Sunday, 7 February 2010

My day at Liberty's

Yesterday I went to Liberty's of London to show their buyers my dolls, hoping for some good advice and the chance of seeing my work on Liberty's shelves.

I'd made a collection of dolls clothed in Liberty fabrics...

I arrived at 8.15am (they were to start seeing people at 10am) and already the queue was truly enormous! There were some lovely people there, with beautiful things, from wedding tiaras and headpieces, gorgeously upholstered chairs, a gingerbread dolls house, and stacks of brilliant mens and womens wear.

After queuing outside for about an hour we made it to the staircase, still queuing, but at least warm! Eventually we got to a holding room, where we signed up to a list for our respective categories and waited for our name to be called. This was another hours wait, but with a chair and free tea and biscuits this time, so although nervous I was content!

I eventually got to see 2 buyers, for the briefest of times. They didn't think my dolls would be right for Liberty's - they are too 'rustic'. They suggested making caricatures of famous models and politicians. I have thought about doing a Kate Moss doll in the past, but I'm really not sure about politicians, I'm not sure there's a huge market for Gordon Brown dolls?

Anyway, although it didn't end with Rose Lullaby Dolls being put on the shelves of Liberty's it was a good day, and preparing for it was a really useful process to go through.

Now I'm going to start listing my Liberty dolls on Folksy and Etsy - Jasper is there already and there are more to come. I'm working on another group so there will be plenty to choose from!


Anonymous said...

I truly think its Liberty's loss, they have some bird cages up on the haberdashery floor that could also be described as rustic too. Good luck with them they are truly lovely xxx

Sarah Birt Jewellery Designs said...

I really think they're wonderful! Very like Tim Burton stop motion animation models. With the caricatures (and the fact that they liked the beehive one particularly) I wonder whether they mean people like Amy Winehouse?

You could do an Alice in Wonderland collection to tie in with Tim Burton's new film? I think a Mad Hatter doll would be amazing drinking tea from a little doll house tea cup!

Robyn said...

Well they suggested Kate Moss, I had thought of doing a Kate Moss doll, but thought it might be a bit naff. I like the idea of an Alice in Wonderland collection - I made a doll called Alice very early on and she was featured in an Alice in Wonderland treasury, its something that's been in the back of my mind since then. I'm definately thinking about doing collections of dolls now, rather than lots of unrelated individual ones.
Any ideas for doll collections you'd like to see are very welcome!

nickynackynoo said...

I don't think you'd be doing yourself any favours doing caricatures of "famous" people. You dolls ooze character in their own right - that is what makes them so special and individual. Stick to your guns and good things will happen, I'm sure. The buyer's comments seem pretty unhelpful, even immature if I'm honest.

Not Just Handbags said...

As someone has already said that truly is Liberty's loss. I think your dolls are beautiful and definitely don't think you should make politicians. I fear that too many pins would be put into them! lol x

Midsummer Stitches said...

Just to say as I have before your dolls are lovely and unique! I was sure they would be a hit with Libertys.(I havent done anything with my Liberty fabric bundle yet) Anyway will look forward to seeing the dolls in your folksy shop!

averilpam said...

Sorry you didn't get accepted, I so agree that it's their loss. I think the idea of doing collections is great,
pam xx

Sarah Birt Jewellery Designs said...

You know, I think collections could be a good thing to do but you'd need to pick things that you were really interested in.

Jane Austen ones would be popular I'm sure. Mr Darcy and Elizabeth... etc and you could do other author's novels such as Jane Eyre (with Rochester) and even a Cranford set!!! They would be good as gifts especially for Mother's Day.

You could do historical themed ones such as knights and damsels. Henry's 6 wives. Marie Antoinette.

Maybe famous couples historical or celebrity- like Nelson and Emma Hamilton.

With your connection to the stage you could create characters or real actors like David Garrick, Nell Gwyn, Romeo and Juliet or Sarah Bernhardt.

I think this might be a better way to approach 'the Liberty suggestion' as you can still use your imagination to come up with what the characters look like to some extent and you aren't just creating images of people who may not even be popular in a years time.

The trouble is that you run the risk of being gimmicky if you completely change from making your own characters to using other peoples but I think that the odd recognizable face here and there would perhaps bring in new customers through popular search terms and tags. Everyone will be alice in wonderland mad by march so it will definitely bring traffic to your shops if you have even a few dolls under that search term.

The National Portrait Gallery could be a really good place to get ideas for famous historical people and the tudor galleries are particularly good for henry's wives.

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

Robyn said...

wow! thank you sarah, certainly some things to think about there. I hadn't thought of taking a trip to the portrait gallery, excellent idea!
hmmm, lots to think about :-)

Cecca said...

I agree with everyone else, your dolls are so beautiful, it's definitely Liberty's loss.
I love the uniqueness and realness of the dolls you create. But the odd character doll would be really interesting too. Can't wait to see what you come up with! :-)

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