Tiny Adventures RC is a one-stop-shop for all things remote-controlled. For owner Patricia Richardson and her business partner, Willie Merritt, it’s also a place where families and communities can come together.
Technically, Richardson and Merritt sell remote-control cars, planes, helicopters and drones. Under the surface, they’re selling ways to bring families closer together. “We have products that basically help families engage,” she says. “You can kind of detach yourself from the computers and the TVs and still be able to engage as a family, or just kind of start a tradition—or pick up a tradition—on some hobbies.”
Tiny Adventures RC in Fairless Hills, PA, has been open since 2014 and boasts over 5,000 square feet of retail space along with an indoor RC car racing track and a drone track. Families can come to the space together, learn about the products, try them out, ask questions, and more. The idea of offering a whole family experience is what Richardson credits for driving her recent business growth, even during the pandemic. “During the pandemic, it really opened it back up because, you know, of course, like everything else in the world, everybody started saying, “oh, let me do some other things.” So that’s definitely from the hobby perspective, because we sell all hobby-grade products.”
That’s “hobby-grade,” as in more than toys. They’re designed, outfitted and built to require a level of expertise. Richardson’s inventory is specialized, and she takes advantage of the Clover system’s unique inventory tracking and management tools to keep everything in sync in both the online and brick-and-mortar stores. “We’ve been able to merge the distributor’s lists into the Clover system,” says Richardson. “We’re able to keep that up with the Clover system so long as we put our inventory in right, and the system’s merged, and we’ve deleted any duplicates. That has been something that we have improved over a few months lately.”
Tiny Adventures also offers an array of RC servicing options for repairs and customization. “We repair RC drones, planes, helicopters, you name it,” says Richardson. “We also do soldering. That’s just when you need to change your batteries and so forth and your chargers. And then some people just want to install and kit up their cars because we even have custom paint jobs. So we have someone who does custom paint jobs for your bodies because you can just always change these cars up. These cars are lifetime cars.”
Beginning in 2020, Tiny Adventures expanded their family-based approach by hosting RC Swap Meet — a community event where customers can come and trade parts, sell cars, and swap stories. “It’s like a flea market kind of feel,” says Richardson. “They can sell their products, set up their table around our location, and we’re just helping them get their products sold. We already did all the marketing and advertising to get the people there.”
That’s not all Tiny Adventures RC has in the works. Richardson and Merritt recently presented at their local STEAM Expo 2022, highlighting the many benefits the remote control industry brings to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education, and they are preparing to host a Summer Bootcamp this July designed to empower curious kids to learn to build their own RC cars.
As the team continues to grow their business, the focus remains on family and, in particular, getting kids away from screens and into more tactile outdoor hobbies. “It’s time to unplug your kids from their video games, remove them from staring at the TV or computers for hours on end and screaming about games you don’t understand,” Richardson says. “That’s kind of the perspective we are coming from.”