Monday, August 18, 2008
Basically, we had started looking for a new location for Katherine's Cottage last year, found a location, then squeezed 10 months of renovations into 1 month to open in time for last year's holiday season!
The good news is that we've been happily located at the new location (1360 E. First Avenue) for nearly a year! The bad news (well, there really is no bad news here) is that I've been so busy ever since we moved that I've hardly had time to sit and think, much less blog.
If you haven't stopped by to see the new store, now is a good time--we're chock full of great products going into the holiday selling season. Plus, you should just stop by and say hello; most of my old customers moved with us, but a few are still AWOL and I'd love to see them too!
The big events coming up right now are the 7th Anniversary Sale (starts September 4th, 2008) and the Make Your Own Baby Doll days (October 18th and 24th). We were also planning a Half-Blood Prince Harry Potter party, but with the movie moved to next summer, we are a bit in limbo with those plans (stay tuned...we are still expecting delivery of our Snape and Kreacher figures by Tonner Dolls any minute!)
And, of course we are still your number ONE location for Webkinz in Chico.
If you are an online customer, we've improved plenty of things on katherinescottage.com as well.
And, if you are curious to know more about me beyond that of a shop owner and doll expert, then please visit my MySpace page, and be sure to add me as a friend! You might be surprised at what you find there!
My best to all my friends, customers, and assorted hangers-on...Denise
Saturday, March 24, 2007
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!
Monday, January 15, 2007
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.
Friday, October 27, 2006
That said..I'm in a panic about holiday shopping. Unfortunately, I don't do a "small Christmas." My whole family gets seriously into decorating, and besides our outside display at home, we do two Christmas trees at the house, plus a North Pole village. Did I mention the six trees at the doll shop, too?? You'd think I'd be sick of it by Christmas day, but I never am. But, this year I DO wonder when I will have the time--ahem, lets just say that there might be some early November decorating this year. As for shopping, I'm not a big-box shopper, so I'll be hitting the smaller stores in my town, plus also online favorites.
If you're one of our online shoppers at Katherine's Cottage then you need to know that we have more dolls than ever. We literally have over 1,000 choices in stock. Which explains why we are (happily) drowning in dolls. We offer nearly all of our dolls online, plus selected bears, gifts, classic toys and more. Its quite the job...but also quite fun, too.
Also, we're inaugurating a fantastic NEW Katherine's Cottage Online Newsletter. If you'd like to sign up, go here: Sign Up For The Katherine's Cottage E-Mail Newsletter.
I'll be checking in and blogging frequently this holiday season. If you're already deep in thought about the upcoming holidays, then a happy (premature) holidays to you, too!
Sunday, April 30, 2006
At Katherine's Cottage, we pride ourselves on personal service. Please always feel free to pick up the phone if you have a question, or if you would rather order by speaking to a real, live person!
As for the new dolls that we've gotten so far in 2006, they are truly spectacular. Tonner Dolls continues to evolve to bring you the best of fashion dolls, and Madame Alexander dolls seem to get cuter and cuter each year. Plus, Marie Osmond Dolls is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, and the quality and quantity of the dolls from this company is exceptional for 2006. We also can't wait to get our first Himstedt dolls in this year, all dressed for their wedding in Atlantis!
As for special events, look for our annual Adora Make Your Own Baby Doll days, Madame Alexander day, and much more.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
I'll be at Toy Fair in early February, finding the best of the dolls, bears and classic toys for my shop. I find that going and seeing the new dolls and toys in person cannot be beat--you get to see the very latest items, and you can see reactions to them as well. It helps me bring the best products to my customers.
However, many companies that I already buy from have already premiered their 2006 lines on the Internet. We already have all the new Tonner Doll items on the web site, www.katherinescottage.com, for viewing and pre-order, and by next week, we'll have the new Madame Alexander dolls as well. After that, look for Lee Middleton and Adora Dolls. We have a harder time obtaining photos from some of our other doll companies, but as soon as we obtain the images we'll make them available, too.
This is a hectic time of year for a doll store owner. Not quite as busy as Christmas, but between trade shows, ordering, customer pre-orders and web site updating, it keeps me (and my staff) pretty busy. However, its also an exciting time for doll collectors, and since I collect dolls myself I enjoy being in the store with customers pouring over the latest catalogs (and manufacturer web sites!) and deciding what to add to my collection!
I'll post some live updates here from Toy Fair this year. I'm looking forward to another great year at Katherine's Cottage and with all my doll collecting friends!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Its harder to convey this holiday spirit on our Katherine's Cottage, www.katherinescottage.com web site, but we hope that this blog helps our online customers to know a little bit more about us, including our love of the holidyas and our joy in helping our customers find just the right gift.
The store will be open seven days a week through Christmas Eve, and, of course, our online shoppihng is available 24 hours a day. We have over 800 items for sale at www.katherinescottage.com, and, this year for added convenience and for our eBay addicted customers, a Katherine's Cottage of Dolls store at http://stores.ebay.com/Katherines-Cottage-of-Dolls with over 300 items. We accept Paypal this year as well as most major credit cards.
We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, and very Happy Holidays!
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Our anniversary is always a bit bittersweet--we opened our store on September 10, 2001. That's right--our brand new business opened one day before 9/11. Not an auspicious time--the world changed the day after we opened the store, and we spent the next few months wondering if Katherine's Cottage would survive. In fact, I think the entire doll industry wondered if it would survive, with many major doll manufacturers closing their doors in the two year period after 9/11.
In 2002, we decided to move the time we celebrated our anniversary (and the anniversary sale) to the end of August/beginning of September, and we've kept the anniversary there ever since. And...now we have Katrina during that time period. Our business for the sale definitely dropped off as citizens had more pressing issues on their mind--dolls and toys were not really on their radar screens as they considered the fate of New Orleans and its people.
We won't move our Anniversary and our sale again--perhaps next year, we will collect money during the sale for the ongoing relief of the Katrina victims and evacuees. But, we've certainly learned our lesson that you can't run from history and world events, even in our small corner of the economy and the world.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
In the shop, we are finally getting the new, lovely Annette Himstedt dolls in, good portions (as mentioned) of the Robert Tonner line, new Only Hearts Club dolls, and just truckloads of the beautiful 2005 Madame Alexander dolls as well. Sometimes I think the back of my store is like a clown car--I don't know how all the dolls keep fitting in!
If you're going to eBay Live! In two weeks, look for me! I'll be the very harried curly-haired human with my store shipping department (husband) in tow. In July, I'll be at the UFDC Doll convetion in Philadelphia, and you can meet me at the Publisher's preview on Thursday night.
If you haven't checked out my Doll Collecting at About.com page lately, don't miss it--we have tons of new content up about dolls in the last few months