Monica and Brian Patenaude have been exclusive shop owners on Ruby Lane since 2011. We were fortunate to sit down with Monica, an avid doll collector and chat with her about her love of doll collecting. “We enjoy shopping for the finest items and listing them here for you. We have been collecting and selling for about 23 years. Although we have gained a great deal of knowledge in antiques, we find there is always more to learn and love!”
RL: For a lot of doll enthusiasts, their work in dolls evolved from a different starting point. Do you remember the moment or way you started in dolls?
MP: My doll addiction started when my 33-year-old daughter was an infant. I had a need to make some money to support my sewing and English smocking habit so I started sewing doll clothes for cabbage patch dolls in a nice toy shop. I found a doll hospital in the same city, and the doll doctor agreed to let me sew for her. She arranged for me to buy my first doll, an A.M. 390, and I was bitten!
RL: You have a great variety of items in your Ruby Lane Shop which makes your name, “The Best of Everything” so perfect. You must shop all over to find such unique and fun items. Care to share a couple great places you frequent? (We love shows.)
MP: I love to shop at estate sales, antique shops, thrift stores, and garage sales. I love tea and teapots, fine china, especially those decorated with bows, forget-me-nots, and roses. I just love the very beautiful things that were so very wonderfully made in the past.
RL: What are some of the things you have collected over the years that you can’t part with from your collection?
MP: My favorite of my dolls are the early Kestners; I cannot part with them.
RL: What is one of your favorite memories of selling a doll to someone?
MP: I carve wood and had dreams of carving wooden dolls. I sold a few to appreciative people, and that was certainly was something that made me very happy. I always enjoy making dolls, and of course dressing them.
RL: Can you give us three of your ‘holy grail’ dolls that would be a dream to add to your collection?
MP: The top 3 dolls I covet are the Kestner AT, a Portrait Jumeau Bebe, and an A.T.
RL: Can you share with us one of your very favorite doll artists?
MP: My very favorite doll artist is Sayuri Bebes, and would love to have one someday. I think she has the talent of top artists that painted the antique Brus, and her costumes are delicious!
RL: Can you share with us a great tip for doll care that you use?
MP: The best tip to care for antique dolls is to protect them from dust and bugs; both take a toll on such treasures.
RL: Do you have any pets?
MP: I do have 3 little dogs, that are loved and adored. I have 4 grown children, three grandchildren, and a nephew that I am raising, and they are adored, also.
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