FALLS CHURCH, Va. (WDVM) — At The Toy Nest in Falls Church, checking out a toy or two is just as easy as checking out a book at the library. It opened on March 30 — the very day that Governor Ralph Northam declared a stay-at-home ordinance in the state of Virginia. Business is still carrying on; just a little differently than the owner Lisa Bourven had planned. After only one month of her company’s existence, she’s had to turn her job description on its head. Instead of renting out the toys in person and maybe hosting a birthday party or two, she’s delivering toys door to door and deep cleaning them after each use.
Toys are reserved online and then delivered door-to-door. Everything is cleaned according to the CDC guidelines and incoming toys do not make contact with outgoing ones. Paper and cardboard toys — like board games and puzzles — are quarantined for at least two days.
“I’m busy. Is business going the way I’d planned or going well right now enough to pay the bills? It’s not. So things need to get better and I’m just trying to be patient and hopeful,” Bourven said.
The toys are available for two week periods for $25 to $45 a month. Bourven spent about two years researching similar businesses (called toy libraries) around the world. She says The Toy Nest is the first of its kind in Virginia.
“There was a lot of excitement before we opened. A huge following. And there still is, but I’ve seen a lot of the excitement tempered and folks just wanting to wait it out,” Bourven said. “At the same time, there are people who are saying to me, ‘I’m so glad you’re opening right now because my kids are at home and have nothing to do,’ or, ‘I’m trying to keep them busy.’”
The stay-at-home mom has had to reconfigure her business hours to take care of her own young kids, who are home from school. She says they’re looking forward to the day they can have a birthday party of their own at The Toy Nest.