Weekly Business Profile
Type of business:
Retro & Modern Video Game Retail
1504-B Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque NM 87112
Number of Employees:
How did you get started in this business?
Really, it all has to do with a couple of folks giving my passion a chance. Since my foray into the world of video game retail (thanks to a high school job at RePlay Games), I've been working on and off in the shop scene since 1997, so having a lot of direct hands-on experience in this industry helped a lot. Small business and corporate experience was a powerful combination in learning a lot of do's and don'ts. Really, I don't think I had a choice. Destiny sort of called to me when a friend of mine, the previous owner, decided to sell this store and I was right there to take the helm. Preparation and opportunity were hand in hand that very day. Like a Gameboy in one hand and batteries in the other.
What is your business philosophy?
Being a fan of video games in general, my passion serves to help anyone who is even remotely interested to find their niche. There's so much out there, with some stuff priced too high, and I want to get everyone the best games at a price that doesn't destroy budgets. The ultimate goal is to have people walk in for the first time, look around in awe, and feel like they're back in an element from their childhood. If I can help people find what they want, or recommend something they didn't even know they wanted, I'm doing my job correctly. Like a good game, it's an experience.
What is your educational background?
A few unrelated degrees later and I'm owning my own business. Liberal Arts and Animation were the areas I focused on, and while I enjoyed those areas of study greatly, they didn't directly contribute to the small business ownership. Heck, maybe someday I'll go back to school and see what's next—kind of like bonus levels.
Why did you choose to do business in Albuquerque?
Growing up in Albuquerque, I felt that the town needed a good opportunity to have a great store dedicated to just gaming that could thrive on an untapped community. While the scene here isn't exactly low-key, I felt that there was so much room for potential that it was my duty to re-brand the Gamers Anonymous name and turn it into something that would signify quality as well as presence. We want to be Albuquerque's premiere gaming store.
How is operating your own business different than you expected?
Both the stress and reward are greater than I ever anticipated. For every set of spikes there is an extra life, and I've just come to find that every day brings about new opportunity. I've met and worked with tons of great people through this business, and the networking is out of this world. All in all, everything I do is amplified in the context of the store's endeavors. It's blood, sweat, and tears that have brought this reward to the forefront. I never knew it would be this fulfilling.
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
Powerful karate stances. Aside from that, we choose to work closely with other businesses and have a strong sense of networking with other game stores, local and corporate, around the city. Because of this, we can focus our attention on our strengths, which are prioritizing classic games and delivering interpersonal customer service; it’s something that makes simply being in the store a huge draw for people. On top of that, we have the voice of Duke Nukem as our voicemail. Yeah, I know.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in operating a successful business?
Lack of balance. From the personal elements of life to the important bits of standard store practice, I've been focusing on not spending all of my time just obsessing over the store. Taking the time to properly enjoy life, work out, play video games, work on art, and all of the other niceties has proven to be vital in helping the business as a whole.
What was your best business decision?
When I took the necessary steps to employ a squad of greatly competent people and delegate responsibility appropriately. Without my employees, I wouldn't be where I am. They have done nothing but supplement the growth that this store requires, allowing me time to concentrate on the behind-the-scenes business while everything runs smoothly.
Felicia Day at Woodward Hall
Felicia will be in conversation with Craig Chrissinger of the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society about her memoir, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).
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