by Fun In Motion | 20 Apr 2023
Biographies and Interviews
Hi Laura, thank you for taking time for this interview and nice to meet you! Please share with our readers your roles and responsibilities in our industry?
Except for at the very beginning of my career I’ve been in Brand and Marketing Management. And in many cases, those roles did also involve a licensing element which has allowed me to work on some really amazing partner properties, including Harry Potter and The Simpsons.
What is it about the Toy and Game Industry that you love?
100% the people. When I think back over the years and the hundreds (thousands?) of people I’ve met that are passionate about brining people joy on a daily basis, I feel honored to be a part of that network. It’s also cool that people in the toy/game industry support & advocate for each other as folks change from one company to another. I’ve worked with many friends in my network that I’ve worked at 2-3 of the same toy/game companies. I’m now with the talented team at Fun In Motion Toys and my current Manager, Andy Moberg (who is AMAZING) and I have worked together at a previous toy company. He’s the best!
Do you have a mantra that you live by?
Not a mantra per se but more of a philosophy-- when it comes to my decision making at work, I always think to myself ‘how would I address this issue or handle this matter if I were the owner of this company?’. I think it adds some great perspective when you are doing risk assessment, financial planning or really making any big decisions.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
By sheer luck, and I am thankful for that Every. Single. Day. When I was just out of college, I was working at Microsoft in a contract Administration role and a co-worker of mine heard of a really fun kids software company called Humongous Entertainment and some open positions they had. I thought the name was so delightful I had to look into it. Turns out they were making these amazing ‘edutainment’ games for kids that were WAY ahead of their time. I was lucky to get a job with Humongous and never turned back. After that it was 15 amazing years at Wizards of the Coast, time at Toysmith and now with the awesome team at Fun In Motion Toys.
What are you working on now?
I’m having so much fun introducing the world to the already-very-popular Shashibo puzzle cube. It’s this amazingly addictive toy that has so many health and wellness benefits in addition to being a fun “fidget” puzzle toy, plus so much more. I think these types of activities are so important in today’s hyper-connected world.
What advice would you give a young adult graduating from high school or college today?
The 3 main things I’m always telling my college-aged twins are 1) find a job that marries your educational strengths with your personal passions, never underestimate the importance of networking and internships and you have to proactively go after your career goals with confidence- people aren’t going to just come knocking on your door with amazing opportunities.
What words describe how you think or how your brain works?
I am naturally left-brained so my approach to everything has always been very pragmatic. As a marketer this has benefits when doing analysis, metrics, financials, etc. but I really have to push myself sometimes to think outside the box to be more creative. Luckily, I’ve always had extremely talented creative folks around me that help inspire me to be more creative.
What was your favorite toy or game as a child?
I loved the Dark Tower electronic tabletop game. I also really loved playing the Atari 2600 so last Christmas I bought one for my husband and I that was pre-loaded with all the original games (Frogger, Pitfall, Missile Command). Pitfall was my favorite and I’ve learned I can’t even get past the first level as an adult! My kids weren’t impressed.
Where did you grow up and how did that influence who you are today?
I was raised in, and raised my kids in a small town about 45 minutes outside of Seattle called Maple Valley. It’s a tight knit community that has experienced a lot of growth but has still maintained a small-town feel. It has really re-enforced for me the importance of community (including in your workplace). I love it so much I started my own Maple Valley-branded apparel company to celebrate and honor its legacy.
Do you have any pets?
Yep! We have twin brother/sister miniature Dachshunds named Frankie and Ruby. They keep me company all day in my home office.
What’s the first thing you usually notice about people?
Whether or not they say ‘please’ when they ask somebody else for something. It’s just something my parents ingrained in me when I was young. I really struggle to this day drafting a work email that has a request in it without including the word please (sometimes multiple times if I’m asking for changes to a creative asset, which I know must be annoying to other people).
What are your favorite books?
My favorite all-time series is called Lives of the Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice. I love many of Anne Rice’s novels, the Witching Hour (Book 1 in the series) was especially captivating for me. I’ve read this novel, which is about a family of witches that spans several centuries, at least five or six times.
Do you prefer scary movies or happy endings?
I LOVE scary movies. I don’t remember the last time I watched a Rom-Com, I just can’t do it. I love Sci-Fi and “Horror Thriller” movies and shows. Some of my all-time favorite series include Black Mirror, The OA, The Haunting of Hill House, Dark and Lost.
Tell us about your hobbies?
One of my most recent hobbies was dabbling in hydroponics. I got tired of waiting for Spring to arrive this winter in the Pacific Northwest so I tried growing some plants indoors without soil. The first batch is only going so-so and I need to refine my process. I’ve also recently started smoking salmon. I finally wrote down my 91-year-old Father’s smoked salmon recipe which is the best. We’ve been practicing but haven’t dialed it in yet.
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