DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The stacked shelves of toys can’t hide the fact there’s no paint on the walls or ceiling tiles.
But Candace Williams, owner of The Toy Maven, said she wanted to open her makeshift store at Forest Lane and Preston Road in Dallas as quickly as possible. She opened the temporary store on Nov. 8. “We did leave it a little rough, maybe a little rougher than I thought. Even painting it would have taken an additional two to three days. So we were just like going with it, make lemonade out of lemons,” she said.
It’s been bittersweet.
Business was way up last year until October, when the tornado hit, causing severe damage to her original store at nearby Preston Road and Royal Lane.
Williams said the twister cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost sales because they were shut down for three weeks.
But she said they’re only down six percent compared to last year thanks to loyal and new customers. “Specifically came to The Toy Maven to do their shopping this season because they wanted to show their support. I heard that over and over from people, and it just really still gives me goosebumps,” she said.
Jaime Lyons says she started shopping at the store after she had her daughter, Grace, nine years ago.
“I feel like we shopped here more than we normally would, hearing what they had been through and their loss they had encountered,” Lyons said.
Williams says they’re planning to reopen their store in March at Preston and Royal, where they’ve been since 2005.
She says it will give them a chance to improve their business and better compete with online and mass retailers. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” she said.