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A toy shop entrepreneur - aged just 17!
8:00am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A YOUNG entrepreneur has taken her first steps into business by opening a toy shop with a difference.
Sophie Rowsell, 17, took the brave move to start her own business at the start of the year and opened Sophie’s Toy Barn in the middle of June.
The store, which specialises in used toys, is based inside The Bike Shop which is owned by her dad Steve and Sophie says said she decided to take the plunge when she was repeatedly told she had too many toys.
Sophie’s Toy Barn, in Clarence Road, Grays, sells many of the toys you might find at a high street chain, but at a hugely deflated price as they are used, often only once or twice. She also buys other people’s toys to sell on.
A business studies student at Palmer’s College, Sophie said: “It was a big step, but one that was worth taking.
“I had so many toys it made sense to give this a go and ever since I opened the collection has grown and grown with more interest.
“It may be easier to go to a Wilkinson’s or similar store but here you can save so much money. You may not want to spend £40 on a toy for your grandchild but here it can be bought for a quarter of the price.”
Sophie said business has been improving over the weeks with many customers hearing about the shop through word-of-mouth, something Sophie sees as positive.
“It is good to know people are talking about you. I will be investing in fascia boards and advertising over the coming months.
"My dad has helped me a lot letting me use part of his shop but I pay my share of the rent and fees and this is a great place to build from.”
Sophie says she is aiming to open another store in Grays Town Centre in years to come, but do it by herself.
Dad Steve, 50, said: “We are very proud of what she has done and she has done it all on her own.
“She has found a niche in the market and is using it to her advantage.”
Sophie, who lives in Little Thurrock, says all the toys that are bought are checked thoroughly to make sure they can be sold on. Products with defects will not be put up for sale.
Sophie’s Toy Barn is open Monday to Saturday between 8am and 5pm.
For more information, or if you have a toy you want to sell, call Sophie on 07813 164202 or e-mail email@example.com
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