The other day I read a post by Jenjoy of “All Dolled Up” about some dolls that she had recently been given to fix up. Reading about the fun she had tidying and redressing a batch of LOL and Barbie dolls reminded me of how much I used to enjoy doing that.
As you know when I worked at the Op Shop in Geeveston I was always bringing dolls home to clean and redress. They were mostly modern dolls and not the type that I would buy for myself. Some of them I admit I found downright ugly. However, I enjoyed taking these dirty, untidy rejects and making them into better versions of themselves.
We did pride ourselves at that shop in only selling nice clean goods. We felt that if we wouldn’t buy the clothing there for ourselves or our families then it wasn’t good enough to sell to other people so things that were stained, dirty or torn got ditched. I felt that the same should apply to the dolls. Even though we were only selling them for a couple of dollars I didn’t think it looked good to have them sitting on the shelves naked and dishevelled. People have often said to me that it was nice of me to do it for the kids but it wasn’t only for them. I felt bad for the dolls being left like that and I had fun being “The Doll Lady”.
I haven’t been seeing a lot of dolls in Op Shops recently. The one I worked in was an independent one and all the donations were from local people. The big charity stores like, City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, Lifeline and the Salvation Army operate more like businesses and I think that their stock goes to central warehouses to be sorted and distributed to the stores. I imagine that a lot of those dolls go straight to landfill.
A few of the dolls I worked on did end up getting a home with me or with Naomi. We always paid for them of course. While I was looking for photos for this post I ended up reading a lot of my old Op Shop posts. What a lot of weekends I spent working on dolls and what a lot of fun it was to photograph them before and after. If I had the opportunity to get a free source of dolls to fix up and redonate in future I’d love to do it again.