Gina Meacher had rented half of the Bouquinerie Gravel Bookstore in Gravelbourg for six years. Formerly, Meacher was selling crafts on her side of the shop on 606 Main Street, but in the last two years, she changed her business to creating and sewing doll clothes.
Meacher’s newest venture, Dream Land Doll Clothes, is delighting girls in south central Saskatchewan from Gravelbourg to Weyburn, where she has some of her doll fashions exhibited on the back wall of the city’s General Store – an arts and crafts shop on 42 Third Street. Meacher has also been attending trade shows throughout Saskatchewan, such as Assiniboia’s Red Coat Market held in late August. She planned to do more touring in the future to support Dream Land’s developing network.
“I want to do more travelling. I’ve been personally invited to Estevan, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and North Dakota, where a business is interested in retailing my clothes.”
Previously, Meacher had designed and fashioned a line of doll clothes for the Cabbage Patch Dolls of the late 1970s and 1980s. “I started sewing doll clothes in the era of the Cabbage Patch when I lived in Assiniboia,” Meacher recounted. “Two years ago, I started sewing again.”
She began this new endeavour by designing a set of clothes for a Sears Newberry Doll then Meacher quickly expanded on this idea by producing clothes for other makes. Currently, Meacher fabricates clothes for high end dolls such as the American Girl Doll and the Canadian manufacturer, Maplelea. High end dolls have bodies of cloth and their limbs are attached by flexible cords. The cheaper, mass-produced dolls are manufactured from plastic and have ball and joint-connected limbs. Meacher also produces clothes for more affordable dolls, such as My Life line by Wal Mart and other brands. She even sources dolls from used shops.
“I refurbish used dolls and make them affordable for the little girls who can’t afford them. I’ll pick up a doll, clean her all up and sell her for $20. I give these dolls a new forever home.”
Meacher sews doll clothes in the back area of the bookstore in Gravelbourg. She also constructs scenes where the dolls are situated in lifelike situations, adding props such as vehicles, minuature books, clay foods and boxed goods. “This summer, I had people come in from Saskatchewan, Regina and Calgary. They heard about my displays and wanted to see them.”
Meacher is passionate about the creative process involved with making doll clothes. Ultimately though, her purpose is to delight girls with her creations. “That is my goal – to make every girl happy. I hope they have as much fun playing with them, as I had with creating the outfits.”