South Charlotte

Toy store opens at Blakeney center

The sounds of children's voices and little feet running across hardwood floors is a constant at the new Brilliant Sky Toys and Books store at the Blakeney retail center.

Co-owners Nancy Brislin and Pam Dancu – both moms who have seven children between them – say that's just fine with them.

“We want people to come in and have a good time,” Brislin said on a recent morning at the store. Play tables and a green tyke bike share space with the store's offerings: building- and science- themed toys, crafts, puppets, books and other colorful goodies.

“They'll never get a glance from us if their kid takes something off the shelf and doesn't put it back … If they break it, then we don't want to sell it (anyway),” said Brislin, noting that the store's toys have a reputation for being durable.

The business is a franchise, with a location in Phoenix and other locations opening this year in Illinois, Michigan and Iowa.

Dancu has two sets of twins, ages 6 and 9, all girls. Brislin has three daughters, ages 6, 8 and 12.

The moms met through their children, who are enrolled at Socrates Academy. When their talk turned to business ventures, they liked what they learned about Brilliant Sky, which specializes in toys that promote physical and cognitive development of children.

Keep watching the Web site for a calendar of free events, like story times and other activities. Details:

Other news and notes:

As posted on our “Deal of the Day” blog last week, Barbeques Galore in the Arboretum shopping center is having a store-closing sale with 20 to 40 percent off all products – grills, grilling accessories, patio furniture, sauces and dry rubs, patio heaters and more.

The store is closing after Barbeques Galore Inc., with 65 stores in the country, filed for bankruptcy. Grand Home Holdings Inc. bought the company's assets, but decided not to keep all stores open, said Mary Joseph, manager of the Arboretum location. The store has been at the Arboretum for 10 years. It'll be open another six to eight weeks, according to Joseph.

TrySports in Blakeney is having a new shoe drive and fundraiser for Samaritan's Feet on Thursday, 6-8 p.m. Give cash or buy new shoes to donate to the international charity, which gives the shoes to people in need. (Details on the charity:

TrySports manager Rob Dietz said the store is marking down 50 pairs of sneakers at Thursday's event to encourage the public to buy and donate the sneakers.