CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Millions of toys will travel through the Charlotte area this holiday season. Workers with a Queen City-based toy company are preparing to produce fun for kids in the Carolinas and across North America.
Schleich is a German-based company. The owners moved the North American operations to Charlotte about six years ago.
Right now the company is about to name their “chief storytelling officer” for the holiday season following a search across America for a kid with that special spark.
When you step inside the Schleich warehouse in North Charlotte you’ll run into a tiger set in a safari scene. Just steps away, grazing in the office, you’ll find a huge cow.
“Our job is looking at what makes kids giggle, what brings them to light,” said the Schleich Director of Marketing for North America, Kelli Masilun.
More than 50 people at the Schleich Charlotte office are responsible for bringing smiles to millions of kids across North America.
“We work hard, there is a lot of planning and forecasting and things like that, but at the end of the day if you’re working in the toy industry and you’re not having fun, you are probably doing something wrong,” said Masilun.
More than 10 million toys are shipped in and out of the Charlotte office every year. Right about now is when the task starts expanding.
“During the holiday season it’s a little bit like working at the North Pole, but without the temperature problems,” said Masilun.
Instead of elves, the Schleich crew has a giant T-REX, who serves as a mascot of sorts.
“Schleich toys are really the essential part of storytelling. So we make characters and sets that let kids imagine whatever story they would like to pursue,” said Masilun.
Being part of a story is why the toy team traveled to New York City as part of a search for a “chief storytelling officer.” The chosen child will serve in ad campaigns this holiday season. Hundreds of kids entered the search from across the nation.
“Amazing array of personality. We were so excited and really felt very privileged to have such a great turnout,” said Masilun.
A panel is meeting this week at the office in Charlotte to review the audition videos to help choose the “chief storytelling officer.”