Love of education abounds for Candace Williams and her husband, Wes.
Back when they owned Kids Cooking Company in Preston Royal Village, the storefront included a small retail section. In that space, Williams found her passion for going to market and finding toys for children and their parents.
That led to the couple’s next step: owning and operating The Toy Maven, a shop that features a variety of educational books and toys.
Not only are the pair experienced shopkeepers, but the Williamses are parents themselves; they first moved to Preston Hollow to raise their daughters in a friendly community.
Williams has a master’s degree in education, too, and she’s acquired even more insight into children’s learning while raising her children.
“As a parent, watching my girls grow from infant to toddler, I was amazed by how much really young children can learn when they are provided the opportunity to play meaningfully,” she said.
As a child, Williams loved imaginary play, Legos, and building forts from any materials she could find.
“Helping parents to support their children’s growth and happiness is my very favorite thing about my work,” Williams said. “The role of play in a child’s development is very serious business and it is so much fun that I pinch myself every day.”
Operating a small business amid the growing popularity of online shopping and big corporations is a challenge, but the Williamses are grateful to the community and plan to be up and running for many years to come.
“Local, specialty businesses are truly what makes cities and neighborhoods like Preston Hollow unique,” Williams said. “It can be challenging for an independent, but I love what I do and I hope to be a local destination for families for a long time.”