After opening its virtual doors in 2014, owner Karen Dorn wanted to ‘bring the magic of childhood back’ through her online store. Here she tells ToyNews what her struggles and successes have been.

My first year as an indie: The Forgotten Toy Shop

Where is your store based?

The Forgotten Toy Shop is an independent online store based from Edwalton, Nottingham, bringing the best quality traditional toys and games for the young (and young at heart).

We have a selection of our toys in the children’s wear shop, Isobel & Henry in West Bridgford, Nottingham, and we also run a regular market stall on Tuesdays at Melton Mowbray.

How long has your online store been open for?

The Forgotten Toy Shop has been open since April 2014.

Why did you choose to open the store?

I have a real passion to reignite the joy of child’s play, to help bring the magic of childhood back and make it simple again. My goal is to provide safe, quality products that inspire children to create, discover and imagine, where kids can be kids, and allowing parents and grandparents to reconnect with the magic of their childhood and in turn share it with those that matter most, and revel in the pleasure of simply spending time together as a family.

How has business been since opening? Was it a struggle at first, or have sales been steady?

It has been hard work starting up this business. I achieved all of the setting up on my own with a bit of help from family and friends. Having to be heard over the big businesses is hard. You can never compete with what they can offer and it’s a case of getting people to see you.

Throughout the last couple of years sales have slowly crept up and now I am starting to feel like this business has an opportunity to grow.

What industry trends have affected you since the opening of your store?

I haven’t really noticed any, as I think because we are still in our infancy we are still getting established.

What are your expectations for the store?

To become busier and to expand our range of products, so we can provide more to our customers.

What advice would you give other indie retailers who are just starting out?

Always know what you are going into. There will be many ups and downs, mostly downs in the start, but just take them as learning curves and carry on. If you are determined to make something work then stick at it, whatever it may throw at you.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to be able to get my own bricks and mortar store, so that I can build on the business and give the service that I wish for my customers.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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