Doll Collecting is Personal: Grace Faley’s Reborn Dolls

Photo of collector Grace Faley with two reborn OOAK dolls by Irene Story.

One of the most rewarding aspects of our business is the relationships we build with those who meander into our shop, and who do not leave before expressing to us how much beauty and peace they have encountered. Our shelvelined aisles display some of the most exceptional examples of doll art. From baby dolls, to fashion dolls, from comical to poignant, our doll art, and the serenity of the Dear Little Dollies experience, unexpectedly moves many who wander in and leaves them with the desire to return. Inevitably, sharing about doll art involves sharing between human hearts. We have been enriched by so many of our customers, young and old. We’d like to share this with you by highlighting some of our dearest customers. We would especially like to share with you what doll collecting means to each of them.

Grace Faley is a Mineola High School eighth grade student. Many classmates spend their free time texting and engaging in all the forms of social media. Grace would rather learn about one of the most current categories of doll collecting — reborn baby dolls. Social media has contrived a new form of virtual reality and virtual friendship among young people. This virtual reality has somewhat replaced the natural role-playing relationships which young girls have long enjoyed with dolls. We could write a blog comparing virtual relationships which purport to be real, versus those which simply prepare for real life. Here we simply would like to share what reborn doll art means to one of our favorite customers, Grace.

The photos show Grace with two of her doll art reborn baby boys. She has renamed them both. “Noah” (formerly Sachiko) is a cernit sculpt one of a kind doll, with a weighted soft body, created by doll artist Irene Storey. The weighted cloth body technique makes the doll feel almost real when held, and also allows the doll’s limbs and head to drape naturally when moved. “Joshua” is a reborn vinyl baby doll, also with a lifelike weight and limb movement, which Grace actually dresses in real preemie or 0-3 month newborn baby boy outfits. So very lifelike and beautiful, Grace enjoys holding these two dolls and shopping for seasonal clothing for them. “I just enjoy holding them . . . They make me happy”, Grace told us. And holding them, or carrying them in baby carriers, draws people to Grace. “People comment all the time about how real they are,” Grace relayed, and this starts a conversation about this very current niche of doll collecting, and the realistic techniques of this particular style of doll art — not to mention all the “ooohs” and “aahs” the beautiful dolls elicit.

Grace has shared her love for reborn baby doll art with her sisters, cousins and friends, and has spread her enthusiasm. Her mom and dad have supported their daughter in this wholesome, engaging and serious hobby. They have even helped Grace to dedicate a room in their house to showcase her collection. Grace has furnished her dolls with “Birth Certificates” and thoughtful names and has documented her art dolls with photographs. She has become a member of an internationl community of serious doll aficionados. At doll shows, she “talks shop” with many other interesting doll collectors and artists. In July of 2018 she will travel with her family all the way to Utah for the Rose International Doll Expo. We are delighted to have been a part of Grace’s growing interest. That’s what Dear Little Dollies is about — It’s all about the heart to heart. . .

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