Chamber looking for 'Most Uniquely Austin' business

What do you think makes an Austin business --- Uniquely Austin. That's what the chamber of commerce is trying to figure out and they want your help.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is asking for the public’s help in choosing the “Most Uniquely Austin” business.

People have a little more than a week to vote on the business that "embraces Austin's unique culture and exemplifies what it means to live and do business in the Austin" area.

Terra Toys is one of the 10 finalists.

"We’re very excited to be one of the finalists, this is our first year entering, so we're very excited. We're very honored,” said Manager Billy Zimmerman.

They carry thousands of items from cars to cowboys, some of them made right here in Austin.

"It's a really good, vibrant community of creativity, art and music. We also place ourselves as a good location to come in for fun,” said Zimmerman. "We set ourselves apart from most retail shops because we are very hands on, we like to help people, we like to play, and of course we like to make sure everyone else is having fun."

Zimmerman said they strive to stock the shelves with toys that make kids think, not necessarily electronic toys.

"It helps kids encourage creative play and imagination,” said Zimmerman.

He said they work to set themselves apart from other toy stores.

"Our just wonderful environment, just really nice atmosphere, really creative place, I guess. You have lots of toys, it's just really fun and being independently-owned, it's locally owned for so long that we've rooted ourselves now with three or four generations," said Zimmerman.

Two UT graduates started the business back in 1977 on what is now known as South Congress. They sold wooden toys they made by hand. 

"I think it’s just so beautiful and inspiring,” said Zimmerman. "From there they decided okay we need more toys to complement what else we're making."

It's that inspiration that helped land Terra Toys on the list of Austin Chamber of Commerce finalists for Most Uniquely Austin.

The other finalists include software company Atlassian, networking showcase The Austin Blue Revue, advocacy group Bike Austin, developer Capsa Ventures, coffee company Chameleon Cold-Brew, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Mobile app development and design company Jackrabbit Mobile, confectioner Lammes Candies, software company Sillicon Labs, and Terra Toys.

The community can vote online until August 11.

"Austin is a really, it's a great hub of creativity, art, music,” said Zimmerman.

The winners will be announced at a banquet on August 30.

At that time, there will be several other awards given to local businesses in different categories like Global Impact, Environmentally Friendly, and First time Entrepreneur.

KVUE is nominated for Community Relations.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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