Tonisha Kimble has been operating Wonders of the World (WoW) Book and Toy Store online since 2017. WoW is a multicultural children’s book and toy store, which opened it’s first physical location in Gulfport, MS on July 11, 2021. WoW carries children’s books, toys, comics, graphic novels, handmade stationary, and books accessories.
Recently I was able to interview Tonisha and get a few more details on WoW’s first physical location! That interview is below, plus checkout photos of the storefront and be sure to visit WoW’s online stores to support this black-woman-owned store!
Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Ocean Springs, MS. Lived there most of my life, except for the few years I lived in the Tampa area. It was there I started my business, WoW Book and Toy Store, and then the Tampa Bay Black Authors Expo. Besides running my multicultural children’s bookstore, I’m a mother of one son. I’m a virgo and my favorite color is blue.
What led you to open your own store?
My website started as an extension of what I was doing on my personal Facebook page. I’ve always been a reader and when I became a parent, of course I wanted to pass that on to my child. But I was finding that sometimes it was difficult in my area to find culturally relevant books. So I would post books I found on my Facebook page. I felt that I could do more for more people if I turned this into a business. So I did and over the years we’ve been thankful enough to be able to be of service to our community in so many different ways.
Tell us about the store front.
Our store front is located in downtown Gulfport, MS, not far from the beach and popular restaurants and other businesses. The building itself is fairly new and beautifully decorated. It’s quite a hidden gem. I’m excited to finally move into my space and get everything set up. We’ll carry the majority of children’s books of various genres, and a few adult books of various genres. We’ll also carry prints, toys, and stationery.
Why is it important for you to carry independent creators?
I consider myself a creative myself and so I know what it’s like to want people to see your stuff. There’s time and energy and emotions put into creating something and I completely respect anyone that puts themselves through that process. Independent creators are refreshing and inspiring, so of course I want to be associated with them and give them the opportunity to present their creations. I feel blessed to be able to do that.