“Kidtopia provides unique and educational toys for the young and young at heart,” said owner and manager Sheryl Nelson. “We’re more than just a toy store; we provide ways for families to come together and create memories.”
Nelson’s story began when she started working at Kidtopia 15 years ago, which was previously owned by Jaqueline and Bernard Connelly. She always held hope to one day open her own business, so when the Connellys became newly expectant parents of a third child, they were willing to sell to her, and Nelson jumped at the chance.
Only six months after opening, Kidtopia became Nelson’s, and as she says, the rest was history.
For the toy store enthusiast, there is one quote from Maya Angelou that inspired her view of customer service.
“One of my favorite quotes is, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,’” she shared.
The love of the quote remains true as she and her staff stress they go the extra mile for their customers.
“So many of our customers have become our friends over the years,” said Nelson.
Nelson has worked hard to provide a welcoming space for kids and their parents. In the center of the store is a large tree house with a slide attached for kiddos to exert some energy while parents shop around.
605 learned more about Nelson and her furry friends, family, love of art festivals, and more.
5 Fun Facts about Sheryl
1. My greatest accomplishment is my three kids. My oldest daughter, Morgan, lives in North Carolina with her fiancé, Derrick. My son, Eric, lives in Luverne with his fiancé, Andy. My youngest daughter, Molly, is getting her Master’s Degree at the University of St. Thomas – Minnesota.
2. I’m a huge animal lover. I have three Golden Retrievers—Basil, Butters, and Barley—a cat, and an Umbrella Cockatoo bird. You’ll often see one of my dogs at the store with me behind the counter. My customers are familiar with all three of them.
3. One of my favorite things is going to concerts. Some of my favorites have been Lady Gaga, Elton John, Lizzo, Aerosmith, and Madonna.
4. I love the people I work with and I deeply respect them. I couldn’t have Kidtopia or my dream without them.“
5. I used to have two Kidtopia locations, but now I just have the location in Dawley Farm Village. We’re the largest toy store in the state.
“From the first month I’ve had the store, we’ve made sure that all of the kids at the Children’s Home Society of South Dakota have had birthday presents.” -Sheryl Nelson
Warm Temperatures Please
I’m a big spring and summer person; I hate the cold. I love going to the Falls Park Farmers’ Market during the warmer months and finding all the great local vegetables, flowers, and treats.
Every year I have to make at least one to two trips to Knobloch’s Greenhouse in Iowa. They always have fabulous flowers and hanging baskets.
Furry Family Fun
My dogs love to swim so I love taking them to the pool at Paws Pet Resort. You can rent out the pool for your dogs and they have everything there to accommodate your furry family!
A favorite place of mine to eat is Mama’s Ladas. They have the best Chicken Enchiladas, salsa and chips, and sangria. They don’t have much else on the menu, but they don’t need it. They know what they do best!
Relax & Unwind
I love taking my dogs to Palisades State Park in Garretson to relax and unwind. It’s a very unique and peaceful place in the area.
I love attending the Brookings Art Festival in July and the Sidewalk Arts Festival in September. The Sidewalk Arts Festival is usually during my birthday, so I always joke that it’s my birthday celebration.
Local Stops and Local Shops
When I go to Minneapolis to visit my daughter, we like to hit up our favorite shops like Patina and the General Store of Minnetonka. We also check out the local restaurants. My go-to is Campiello Ristorante & Bar. Their Eggplant Parmesan is to die for.
All three of my kids were in the Lincoln High School marching band. Morgan and Eric were drummers and Molly played the saxophone. The Festival of Bands at Howard Wood Field always gives me goosebumps.
I’m a coffee fanatic. You can find me getting coffee at Starbucks or Caribou [Coffee] daily. Juice Stop is an excellent pick-me-up for any time of the day, and I recommend the Personal Best.