Meet the Giftees Judges: Laurie Schacht

September 13, 2012    |    By +
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Name: Laurie Schacht

Title: The Toy Insider Mom CTO (Chief Toy Officer)

Brand/Blog: The Toy Insider and The Toy Book

Bio: Laurie is co-Publisher of The Toy Insider CTO (chief toy officer) for The Toy Book and The Licensing Book, as well as the contributing toy editor for Woman’s Day magazine, and Founder of The Big Toy Book. Laurie has appeared in major media outlets such as USA Today and The Today Show.

The 2012 Giftees are underway and you’re probably wondering what the panel of judges is and who they are, right? It’s up to You, the public, to nominate your favorite gifts of the year and to ultimately decide on the winners. But, when nominations end, the esteemed judges help select the Top 10 gifts in each category before handing it back over to You to determine the winners. I’m going to be highlighting one judge at a time from the panel of judges who know a thing or two about what makes a great gift. I hope you like them as much as we do. Enjoy!

Q: Why are you excited to be a judge for the Giftees?

A: I’m always choosing best gifts for kids….love that I have a chance to weigh in on grown up options!

Q: What is the best gift that you ever gave?

A: A designer “rubber like” material rain jacket for my husband. He loved it until it melted.

Q: When you take the personality quiz…which personality are you?

A: I seem to be 37% Super Mom (love that), 37% Trendanista, and 26% Intellectual. Ha, and I thought I was just type A.

Q: What is your favorite thing about giving gifts?

A: Making the “giftee” smile! I feel good when I’ve made the right choice.

Q: What is the best gift that you ever got?

A: Best gift I ever received was my cat in a box w/ a ribbon…I opened, he jumped out. Then my husband proposed with the real gift…the ring:) Also, huge group gift for last (big) b-day, includes spa, meal, hotel, the works. And a bag I would never buy myself from my mom. And handmade cards still line the fridge (kids are high school and college)..the best.

Q: What is a dream gift that you would love to get?

A: Just got the dream gift…tickets to see Barbara Streisand (it was on my bucket list)

Q: What do you like to do when you’re off the clock?

A: I love to bake and cook, read, travel with family, boat, go out with the girls. I love to go out dancing, I garden with my husband, yoga and hiking. But I have barely enough time for any of it; all work, little play.

Q: How long have you been a blogger/brand?

A: I’ve been the Toy Insider Mom for 7 years….I’ve been part of the “toy world” most of my life. The Toy Insider is 7 years old, The Toy Book is almost 30 years old. The Big Toy Book has been around, but as a social site and event, just the past 4 years.

Q: Why do you love what you do?

A: There was a long road to how I got here, was not sure I would last…and instead of just lasting, I’ve created successful businesses (along with a few misses) and I get a chance to help small companies all the time…I also discovered that I love being on air…I never knew that I would.


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.