Little Fox Shop managers Susan Dorson, left, and Stephanie Murphy.Little Fox Shop managers Susan Dorson, left, and Stephanie Murphy.

UPDATED, Aug. 28: Susan Dorson, cofounder and manager of the the Little Fox Shop since 2008, becomes program manager for Arlington EATS in September, cofiunder and board president Amy Weitzman has announced. Read the announcement here >>

The Little Fox Shop, closed from August 2018 until April, had its grand reopening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11.

The reopening fund-raiser has reached its its goal of $3,200 in donations.

In the first report about the reopening,  the animation in Dorson's voice was clear: 

"I am so excited," she said in a telephone interview April 16. "We will be resuming our service to the community."

That service has already begun with the announcement on social media by cofounder Weitzman that the shop is  taking donations, which began April 18.

Hours open for donations of goods are Tuesday, 9 to 1; Wednesday, 2:30 to 5; Thursday, 9 top 5; Friday, 9 to 1; and Saturday, 9 to 1.

It is to open for shopping in early May, an April 24 news release said.

"At long last, the Little Fox Shop will reopen this week — for donations only," Weitzman wrote on the Arlington email list. "Please bring us your best stuff so we can restock the shop! We’ll have more info on when we’ll open for regular shopping soon. And a grand reopening celebration as well.

"Thank you for supporting the Fox Library!"

May 11 grand opening

Dorson added in the interview that the shop aims to open no later than May 11, for the grand opening. Hours were from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

She reminded those making donation to resist dropping off 10 bags at once.

Dorson expects all of the estimated 20 volunteers to return. She said six of them were back April 16, cleaning up the space at Fox.

The reopening gives those involved "our chance to give back and to meet every day to socialize," she said.

Since 2008, two people guided the shop, which benefits the Fox Branch Library -- Dorson and Weitzman. Stephanie Murphy came on in 2012.

In a dispute with its board over pay and hours, the shop was closed last Aug. 9. All involved were let go by the the Friends of the Fox Library.

In the fall, library officials and Town Counsel Doug Heim worked on a solution to reopen the shop. That involved seeking a request for proposals so those with an interest in running the shop could apply. That plea was issued Dec. 26. See it here >>

3 responses

Proposals were received from three parties: Brynna Ledyard of Somerville, The Little Fox Shop, Inc., and the Friends of the Fox Library, Inc. 

The RFP evaluation team consisted of five people -- the town manager's designee, two library trustees, the Fox Branch librarian and Andrea Nicolay, director of town libraries. 

From those three proposals, the team recommended The Little Fox Shop, Inc. That group, with Weitzman as president of a new board, has signed a lease with the town.

Andrea Nicolay, director of town libraries, wrote April 17: "We're so glad the shop will be open again soon, people love the Fox and the shop is a major part of the draw. Store managers and library staff are coordinating a grand opening celebration for the community on Saturday, May 11. All are welcome!"

Dorson said an application by The Little Fox Shop, Inc., for nonprofit status is pending. 

Checks are welcome

On Thursday, April 18, residents arrived carrying bags of clothes and used toys to a Little Fox whose chaos did not faze the managers.

"We starting from scratch," Dorson said.

No matter. "We're so happy," Murphy added.

Standing near a bare wall where $1,300 in shelving used to be, the pair said the shop welcomes monetary donations. Bring checks made out to the Little Fox Shop Inc. to the Fox library.

The managers say the shop may need between $5,000 and $8,000.

Restocking occurring

During the next few weeks, our volunteers are working to “Restock the Shop.” Donations of items for babies through teen are welcome during shop hours. The shop is in need of clothing for all seasons, as well as toys, games and books.

Cash donations to help replace fixtures, hangers and storage can be made to the shop's “A Little Help” campaign >>

Dorson commented in the April 24 release: "The shop is a huge resource to the community, not just for shoppers and donors, but also for our volunteers. We are all ready to get back to work raising money for the Fox. We'd also like to thank the community for their support over the past eight months."

The public can best help by presorting donations and bringing in clean and saleable items. For those interested in donating, be sure to check the donation guidelines on LittleFoxShop.com.


Aug. 28, 2018: Little Fox board statement tells why shop shut down
Friends of the Fox Library board statement about shop
Aug. 21, 2018: Fired Little Fox managers offer their side of the story
Aug. 20, 2018: Longtime Little Fox managers fired; petitioners want to know why

This news summary was published Wednesday, April 17, 2019, and updated Aug. 28.