Artist Spotlight - Debbie's Character Dolls

Artist Spotlight - Debbie's Character Dolls

Debbie McIntrye, Sparta, TN

Debbie has been creating dolls of all sorts for twenty five years. Each one is an original creation, sculpting their faces from polymer clay without using a mold. She then goes on to sewing their costumes, making sure every detail is right.

Describe Your Work

My work is mainly of a fantasy theme. The little elves that live in the attic, Santas that vary from regal to hard at work in the toy shop, gnomes and penquins ready for Christmas too.

How did you get started in the crafts business?

My very first doll was a gift for my parents. I couldn't get home that Christmas and I made them a Santa. It was a hit, and that is where it began.

How long have you been wholesaling?

I have been wholesaling for twenty years.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?

As for reaching new buyers, I use IndieMe to market, visit and introduce myself to possible buyers when I see a shop that would fit my work.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?

I do retail a different line of character dolls.

How has IndieMe helped your business?

IndieMe has given me a marketplace to offer my work to shops and galleries that specialize in handmade items

What advice do you have for new craft artists?

Advice: it takes time to build customers. We would all like instant success, but it takes time to add and keep new customers. We can have a unique relationship with our stores and galleries, creating with their ideas as well as our own. Always add new items, listen to your customers and provide outstanding customer service.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

Offer a wide assortment of items and then build on what your customers are interested in. Have an assortment of price ranges.

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