Armadillo Toys Leeds: Meet the owner of the Chapel Allerton toy shop that's celebrating its 20th birthday
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Armadillo Toys in Chapel Allerton was founded by Lisa Clay in 2003, who had two young daughters at the time and was frustrated with what was available on the high street.
Lisa told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “There’s been a lot of change over the two decades - in the world as well as in the shop.
"We’ve had the pandemic, we’ve had wars, we’ve had two recessions and the biggest transformation in terms of shopping is the rise of Amazon and the internet.
“When we first opened it was the time of the Yellow Pages, which is one of the reasons we called ourselves Armadillo Toys!”
The shop sells a wide variety of toys for children of all ages, online and in store, and Lisa and her team are always on hand to help customers pick the perfect present.
Among the most popular toys this year are the Plus Plus construction range and Time Pop fidget toys which have blown up on TikTok. Armadillo Toys also sells ready-to-go gift bags for children of different ages.
“We try to be different,” Lisa added. “As small business owner, I can choose what to sell, so we sell quality toys - toys that we believe are good value for money and that offer a lot of imaginative play.
“We try to be as competitive as we can on price too and we’ve got something for all price ranges.”
Armadillo Toys is currently running its annual Christmas toy appeal - customers get 20% off toys purchased for the appeal. This year, the shop is working with St Matthew’s Church to donate toys to the Ukrainian Centre, as well as Leeds North and West Food Bank and Freedom For Girls.
And to celebrate the shop’s 20th birthday, Lisa has given away hundreds of goodie bags to children for free.
“That was my way of giving back to the community that’s kept me here,” she said. “I’m really grateful to be here - and grateful to our fabulous customers.”