LOGAN SQUARE — A small vintage toy store is reopening on Saturday in a space that is three times the size and just a few minutes away from its original spot.
Toy de Jour, which for six years called 2064 N. Western Ave. home, has moved to a much bigger storefront at 2532 W. Fullerton Ave., the former home of Logan Hardware record shop.
“The old shop was so small that our stock room looked like an episode of ‘Hoarders,'” co-owner Sam Wells said. Wells runs the business with his wife, Liz McArthur.
Wells said the new storefront is “gigantic” in comparison, adding that when he and McArthur got into the new space they joked about setting up shop in the storage room.
The new storefront will allow the husband-and-wife owners to expand their inventory, host more events and showcase more local art.
It’ll also allow the couple to work on their longterm goal of making their own collectible toys.
“That’s a far off goal but this new space will definitely lend itself to doing some of that handmade casting,” Wells said.
The plan is to rent part of the space out to local vintage toy sellers who only sell at trade shows or online.
“It’s neat to be able to offer other types of items we couldn’t offer ourselves,” Wells said.
All of this will be on display at the shop’s grand reopening party, set for 7 p.m. Saturday. The party will feature Revolution Beer and a performance by the indie rock band Bruiser Queen.
Wells and McArthur are vintage toy collectors themselves who had always dreamed of opening their own shop.
In 2014, the couple opened Toy de Jour, named after Wells’ blog of the same name, after raising $13,000 on Indiegogo.
While on Western Avenue, the small shop was filled to the brim with vintage toys and collectibles like G.I. Joes and “Star Wars” action figures, clothes and a hodgepodge of other odds and ends.
Wells said while they outgrew the space almost immediately, they “really loved the space.”
“We loved the area. We loved how many businesses were opening right on the block,” he said, pointing to a new smoke shop and Eskell, a home goods and clothing shop, as examples.
When it came time to relocate, Wells said finding a space nearby was important.
“It’s literally a 9-minute walk from our old door to our new door,” Wells said. “[Customers] can be like, ‘Oh, I can just walk there. I don’t have to worry about driving or getting on the bus or anything.”
Ahead of the reopening, Wells said he owes Toy de Jour’s success to the strong community they’ve built.
“Similar to a used record shop, we form a bond with the community because they’re supplying our stock. This is not possible without the community,” he said.
But Wells said he and McArthur have been so busy getting the new shop ready that they haven’t had much time to reflect on that success.
“It’s just been us putting shelves up, stocking them and freaking out. But one of our closest friends is in there helping out and keeps asking, ‘Are you excited?'” Wells said.
“It’s definitely exciting. I don’t think it’ll fully hit us until maybe we open the doors on Saturday.”
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