Mum’s Toy Story success after spine injury as a teenager

Luan Hill.
Luan Hill.

A mum from Ampthill who was once told she would never walk again after a car crash has had her toy shop recognised for its service.

Luan Hill, the owner of the family-run independent shop, Fairies ‘n’ Frogs, has scooped a prestigious award through “hard work and determination”.

Luan was told as a teenager she would never walk again after a car accident which left her with a fractured spine.

Now Fairies ‘n’ Frogs has won retailer of the month for April from the renowned Good Toy Guide, also featuring in the notable trade website Toy News.

The store was awarded the prize for its “passion and drive for excellent customer service and community engagement”.

Luan said: “Fairies ‘n’ Frogs is a family business and has been trading for almost four years.

“We started in a tiny back street shop and have worked really hard to get to where we are today.

“Being awarded the Retailer of the Month by the Good Toy Guide has put the icing on the cake for us.

“I am completely overwhelmed.

“Hard work and determination has helped, as well as the friends we have made along the way, and my husband and family have been a godsend.”

The shop stocks traditional toys and gifts sourced from local companies, and has also raised more than £3,000 for local charities since it opened its doors.

Amanda Gummer of the Good Toy Guide said: “It’s amazing that such a small independent business can do so much for their local community.”

Luan, who spent eight weeks in hospital after fracturing her vertabrae in a car accident as a 17-year-old, said: “The doctors told me that I would have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and not be able to have children.

“Lying in hospital I had all sorts of ideas but the real ‘lightbulb’ moment came at the school gates talking to other parents about what toys to buy as presents for a kid’s birthday party.

“There wasn’t much choice so it made me think about opening a toy shop.

“On our first day of trading we sold 70 per cent of stock and I said to my mum: We might have a chance here!”

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