Sunday, November 27, 2005

Happy Holidays To All!

I just love the holidays! Its my favorite time of the year to own a store--and, no, its not just my favorite because we are so busy this time of year! I've always loved Christmas--the deocrations, the music, the holiday spirit, the gift giving. I think that Katherine's Cottage reflects this--we beauifully decorate the store (we have 8 decorated trees, and icicle lights in the front windows), carefully chosen Christmas music playing, and display after display of carefully selected gift items.

Its harder to convey this holiday spirit on our Katherine's Cottage, 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, and, this year for added convenience and for our eBay addicted customers, a Katherine's Cottage of Dolls store at 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

4th Anniversary of The Store; Reflections on 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina

We had a wonderful 4th Anniversary Sale at the store which just ended on Labor Day--the sale was a big hit with our local customers, who recieved advance notice via our shop Newsletter. We sold lots of our older doll and toy mechandise so we would have room for the Fall and Holiday items, as well as the Fall doll releases from all the major companies.

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. 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

We're Now a Premiere Tonner Dolls dealer!

We just got word today that Katherine's Cottage is now a Premiere Tonner Dolls dealer. This is wonderful news--we love the dolls from this company, and we enjoy working with them to bring the best in modern dolls to our customers! Its hard to believe that our doll shop in a small city has become a Platinum Madame Alexander Dolls dealer and a Premiere Tonner Dolls dealer in just three short years--who says you need to have a business located in a large city to be successful?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Its Summer! Can Conventions be too far behind?

I can hardly believe that summer is already here! Spring was a very busy time in the doll shop, with Mother's Day and also with many doll pre-orders being delivered for customers from Robert Tonner, Effanbee, Madame Alexander and Ashton Drake. I've been traveling quite a bit, so mea culpa on the neglect I've given this poor blog. In about a month, I've been to Las Vegas, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Las Vegas get the idea. Some of the travel has been to promote my new book, the Official Price Guide to Dolls, which has been fantastic. I've had a great reception to the book.

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 page lately, don't miss it--we have tons of new content up about dolls in the last few months

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Annette Himstedt First World Children Summit

Have you seen the new Annette Himstedt dolls for 2005? You can see them on the Internet,(I have some great photos of the dolls at Toy Fair at my Doll Collecting at site) or in their beautiful, full color catalog.

We have been surprised at how popular these dolls have been this year! The doll are always hard to find, and always hard to order for the store, since many are done in editions of only about 300 dolls worldwide. However, we weren't sure how collectors would respond to the ethnic/world dolls theme. Well, they love it! This year, my store was allocated Munria, Kaschmiri, Ilai, Mapi, Kimi, Salinda, Mugi and Nia. We have totally sold out of Ilai and Nia, and we are close to selling out on most of the other dolls.

If anyone doubts that dolls are art, they need to take a look at these beautiful, life like dolls, totally made in Germany by hand.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

My New Book, the Official Price Guide to Dolls, Just Published!

Its hard to believe that its been a month since I last posted here, but owning my doll shop (Katherine's Cottage) has been a bit of a whirlwind in the last few weeks. On the plus side, my new book, The Official Price Guide to Dolls has just been published by Random House books. I've really enjoyed meeting collectors and discussing the book in my shop so far.

On the down side, I crushed my left index finger in a car door that slammed on it. Ouch. Makes it hard to move doll boxes around the shop, type on the computer, change doll clothing--you know, just about everything I do all day long at the shop!

We're still tripping over new doll boxes at the shop, and we've had our yearly drama about Annette Himstedt doll allocations (we still have a few dolls available). We are eagerly awaiting many of the new Tonner dolls, yet dreading what is sure to be an avalanche of Tonner doll deliveries in May through July.

We've already received many of our new 2005 Madame Alexander dolls. We didn't put them out right away because we are waiting for a display case, buy we got sick of waiting, so we put a bunch out. We are sure that will mean that the case will now arrive immediately.

If you are curious about my new book, visit The Official Price Guide to Dolls

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More doll boxes! And yet more boxes...

When I shop for the store at Toy Fair, I really TRY to space out delivery of my purchases. Evidently, I don't succeed very well. Today, again, I'm drowning in boxes! At least they are boxes full of wonderful things. One of my favorite items we received today is the new American Girl Mystery books, which are chapter books featuring the American Girls in mysteries. They are for an older group of girls, age 9 and up, than the other books in the series. We also got some miniature American Girl dolls which are adorable!

Then, there are the latest Ashton Drake RealTouch™ babies--they are so life-like; everyone who comes in the store wants to hold one. But..the boxes. The boxes are HUGE, and I can't understand why--the dolls are no bigger than the Lee Middleton dolls, yet these boxes are as bulky as can be. I don't know where I'm going to put them!

Besides my exercise from unboxing and moving the entire store room around today, it was also just a fun day to be in my shop--sold lots of easter bunnies and other basket items, a Tyler Wentworth Sydney, a Tyler trunk, three porcelain dolls, Italian Charms, baby items. People always ask me, why does Katherine's Cottage carry so many other things if you're mainly a doll shop? certainly helps in a smaller town to diversify, but also its my sneaky way of getting people into the store who otherwise wouldn't ever be exposed to beautiful dolls!

Friday, March 11, 2005

The boxes of dolls are piling up!!

Our doll shop is lovely and charming--Dutch door, right by a fountain, nice wall moldings, cozy corners and nooks. So, I don't regret picking this location for the doll shop for one moment. However, I DO seriously regret how small our back room is. The problem with selling dolls for a living is that you have to keep all the empty boxes in the back room for the dolls out on the floor (plus the dolls, obviously, still in box waiting to be sold on the Internet or in shop).

Which means that a large back room would be ideal. We don't have that! So, this time of year, when the doll orders from Toy Fair are streaming in, we end up with big boxes of dolls in the back of the selling floor that need to be unloaded immediately, priced, displayed, and then for the extra stock and boxes, stored in a much-too small room! Arrggh. We know we have to move to a store with a larger back room--the question is only when and where.

As to what we are unboxing--we've already received many of the new Marie Osmond dolls, and huge crates of Madame Alexander dolls are on the way! We've also gotten a few Robert Tonner dolls, including the lovely Lady Kitty and some darling Tiny Kitty dolls.

There are also new miniatures, new Ty (Beanie Baby) products, new Showstopper porcelain dolls, Charm! Its and so much more to display, price, unbox and store! Its a great exercise program! And, its a fun time of year, to see all the new products come into the store and our customers reactions to them. Well, I'd better run...the UPS man has just shown up with more boxes!!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Wow! We've finally gone official with the Doll Shop Blog!

Its so nice to be organized, and blogging in the Doll Shop Blog, the official blog about life running a doll shop (Katherine's Cottage) using my new Blogger software. This will make it much easier for me to update the Blog, and keep everyone current with all the fun! So, welcome, bookmark this page, and look for frequent updates and my musings on owning a Doll Shop right here!