I’m super pleased to be right here in my town (Washington DC) to bring you my own FLGS this week – Labyrinth Games and Puzzles!
Walking into Labyrinth is a trip into the toy shops of your youth – its bright, welcoming, and you’re immediately excited and can’t wait to start playing with things. Owner Kathleen Donahue focuses on community, building a fantastic, inclusive group of gamers at the shop as well as doing mountains of outreach in the city. Some of their community enrichment programming includes hosting summer camps, after-school programs (with over 500 kids a week!), and game days for local seniors groups. Additionally, thus far this year they’re already donated over 10,000 worth of games to local schools.
What was the catalyst for deciding to open a games store?
Honestly, I just wanted a business that was my own, where I could bring my child and set my own hours. I chose games and puzzles because our neighborhood on Capitol Hill is filled with highly educated people who I thought would like smart gifts. I also love how educational board and card games can be, and I thought that would resonate with local families. It was a big bonus that I got a job where I don’t have to wear business suits and heels.
Why do you think FLGSs are important?
I think stores like mine are important because of the community we are able to build. We teach people about games they would otherwise never hear of. Our store hosts more than 700 events a year for children and adults. We run afterschool game clubs, family game nights, and camps for thousands of children each year, as well as weekly tournaments and game nights for adult gamers. We also focus on bringing people of all ages together to play face to face. Over the years we have brought so many people into the hobby. Lastly, our main goal is to have the most absurdly high level of customer service possible. I think that small, local businesses that focus on the community are some of the most important building blocks of a good neighborhood.
What’s the most important thing you want gamers to get out of your FLGS?
Extraordinary customer service. I always think of our store as the “Cheers” of game stores. I want it to be a safe space where everyone knows your name. It should be a space where people become instantly happy the second they walk through the doors.