EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KMOX) – It was a heartwarming tale of a community pulling together to help out a struggling local business but real life has intruded on the storybook ending for “Once Upon A Toy.”

You will recall that the Edwardsville-based toy store announced last month it would have to shut its doors unless the owners raised $75,000 to cover a bank loan that had been called in unexpectedly.

Store owner Shawntay Ray says even after a successful Facebook-based campaign helped them meet their goal, this isn’t a case of happily ever after.

“Our business does need to continue to grow. April has been challenging as far as our sales and we’ve also been real upfront that we need to increase our business by 15 to 20 percent,” she said.

After a burst of business from customers eager for the locally-owned store to remain open in the shadow of retail giants like Walmart and Target, sales have sloped off again as the headlines fade.

And in a cruel twist, Ray thinks all of the attention brought about by the high profile fund-raising campaign may now be hurting them.

“Now our vendors are afraid that we’re in trouble so now we’re dealing with other issues that we didn’t have before,” she said.

Raye said the store they operate in Clayton particularly needs a lot more customers right away.


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