Gillie's Doll Shop
by Gillie Charlson
I had a doll shop for 30 years, Gillie's Studio, but a year ago I had to close because my Mum had to move in with us and I was caring for her full time. I still have a dolls hospital at home and do just 1 doll making class a week instead of 4. My classroom was at the rear of the shop and held 10 students so I lost my classroom.
I now use the club down the road for my class which is not as handy, before all the things students needed were available in the shop, now I have to carry things each week for the class.
After being used to being in the shop every week I really missed it. I had an idea to make my shop in miniature. I bought a plain wooden shop with 3 windows and set about transforming it into a copy of my shop.
When I open the front and you see what's inside, there is usually a gasp of surprise.
Over many years I had collected all kinds of miniatures old and new, I had nowhere to display them well so the miniature shop was a really good way of displaying all these .My shop stocked all kinds of doll related things, antique dolls, teddies, clothes, wigs, lace and fabrics, moulds, paints, clay etc., also the dolls that I made. When people came in they used to say it was a real Aladdin's cave, there was so much crammed in and always something new to see.
The miniature version as you can see in the photos is just as crammed, I have even got a place for all the mini oddments of dolls, spare legs, tiny heads, etc, on the dolls hospital table where a mini version of me (which is actually an antique paper mache doll) sits with a paint pallete and brush ready to touch up a repair. There is even a little mini Chihuahua just like my dog Suki sitting at my feet.
On the counter there is a fully jointed teddy that is only 1/2".
My real treasure in the shop is a trio of very early wooden dolls from 1/2 " to 3/4 " fully dressed with the little carved combs on top of their heads, they are displayed in the little glass fronted case on the bottom left of the shop.
I got a lot of pleasure making this shop, and still get so much pleasure every day when I look into the finished shop or show it to friends.