Friday. Here’s how it works: you donate a dollar to Bay Ridge Cares, and Kaleidoscope gives you a free toy. Simple. Asked why she’s donating a piece of her hard-earned profits for the cause, Trinidad said, “We get a lot of support from the community, so we want to give something back.” It’s as simple as that.