Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Save Once Upon a Toy Store

Sorry I haven't been posting just gets in the way sometimes.  I've been hibernating for quite a while now, but things are starting to happen.  I'm involved right now in photographing all the art work that is donated to the auction that benefits the school where I got my degrees-Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  I'm responsible for posting the photos to Facebook and readying images for the slide show the night of the auction.  Haven't even had time to decide what I'm going to donate. 

I'm also trying to teach myself how to crochet.  My mom was fast and prolific, but alas, I could not grasp the concept as a child.  Lots of tears and failures back then, but now I truly want to learn.  And I'm also collaborating with friend Elizabeth Adams Marks to plan a fibers exhibit in 2014.  Slow going on that.  But hopefully there will be news on that front soon.

But in the midst of all that I've learned that a wonderful and beloved independent toy store in Edwardsville, Illinois has been forced to close its doors last week because the bank unexpectedly called the SBA loans (about 5 years early).  A fellow artist from SIUE, MFA grad and friend, Shawnta' Ray is the owner.  It is a sad situation, made worse by the short notice.  Shawnta' and her husband have been pursuing all possibilities.  Some very devoted friends started a Save the store page on Facebook and started a fund raiser at Crowdtilt in hopes of raising enough to satisfy the bank.

I'm posting the link to the crowdtilt site and hope that my readers might be moved to make a small contribution.  We have a daunting goal of $75000 and it must be met by Friday.  But amazingly in about 24 hours, over $26,700 (as of 6 AM Wednesday) has already been raised by the community determined that another small business will NOT fail.  The bank has promised to honor the loan if the goal is reached. 

If you'd like to help the cause you can read about the store and donate hereFYI--your credit card is not charged unless the goal is reached.  

Shawnta' serves on the Friends of Art board as I do working with the auction which raises money for the visiting artist program at SIUE.  Last year she and her husband lent us part of their stock room to store donated items and we catalogued nearly 200 pieces in the store one Sunday last Spring, spreading the art out amongst all the merchandise.  I took these photos of the toy store after the catalog was complete.  Several areas in the store are devoted to play.  Love that green couch! 

The toys in this store are unique.  The experience of shopping there is unlike any ordinary store, most especially big box or chain stores.  I hope the campaign is a roaring success!  Shop local and independent whenever possible. 

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