What’s in Store: Owning Your Own Local Game Store

What’s in Store: Owning Your Own Local Game Store


Hi Everybody, Maria from
Magic The Amateuring here and lots of Magic
players dream about one day owning their
own local game store. Unlimited Booster Draft! All the sleeves money can buy! Cleaning the toilets? I wanted to know what
it was really like to work unbelievably hard,
to wake up every morning and walk into a store
that you helped create. So I went to Lodestone Games
in Minnetonka, Minnesota. [Mike] I’ve had people ask me
since I was 18 years old, “when are you gonna open a
store?” Because I’ve always been the guy that has Magic cards. It’s just a really cool feeling
like if you walk in the door, and they see Lodestone
for the first time they get this look, non-Magic
players, Magic players where it’s kind of like
an “I’m home” feel. So I’ve been playing
Magic for about 15 years after a while I realized that it
was something I was really interested in. I
decided that owning a store is something I really wanted to do. Probably 2 years of just planning,
and trying to keep it a secret. Overall super rewarding. No
matter how much hard work it took to get to this
point, it’s all worth it. [Ryan] Even when I’m
not doing work, this is just where I hang out
and it’s really awesome. You talk about
running a game store the idea is that
it’s a lot of fun. And it is a lot of fun but
the most important thing to remember is that
it’s a lot of work too. Owning your own Magic store
is a challenge in every way. The tough part was
mostly just… everything. I thought I was going to get to
play a lot more Magic than I do making sure we have inventory,
making sure we have singles, making sure my
employees get paid. I am here on slow
weeks 40 hours, on busy weeks, 70-90. You have to love everything
about everything you do. I wanted to open a store
that my mom wouldn’t be embarrassed to go to. And I wanted
to build a store that my fiancé and my mom and dad could come to
and say that they want to hang out. [Megan] Lodestone is really a place
where people feel comfortable. People want to sit
at our tables, they want to spend time here
and it’s a really great place to learn a new game whether it’s
Magic or one of the board games we have on our demo shelf,
and they feel welcome. [Mike] So our first FNM I got a little
emotional in the back room. I came in and every seat in
the entire store was full and it was breath taking. I
just didn’t have any words. Coming to Lodestone for work
everyday, I get to come in I get to see people
that are my friends the regulars in the store they
all know me, I know them. I’ve been hanging out
in game stores forever and now I get to hang out in a
place that I get to be proud of. [Ryan] It’s indescribable the
way that it makes me feel. Before this I was middle management
for a corporate retail chain and going from that to
this is just indescribable It’s the fact that I can come
here any day of the week and this is just where the best
people in my life hang out. [Mike] My hopes for the future of
Lodestone would be to keep growing never stop growing. We never stop
pushing forward we fail forward, we make decisions
that if they don’t work we just keep going.
People love being here, I see it all the time. I
see these people come in I see the look on their face,
and the smile as they leave and they come here
because it’s home . I’ve never felt any connection to a
non-living thing like I do the store and
so it makes it living, it brings it alive and it
gets a soul from every person that walks in the
door and it’s incredible.