My Tonner collection came from frustration and disappointment… Ohlala ! this is very french to moan about everything. But sometimes, it’s the starting point of a great friendship story.
I’ve always collect dolls starting with Barbie as a child and then Gene enjoying a bigger size in fashion dolls. But I become bored of the same 40’s silver screen dolls. Then, I met Tyler Champagne and Caviar during a trip to Canada, she looked so « french » in her Chanel inspired cocktail dress, black, elegant, discreet and classy. A big size doll with a contemporary fashion line, I was thrilled. How shocked I was when the lady told me she was out of stock ! Out of frustration, I bought Mei Li Embassy Dinner, her face intrigued me.
Next year when I came back to Canada, I bought a Signature Style Tyler which engraved my passion for redhead Tyler dolls for eternity.
But at that time, collecting Tonner in France was not easy. So during a Paris Show, I went to Tonner booth and saw this incredible Mei Li (again) in a pink ruffled dress. I asked where it could be bought and I was answered that if I wanted to give it a try at selling them I could. My friend Dominique who I met online thanks to our passion for Tonner dolls, jumped in excitement and said « Let’s do it ! ».
That’s the beginning of a love story for Tonner dolls and friendship all over France. I created my business and met an incredible population of passionate and talented people.
In France, we don’t collect like you do in the United States. We do not spread the news openly that as adult we’re collecting dolls, it’s not well perceived and you would hear some gentle remarks as « Just grow up ! » or « Aren’t you too old to comb dolls ? ». To understand the french way, for example, it would be unthinkable for us or very uneasy to dress ourselves as our dolls or in costumes like you in the States do at convention, even to have fun. You may think we’re too posh but it would be like running naked on the Champs-Elysées for us, everybody staring at you. For you who have traveled to Paris you probably noticed that every french woman examines every other women. That’s because style is important to us.
And I guess that is what delights us in collecting Tonner dolls, the sense of style, the Couture spirit, the ability to play endlessly with outfits and create fashion icons. I love to play with my dolls, take pictures, and share them within our french and European community. Thanks to this passion, I have met friends from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Finland… each with a specificity that’s makes collecting dolls so fascinating.
In my collection, there are a lot of redheaded Tyler dolls, her face bewitches me, with a different hair color or in an updo she’s is an another person. I love everything that is Haute Couture, african-american dolls, Gone with the Wind and American Models too.
As a child, I traveled a lot all over the world to farwaway lands and wasn’t allowed to bring my dolls. Another disappointment… which lead me to the most exciting personal and professional adventure of my life.