Here is the fourth in our continuing series of "Meet Our Advertisers": Penny from Antique Dollhouse of Patterns!
How long have you been in business?
THE YEAR 2000! I did not have one pattern or antique doll before the year
2000! My life was uncomplicated before 2000!
What motivated you to go into the vintage patterns (and dolls!) business?
I love dolls (a latent passion) and was in WalMart in the summer of 2000 in
Hood River visiting, and the salesclerk told me about the Barbie doll
patterns and how they were destroyed after 6 months … they then became
collectible. I was hooked and started collecting from that moment on.
Over 100,000 patterns in stock today …
What did you do before this?
I was a secretary for the Government, for the Railways, and I volunteered with the Lions Clubs.
Where are you based?
Fort MacLeod, Southern Alberta, Canada, the first town in Alberta.
More fun questions:
What's the weirdest/best/craziest/most beautiful thing you've ever found?
When I first started on Ebay, I was in a secondhand shop on Vancouver
Island and loved this little blue vase for 10 cents … One of the first
items I listed, and no camera at that time! That little blue vase, I found
out, was one of only 4 in the world made in that color, 4 in green, in yellow and in pink. The new owner was sure one happy customer, he built a case for it and drove down personally hundreds of miles to pick this little vase up. He paid $22. That is what it went on Ebay for with no picture …
What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?
My Marilyn Monroe and Elvis costume sewing patterns … doesn't everyone love Marilyn and Elvis?
What do you dream about finding?
A warehouse or Quonset hut to put all these patterns and antique dolls and
costumes and vintage hats and belt buckles, toys, stuffed animals, vintage
jewelry, 18 pattern file cabinets, 100,000 patterns, all my collectibles
all under one roof … Now that would be organization!
What do you enjoy most about working with patterns?
Historic value … and because it is a link with my mother's memory. She
has rapidly declined in the memory area at 85 and it is hard to visit a
parent daily in a nursing home at times. We count pattern pieces together, and many patterns trigger a memory. "Your aunt Nina made that outfit for you when you were three … This is the 1950 coat and hat set pattern … I wore that 1940s two piece peplum suit when I married your dad …" And on and on.. It passes the time while we are visiting. I am sure all mothers at one time sewed to survive. This is our link. I yell out the numbers or the letters and Mom ticks them off on the pattern sheet. And my world is fine when I see that wobbly OK on the back of the envelope.
What do you wish someone would ask you about your site?
"Did you do this all yourself?" Yes, I typed every word, even had to do those 15,000 items twice over, and I set up the website twice over. I love
It's a good day at work when …
The piles of patterns are lessened, when I receive a gorgeous antique doll
in the mail and she is in perfect condition!!! And it is a good day when I
can go through a whole day and someone is not wearing perfume! I am so
allergic to perfume!!
If I ran the internet for a day I'd …
Promote healthy living, living off the earth, being so positive and so
happy. I was born happy and positive and cannot imagine life without
The blogs I read (other than A Dress A Day) are …
Marty North, Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada, area near where I grew up in, and Chambly County High School, and Classmates.com, too. Erin you are the only blog I read about regarding fashion because you are the Fashion Queen!!!
You'd laugh if you knew this about me …
I walk funny (they say) — people can spot me blocks away from my
walk. And I am psychic … my mother, grandmother and myself are born
tealeaf readers (I am now retired).