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Doll Shop Blog

Welcome to our Doll Shop Blog! Share the trials and tribulations of running a doll shop in the 21st Century.  Updated frequently (well...maybe not during the Christmas season, although we try!) You'll find several blogs below, and you'll also find the link to our official blog, hosted by Blogger.com

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Doll Shop Blog

Go to the official Doll Shop Blog!!

Our Official Doll Shop Blog Now Hosted by Blogger.com

Above is the link to our official Doll Shop Blog. We've moved the blog to enable blogging software that enables me to post from any location--my shop, home, or on the road at doll events! We'll also post major news here as well, so be sure to bookmark this page!

March 25th, 2007

Webkinz: Why the Craze?


I'm not ever really sure what creates a craze for a new product, but I am sure that there is a craze right now for the Webkinz by Ganz!

I've been a retailer for over 10 years now, which means I hit the tail end of the Beanie Baby craze. This isn't as crazy as that (yet) but my store just started carrying Webkinz, and already our phone is ringing off the hook for them!

So, the question is...why? Well, Webkinz is the first plush toy with their own online world to hit it big. There are others (Neopets) and there will be more hitting the market (Ty Girlz, Shining Stars) but Webkinz is the must have interactive plush toy for kids of all ages (and some adults who never grew up!).

After a bit of a slow start for the web site (Webkinz have acutally been available for nearly 2 years!) the interactive Webkinz site is now tons of fun. Kids can dress their Webkinz pet, decorate its house, play games, earn Kinz Cash, chat (safely) with their friends, and do all sorts of other very addictive, fun things. The ONLY way to get to play on the Webkinz site is to have a Webkinz plush with its secret online code. When you buy a Webkinz, you get to play, free, on the site with your pet for a full year.

SO....kids love the site, and to have a particular animal they want to play with online, they have to find the corresponding plush. You would think this would be easy, but it's not! Due to Webkinz catching on slowly, retailers and the manufacturer, Ganz, were hit by surprise when Wenkinz finally caught on this year. SO, the manufacturer is short on product to deliver, and many retailers are either sold out or cannot get product.

Add the fact that many of the early retired pets and current hard to get ones sell for outrageous prices on eBay, and you have, well, a craze!

Let's just say I'm glad to be a Webkinz dealer!

January 15th, 2007

Another Year of Dolls is Here!

I'm sitting here shaking my head in wonderment that its 2007 and I'm off to all the shows to see the best in dolls for 2007! Already there have been some great lines debuting on line including Tonner Dolls, but there's so much left to see including Madame Alexander, Marie Osmond, Lee Middleton and Adora Dolls and so much more!

I always think that it's better to see the dolls in person since photos online don't always tell the full story, both good and bad. By seeing the dolls in person, I'm able to bring my customers truly the best of the best. So, this year, I'm attending BOTH IDEX in Orlando, FL and then Toy Fair in NY, only a few short weeks apart

I'll be at IDEX at the end of this week, so be sure to stop by here and at www.katherinescottage.com for information and photos of all the latest dolls.

March 11, 2005

I'm sitting here shaking my head in wonderment that its 2007 and I'm off to all the shows to see the best in dolls for 2007! Already there have been some great lines debuting on line including Tonner Dolls, but there's so much left to see including Madame Alexander, Marie Osmond, Lee Middleton and Adora Dolls and so much more!
I always think that it's better to see the dolls in person since photos online don't always tell the full story, both good and bad. By seeing the dolls in person, I'm able to bring my customers truly the best of the best. So, this year, I'm attending BOTH IDEX in Orlando, FL and then Toy Fair in NY, only a few short weeks apart.
 
Toy Fair, New 2005 Dolls And Other Fun February Things

Toy Fair is later than usual this year--it starts February 20th--but as usual, I will be traveling cross country to attend so that I can bring the best in dolls from all over the world to my shop and my customers.  I'm always so amazed that we have customers from all over the world--from as far away as Japan, Australia and Singapore, and, of course, all over the United States.  My local Northern California customers are also the best--their devotion to my store helps me keep my fingers on the pulse of the doll world--I LOVE to see their reactions to all the new dolls I bring in!

As for those new 2005 dolls, we already have the new Marley Wentworth and Tonner Wizard of Oz dolls on the web site, and some new (and returning) Madame Alexander dolls, and we will have many hundreds more added in the weeks to come.  Check the news for pre-order and layaway information! 

On a personal note, my new web site for my book, The Official Price Guide To Dolls is now online at www.officialpriceguidetodolls.com !  Please visit and let me know what you think.  Publication is only 2 months away (and my local customers are thrilled that I'm almost done and will soon be in the store a few extra days each week!).  By the way, you can pre-order the book now and save $4 off the cover price of $20.00--you pay just $16.00 plus $4 shipping and handling to anywhere in the continental USA, plus you get a personally signed copy from me.

February 2, 2005

January In A Doll Shop: A Unique Form of Bedlam!

Gosh, getting a book to publication is certainly hard work!  I've just finished the "galleys" for my doll book, which is a form of editing, and I emerged from my office into the usual bedlam of January!  Now, I now I've previously complained that Christmas in a doll shop is bedlam, but so is January, when all the new doll releases are announced!  This is thanks to the announcements by the doll companies of their new dolls for 2005, and taking pre-orders for those dolls from my dedicated collectors.  Its fun....but, I'll admit I'm still clearing the antique doll room of some leftover Christmas items!

January 17, 2005

Ten Days To Christmas and Its Pure Bedlam Here At Katherine's Cottage!

OK, OK, so I haven't been able to keep up the blog during Christmas, but there are so many dolls to sell to put under Christmas trees, and only a short time to do it!  We've been busy and having a blast--its great fun to talk to customers locally and from all over the US during the holidays.  Our hot sellers this year have been our Madame Alexander dolls--we are out of stock on many styles!  Also popular for the holidays, as always, have been our Groovy Girls and Baby Dolls. 

Look for all the new dolls and much more here in 2005!  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all--Denise

December 15, 2004

One Week to Thanksgiving and Its Pure Bedlam Here At Katherine's Cottage!

I can always tell when the holiday season is creeping up on the store.  Its not just that business is picking up--its also the way the store is filled to the brim with beautiful dolls and our special selection of Christmas decorations, Santas and ornaments.  The store looks so lovely--I'll get some photos up on the site for all of my online customers to enjoy, too!  Its also the way that there just isn't enough time in the day!  And, its also the way my staff and I nervously watch the UPS man approach each morning.  Here he comes...he has a package for us....is it...is it....YES!  Our shipment of Only Hearts Club Dolls.  YES!  Our shipment of Fall Tyler Wentworth Boutique and Tyler Wentworth Dolls!   Ooh, look, more Madame Alexander dolls! The mornings he passes our door, we sigh loudly.  The good news is that we are fully stocked and ready to go for the holiday season, and we hope we can serve all of your doll needs. For those of you who do not like to order online and would like to talk to us directly, please call the store at 530-898-9400 between 10am and 6pm pacific time Monday through Saturday, and 11 to 4 Sunday. 

On a personal note, I am receiving the Official Price Guide To Dolls book proofs in the mail today, and I am SO nervous!  Its the first time I will see the book how YOU will actually see it when its published!  Publication is still set for April, 2005 (see below for more information!).

November 18, 2004

There is Nothing More Pathetic Than A Doll Shop Owner With A Bad Cold...

Ack.  This time, no update for awhile because I've been laid up with a nasty cold that turned worse.  Of course, I try to stay away from the shop then, because customers really don't like getting a new cold along with their new doll!  I know that my fantastic staff of Marsha, Carol and Jan will take care of my customers while I'm ailing, but still, I miss being at the store and I mope about it!.

On Halloween, I spent the day decorating the store for Christmas.  Yes, Christmas--I didn't know what holiday it was!  The store looks beautiful--our themes this year are retro 50s/60s (with some great flocked ornaments and retro Santas and tinsel), Victorian featuring the amazing art of Wendy Addison, and Nicol Sayre, and cooking featuring Kitchen Angels, tea ornaments, and the like.  We also always have 1 tree dedicated to holiday plush and 1 tree for Santas.  I'll try to get some photos on the web site.

We have many beautiful holiday dolls that are arriving in the store--I think my favorite is "Touch of Hospitality" Gene with her lovely party outfit and her absolutely adorable (yet glamorous) Santa outfit!   OK, and all the ladies are also going crazy over Matt O'Neill's too cute Holiday Boxers

I also owe everybody photos of the Make Your Own Baby Adora Days.  They were a huge success, and the dolls came out beautifully. We hope to have the events again next year!

November 9, 2004

Wow, Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Gosh, I didn't mean for so long to go by between updates!  I've been swamped with new dolls being delivered, and I also traveled to Southern California for an About.com conference (yes, I'm the Guide to Doll Collecting at About.com).  If you haven't visited the site, don't miss it--its one of the largest information sites focusing dolls on the Internet today.  This weekend, we're having our first Adora Dolls Make Your Own Baby Doll Day, and I've been gearing up for that.  We have 9 children making dolls this weekend (so far--space is still available!) and 14 adults (only 1 space left in the adult class!).  The other fun news is that the shop was featured in a major news article in the Chico Enterprise Record this Sunday, so we've had lots of new first-time customers find us!  

October 13, 2004

Fall Is A Fun Time In a Doll Shop!

I love fall decorations, and dolls dressed in Fall and Halloween outfits. Some of my favorite dolls for Halloween this year include Candi Cane and Adora Kitty Boo by Marie Osmond and Halloween Treats by Madame Alexander.  Other dolls aren't really made for Fall or Halloween specifically, but they end up being perfectly dressed for Fall weather, like Sumptuous Esme and Cocoa Truffle Tiny Kitty by Robert Tonner.  The Cognac and Cocoa Tyler Wentworth Boutique items also speak Fall to me!  We enhance the mood in the store with lovely seasonal decorations.  My customers tell me its just fun to come in and dream of beautiful Fall weather to come!

September 28, 2004

Madame Alexander Customer Appreciation Day Was a Smashing Success

That was fun!  We had a lovely crowd for Madame Alexander Appreciation Day on Saturday.  We put up a new display of the dolls, we set out refreshments, decorated the store for Fall and had lovely helium-filled  Fall balloons outside the doll shop to set the mood.  Customers had a blast, and they enjoyed the free gifts and raffle, and also seeing the dolls displayed to their best advantage.  We sold out of several dolls, including Total Moves Dorothy, the Nativity, Mexico, Christopher Robin and others. My customers also enjoyed meeting my sales rep from Madame Alexander, Betsy Kolmes, who flew in for the event.  We already can't wait until next year's event!

September 21, 2004

I'm Impressed By The Generosity of the Madame Alexander Doll Company!

On Saturday, my doll shop, Katherine's Cottage, is having a Madame Alexander Customer Appreciation Day.  I've had other events for other doll companies from time to time; generally, the company may give you a few extra trinkets to give out, and maybe a free doll for a raffle, plus a handful of catalogs.  Well, today items for my Madame Alexander day arrived at my shop, and I was incredibly impressed!  I received boxes of beautiful, 4-color catalogs, premium shopping bags, and 50 (count them, 50) free Madame Alexander gifts for attendees (I can't say what they are, yet, since it would spoil the surprise!) and TWO dolls for raffle.  My company rep is flying in, and we are also going all out with ads in the paper, refreshments, balloons, the works!

Its so nice to have a doll company that truly partners with the retailer.  In today's economy, too many companies go the other way, and don't do much of anything to help retailers educate the doll consumer or help the retailer attract new doll consumers.  I say "bravo!" to the Madame Alexander Company--their wonderful attitude towards their customers and retailers is one of the reason's that Katherine's Cottage is a Platinum Madame Alexander doll dealer!.

September 14, 2004

My Book Has a Publication Date!

It's official--the Official Price Guide to Dolls, the joy and bane of my existence for nearly three years now, has a publication date!  The book will be released by Random House's House of Collectibles on April 12th, 2005.  The book is a new style of price guide for dolls from antique to modern, clearly covering prices in all categories including the Internet.  The book also has a wealth of information on dolls--over 900 photos and 500 pages, plus thousands of marks, identifying information and other data.  And, for the first time ever in a price guide, I've included honest discussions on market trends in nearly every category of dolls.  A must have for both the serious and casual collector, as well as for eBay sellers, the book is already available for pre-order via Amazon.com.  However, you should keep tuned to this web site for information on how to order a signed copy directly from us!

September 12, 2004

Welcome To the Doll Shop Blog!

Welcome to the doll shop blog!  Here, you can follow the trials and tribulations of owning a doll shop.  Sure, owning a doll shop sounds like fun--until you consider the landlords, floods, slow business days and other bits and pieces that come along with it.

In this blog, not only will you enjoy my day to day adventures, but you will also find out everything that is new in the world of dolls--the new dolls, the hot dolls, and the latest gossip.

Welcome to all on this new adventure!

September 10, 2004

Shop at Katherine's Cottage for a fantastic selection of modern dolls--Tonner, Madame Alexander, Effanbee, Himstedt, Marie Osmond, Barbie--we've got it all!