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ToyTopia: From basement to storefront

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By Deanna Godman

From basement to storefront, ToyTopia’s story of success is one unique in Taylorsville, and the service it provides is unique, as well.

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ToyTopia recently opened its doors in Taylorsville to offer quality toys locally.
Greg and Nancye Taylor, who have operated an online-only toy store out of the space for two years, decided that it was time to open their doors to the public. The store is located next to McDonald’s, in the old IGA building, on Taylorsville Road.
In 2006, the Taylors began buying Lego sets on clearance and then selling them on eBay. They decided one day to try selling on Amazon.com instead, and sold a lot of sets in two days. At that time, they operated the business out of their basement.
Taylor said it’s a lot harder now to start a business the way she did. A lot of manufacturers no longer sell to businesses that do not operate out of a storefront, she said.
“They won’t let people sell out of the basement much now,” said Taylor.
By 2007, they were shipping 200-500 packages out of their basement each day during the holiday season. They started working directly with manufacturers, including Mattel and Fisher Price. They realized in 2009 that they were outgrowing their basement, and started looking for a space to rent.
The Taylors rented the space on Taylorsville Road to continue their online store, but did not open a storefront until this summer. The retail store is separate from their online store, which they still run out of their stock room.
Taylor said she hopes their store will be a service to the community, because it is a place to purchase quality toys without driving to Louisville, which will save customers gas money. The store will also host events, especially closer to Christmas. They intend to have a Lego building event and a Groovy Girl day. During the grand opening, they had stations set up for airplane and necklace making.
“We hope to have a place for kids to play, not just buy things,” Taylor said.
Two years ago, the Taylors started attending the toy fair in New York City to view new toys months before the official fall release. This helped them expand the number of companies they sell. They now work with more than 60 toy companies.
“One of the things people want to know is, is our pricing competitive?” said Taylor. “Everything is at retail or below.”
She keeps up with the price of toys and tries to keep the pricing in the store similar to what can be found elsewhere.
“We have five kids of our own, so I know what it’s like,” said Taylor. Their children range in age from 3 to 10, and were home-schooled until this school year.
Taylor listens to her customers and tries to order items that are requested. She also plans to have larger items, like dollhouses, available closer to Christmas.
“We try to keep a balance of name brand and unique items people might not have seen before,” she said.
ToyTopia currently has six employees, and they work together as a team.
“We all work in front and we all work in back,” said Taylor.
“We do try to choose toys that are wholesome,” said Taylor. “I want all children to be able to come in here and not hide their eyes. That’s important to me.”