Years and years ago when I learned to re-string dolls I never imagined where that one skill would lead. At the time I was just trying to fix my mother’s dolls. Once I learned how I began buying dolls to repair and resell. It was a little hobby business; my children were very young then and I didn’t have enough time to make a living at doll repair.
I began recounting my adventures in doll repair in my Mandaline Artful Living blog, mostly just to keep in practice with writing as I felt I was becoming rusty. All of a sudden, people all around the world wanted to send me their dolls to repair.
I became overwhelmed with work, so I decided to sell stringing kits with instructions and supplies to enable others to repair their own dolls. Still I had people wanting to send their dolls to me. I raised my prices to encourage people to buy the kits. And I raised them, and raised them, and raised them… and now I’m charging $100 per hour to string dolls and people are STILL sending them to me.
Right now I have a studio full of dolls being repaired and I am expecting 18 more next week! It’s too much work for one person. I have now prepared a comprehensive stringing kit, with materials to string at least 5 dolls of all types and sizes and I’ve prepared and included a course to teach all the fundamentals.
The stringing kit materials alone are worth $150 and it will save you over $200 in professional repair fees by teaching you to do it yourself. The course value is $197. I usually sell these kits for $65 but right now you can get your for $40 with free shipping (within the USA).
Restore your dolls to their former glory, or start your own doll stringing business. Believe me, there’s plenty of demand! Just click the button below to get your kit.
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How do you handle days when your only desire is to hibernate under the covers? That’s all I want to do today: sleep, or maybe curl up with a book or watch Harry Potter movies in my bathrobe. I certainly don’t want to stir myself into working.
We stayed up late to watch the Super Bowl’s overtime conclusion and I could barely drag myself out of bed this morning. And it’s rainy and dark and colder than it has been. And my Hashimoto’s Disease has been flaring up lately, leaving exhausted.
I am supposed to be building my new funnel. I was doing great with it at the end of the week but then I put it aside and never picked it back up again.
What, you ask, is a funnel?
It’s a special type of website that sends customers directly to your offer instead of to your store or traditional URL with a maze of choices that misleads or distracts them.
I wasn’t sure I needed a funnel until my mother brought home its importance to me. A few months ago I published my new Ultimate Zucchini Cookbook. I listed it for sale on Amazon, in my shops, and on my website and promoted it (with links to the sale page) on all my social media channels. This cookbook is a re-write of my grandmother’s original, which she wrote and “published” in the mid-20th Century ~ she typed it out on her typewriter and had it copied and bound into little paper booklets at a copy shop.
I rewrote it with low-carb adaptations of the recipes included and published it as a much-sturdier hard cover book. My mother decided to buy one. I don’t know if hers fell apart over the years ~ more certainly did! ~ or if she wanted the low carb recipes but she tried to order one from my website. I was planning to give her one for Christmas so I would have told her not to buy it but she didn’t tell me about this until afterward.
Anyway, one night my mother caused me some angst because she called to tell me she pre-ordered my book when it was still in the pre-order stage. I hadn’t gotten any notice of her order so I asked for details and she said she didn’t have to pay because it was a pre-order. (That’s NOT how pre-orders work! She should definitely had to pay and it was discounted during that period due to the wait). Then she said she saw a notice when she ordered her book that my son also ordered a copy. I didn’t have a record of that either.
Visions of hundreds of undocumented cookbook orders coming into my website flooded my brain ~ unfulfilled orders, customer complaints, Squarespace shutting me down…
In a panic I texted my son to ask if he ordered my cookbook, which I thought would be rather odd because I don’t think he even knew about it… like most 25 year olds he doesn’t breathlessly follow his mother’s career! Turns out, he did not order it. Neither did my mother. What did she do? Why did she think she ordered it when she didn’t? Why did she think my son ordered it?
We may never know.
You would think following a direct link to a product and ordering it would be simple but for a lot of folks, it’s not. A great many people just aren’t used to online shopping. Then if you have a storefront with a ton of choices they might get distracted and start switching between products and become overwhelmed with choices.
And then many platforms try to offer suggestions of similar products a customer might want before they’ve even completed their first order. Sometimes these are helpful but I’ve noticed they often have nothing to do with the thing I’m ordering. They might even show buyers a lower cost for the same product which ends up in a race to the bottom, price-wise, for sellers.
You may know the cheaper product will take 2 months to arrive or doesn’t include all the pieces yours has but many consumers don’t look at anything beyond the price. They may not even realize they are going to a different seller if they click on one of those links ~ I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve gotten an angry message from someone who insists they bought something from me when they didn’t ~ even products I don’t offer at all!
So, a funnel allows you to control the narrative, explain why your product is superior, and send buyers to an order form right there on the page without any distraction. It works for any type of business, from local services and restaurants to online stores. I’m making funnels for my best-selling products and then suggesting my stores for complementary items on the Thank You page.
I am such a big believer in this concept I partnered with ClickFunnels to bring you a 5-day business training from industry leaders, including Daymond John of Shark Tank. It’s free and it comes with a free trial of ClickFunnels 2.0. Just click the button below to register.
I am really optimistic this will be my best year yet, but only if I can manage to get myself back to work on this funnel. So please hit the comments and give me all your best motivational tips! Oh, and don’t worry about Mom ~ I gave her a cookbook for Christmas.
Here at "Amanda's Adoption Agency" (aka Mandaline shops; I renamed us temporarily to reflect the huge number of dolls currently available), we take immense pride in offering a remarkable collection of vintage and antique composition dolls meticulously repaired by our skilled artisan, Amanda Boggs.
Each doll undergoes a meticulous restoration process, where they are lovingly repaired by hand, re-painted, re-strung, and re-sewn to restore their original beauty and charm. What sets our dolls apart is the attention to detail, as some even feature handmade alpaca or mohair wigs, adding a touch of uniqueness to each one.
Adorned in exquisite clothing, these dolls are not only aesthetically pleasing but also ready to find their forever homes. However, it's important to note that there's only one of each doll available, so if you find a special companion that speaks to your heart, don't hesitate to make them a part of your family before someone else does.
Welcome to the world of Mandaline dolls, where each creation is a unique and cherished masterpiece. We are thrilled to present to you an extraordinary rare gem - a fully restored full-composition 12-inch doll with the delightful Horsman Precious Baby face.
Introducing the newest addition to the Mandaline collection of precious dolls ~ a rare full-composition 12-inch doll with the adorable Horsman Precious Baby face. This little darling has been lovingly restored with meticulous repainting and craze concealing, bringing baby back to its original beauty. This baby can be a girl or boy, as the new mother wishes.
Now available from Mandaline shops, this doll comes complete with a cozy layette set, including a soft flannel bunting blanket, cloth diaper, and a working rattle, all vintage. Fall head over heels in love with this enchanting baby, ready to bring joy and delight to any doll enthusiast. Don't miss your chance to welcome this extraordinary treasure into your heart and home.
This one-of-a-kind beauty has been meticulously brought back to life by the talented Amanda Boggs, also known as "Mandaline." With her expert touch, this doll has been lovingly repainted and craze concealed, ensuring that Baby's original beauty shines through. The petite size of this doll makes it easy to hold, perfect for cuddling and displaying. There is only one of these magnificent dolls available, so don't miss your chance to bring her home. Click the adoption button now to make this lovable treasure yours today.
Have you seen all the ads for some super-exclusive home fragrance system? They feature celebrities talking about how everyone who visits their home exclaims that it smells like a high-end hotel. Whatever that means.
Two summers ago I stayed in a very fancy historic hotel in Chicago’s Miracle Mile and it reeked of weed, inside and out. The one slow elevator couldn’t keep up with the guests’ demand so we took the stairs to and from our room. Unfortunately my allergy to marijuana had me wheezing so bad I could barely climb up the 2nd flight. So, that's not how I would describe it!
Anyway, recently I was indulging in my bad habit of reading trashy online magazines about “famous” people and one article caught my attention. Some lady I’ve never heard of who is “famous” for some reason I can’t remember ~ she might be on a reality tv show I don’t watch or married to some sports player. Anyway, the reason I clicked on the article is the headline said amidst whatever controversy is going on with her right now (she might be declaring bankruptcy, getting divorced, losing her house, going to jail or all of these, I wasn’t paying attention to that part) she spent $100,000 on essential oils.
So I was like “what?!” And that’s why I read this story about the lady I’ve never heard of. It seems she spent all this money on the home fragrance system currently blanketing the airwaves with ads. The premise of the system is it goes inside your air vent system. It seems basically to consist of a diffuser you put in your air intake so it blows all through your vents.
So, first of all, I am on board with essential oils, specifically Young Living’s, because at least one study has shown the chemical fragrances in 98% of home products are carcinogenic. This effect is enhanced when these chemicals are exposed to heat, such as in the clothes dryer or those little electric air fresheners you plug into the wall or the ones you melt in a little burner.
Pure, all-natural steam-distilled essential oils, such as Young Living’s, not only freshen your home but may have therapeutic benefits as well. I certainly don’t want my “clean” home giving us all cancer! And it’s a great decision to avoid heat dispersal, even for essential oils, because that can break them down. You want a diffuser that disperses the oil with ultrasonic vibrations or passive means, such as air flow.
But seriously, $100K?! Are they insane? Diffusing essential oils is the most economical way to use them because only a few drops can travel all through your house as the tiny particles of oil are blown around in the air. That’s why I can justify my more expensive splurges on oils like lemon verbena or Melissa (lemon balm); one bottle lasts practically forever. I can’t believe anyone would spend so much, especially if they are facing all the troubles this lady has.
I have an even cheaper way than traditional diffusion: use your vent filters. Just sprinkle a few drops of your favorite oil over the vent filter when you change it out and as the air blows through your home the oil will be dispersed along with the scent, no crazy-expensive “system” required!
Some more tricks: Add a drop or two inside the cardboard tube in your toilet paper when you change the roll. When the roll turns it will release the scent. Or put a few drops on your vacuum cleaner filter and you will release the scent when you vacuum. Or a few drops on a cotton ball inside your trash can… etc etc. The more you think about it the more opportunities you’ll see. A note of warning: undiluted essential oils will eat through plastic and take the finish off wood furniture so don’t use them on or in anything like that.
I made a short video showing how I add fragrance to our air system to keep our home smelling fresh. And people do always comment about how great our house smells but they usually just keep asking “What is that that smells so good?” No one has ever said it smells just like a “high-end hotel”! Watch the video here.
Then, I made another video while suffering from having stinky wet dogs running in and out of the house on a rainy day. Don't let bad odors rain on your parade – let me show you how to reclaim your home's scent and enjoy a clean, odor-free living environment. Watch that video here.
In this alarming blog post, we shed light on a disturbing new trend that is leading to the closure of Etsy sellers' shops and even legal action against these small business owners. Read the post by clicking on the button below.
Those of you who get my newsletter were just introduced to the new Making It With Mandaline blog (which will soon become a podcast or vlog or maybe both; I haven't decided yet!). I'm so excited to build this movement! We will, I hope, learn to make it together, whether "it" is money, dolls, art, diy essential oil creations, business success, etc, etc. I am currently putting together a private membership site where we will have our own community to take course talk and just hang out.
Today's post is about a rare doll, something of a mystery to many, the Marilee or Mary Lee doll by Effanbee. Some people think she's a version of Patsy-Ann but she's not... find out all about it from my new blog post.
And to be the first to hear about all these wonderful new developments, sign up for my updates and freebies. Pick your passion and get messages tailored just for you.
Great news! Signed copies of The Ultimate Zucchini Cookbook are back in stock! You can order this unsigned from Amazon or signed from my shop. I sold out of my first printing of signed copies and had to order more and for whatever reason they were nearly a month late. But they're finally here. Thanks so much to everyone who bought one so I required a second printing! I truly appreciate it and hope you love the book. In fact, if you do love it please leave me a review on Amazon. When you send me a screenshot of your review I'll give you a FREE eBook!
Want to try before you buy? Just click the button below for a FREE recipe that will have your kids begging for zucchini.
Here's a doll mystery for you: did Horsman make a full-composition version of Baby Precious? The large head is the Horsman Baby Precious. I have only ever seen documentation of Baby Precious as a cloth body doll with composition limbs and head. Precious came in several sizes but all were supposedly cloth body.
Well, the other day I got this smaller doll, a full compo baby similar to Baby Patsy. Look at the face though ~ doesn't that look just like Baby Precious? Now, Horsman sold their molds like all doll companies did back then, so this could just be a different doll made from the mold. It's not cheaper doll like they often were; it's every bit as high-quality as the Horsman doll, so it might have been produced for a department store. Montgomery Ward and FAO Schwartz and pretty much all the regional department stores had their own private label branded dolls made by the big doll companies. But if you happen to know who produced this smaller Baby Precious please let us know in the comments!
Besides Baby Precious I am working on a bunch of different Patsy family and similar dolls. I have Effanbee Rosemary just about ready to go. Supposedly Rosemary was the precursor to Patsy and her friends. That's according to Effanbee so I guess they'd know, but she's so different from Patsy ad Patsy Ann; I feel like Dainty Baby is a much more similar doll. Dainty Baby came out in 1912 and is a cloth body doll with molded hair. She looks more like a child or toddler than a baby but maybe Effanbee still considered her a "baby doll".
Rosemary (sometimes sold as Rose Marie) came out in 1926 and looked much more Victorian than Patsy. She has teeth and originally had long dark curls and a cloth body with compo limbs and head. Patsy came out in 1928 and was followed by Patsy-Ann. Both those dolls are composition dolls with molded hair and painted eyes.
They were popular enough that Effanbee made a whole line: Patsy Joan, Patsyette, Baby Patsy... and then Patsy's friends, like Mary Lee (who was also sold as Marilee by a department store). Mary Lee reverts to the Rosemary type, with sleep eyes, teeth, and a wig. It's very confusing because Effanbee recycled different bodies for these dolls, so I have a Mary Lee I'm working on right now who is marked "Patsy-Ann" on her back and uses the bent arm Patsy-Ann full composition body.
At any rate, these were apparently ubiquitous. Patsy and her friends are all around 20 inches tall or even larger, but they eventually released all different sizes, even a miniature 6 inch version. These were fashion dolls as well as play dolls and there were many different styles of clothes you could buy, even equestrian sets! Just like the American Girl dolls of today. I made some videos showing these dolls and you can watch them on Insta (and if you recognize any of the unmarked ones please let us know in the comments who they are).
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.