Toy Shop Owner Saves Similar Small Businesses

Updated: 12/19/2012 6:26 PM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

Six-month old Ellie Marshall loves going to work with her dad.  You would too if "work" was a toy store. 

Dan Marshall's business is booming this year. Black Friday sales were up 25% from last year and he's a big reason why.  Marshall leads a group called the Handmade Toy Alliance.
The Alliance got federal regulations on small toy manufacturers changed last year, exempting them from certain tests that only large corporations can afford.

"Up to this point, the federal law has made it so burdensome for small toy manufacturers to get access to lead testing, and to be able to stay in the market," said Kiddywampus owner, Amy Saldanha.

"The thing is, they still have to meet the standards.  They just don't have to do this expensive third party testing," said Marshall.

And, in turn, it keeps the toys flying off the shelves.  Saldanha says business is up 17% from last year.

"It's just fun to focus on a growing business as opposed to keeping things so lean and trim," she said.

The toy industry association says toy testing added at least ten-percent to the cost for toy manufacturers across the board, no matter how small the business.

"For smaller companies, they just don't sell enough to pay for it," said Marshall. "They were just going out of business."

So thanks to her dad, Ellie can sleep soundly tonight knowing her toys, and her family's income, are both safe.