Bankrupt Austin-based Toy Joy may be sold


AUSTIN (KXAN) –  An Austin business may have to close its doors Sunday night after nearly 30 years in operation.

Toy Joy first opened its doors back in the late 1980s and has been locally owned and operated since.

In an open letter, the owners say they would be sad to see it go.

Lizzy Newsome has owned Toy Joy since 2007. She says they fell victim to an inflated loan right around the time the recession hit.

“Honestly, Toy Joy has had more debt than it can handle for the last five years,” said Newsome.

Toy Joy moved from its old location near the Drag down to Second Street last year. Newsome said it helped the business.

“Moving downtown has actually really helped Toy Joy and gave us almost an extra six months of operation that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said.

In the open letter, the owners say they went to a bankruptcy hearing last week — asking for more time to sell the business. They also admit one of their biggest mistakes was taking on too many employees.

“Toy Joy needs a financial expert on its side as well as a toy expert,” said Newsome. “Ideally for Toy Joy, we just want someone that lives in Austin and really cares about the store, who is very interested and even ideally you know coming in and maybe even keeping us on and helping us run the store properly.”

Despite the troubles, Newsome says they’re thankful for the support from the public.

“We’re so grateful. It’s been amazing. We really love the store,” she said.

Customers have been coming in a lot more since the news has spread that the store may close for good.

“We saw that there could be the possibility of closing, and we wanted to support the store,” said customer Justine Beech.

The owners hope the the store makes it through the tough times.

“I love toys,” said Newsome. “I love design, but I also love getting to interact with the toys, with kids and adults kids — the people who really love them. You know, it’s hard to find a job you love.”

The owners say they expect to stay open until the bank says otherwise.

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