Sandra Mack had the opportunity to touch history when a Medina family trusted her to restore one of its most valued heirlooms. Mack, owner of in Fairlawn, is a talented doll restoration specialist who was delighted to be chosen for the family’s project – repairing and restoring a doll who, along with her preschool-age owner, survived the sinking of the Titanic.
After the toy's owner died, her family decided to restore the doll, which Mack said had fallen into disrepair. The German-made doll – though nearly 100 years old -- was a common style. Its provenance, however, made it of great interest to collectors, Mack said.
Mack said she always has had a need to do something creative. She started restoring dolls that were really old and “needed a lot of time and love put into them.” Today, she is recognized as a doll expert and frequently is called to do appraisals and restorations for historical societies and private collectors.
Although some might find dolls frivolous, Mack believes they tell the story of mankind and how out times have changed. “Each time there was a war, it changed the materials used and how things were done (in the creation of dolls).”
How long have you been in business?
Mack has been restoring and selling dolls for 31 years. She began as a commercial artist for Higbee’s and usually sculpted a doll each year for the Higbee’s Christmas window display.
How many people are employed?
Mack works full-time in the business. One employee works part-time assisting Mack with eBay listings and sales. Mack’s mechanically inclined husband assists her with some restoring tasks, she said.
Where is the company headquartered?
Toland’s Dolls is located in a plaza whose address is 25 Ghent Road in Fairlawn. The store, however, faces Crawfis Boulevard. Mack has been in this location for nine years.
What is your product/service?
Toland’s Dolls stocks some dolls suitable for play, but its merchandise primarily is collectibles. Among the many brands Mack stocks are Madame Alexander Dolls, Marie Osmond’s line of dolls for Adora and Tonner Doll Co. collectibles, including Tonner’s Harry Potter Character Figures.
Mack also stocks doll houses and doll house accessories, doll clothes in all sizes as well as doll shoes, wigs and other accessories. In addition, Toland’s carries greeting cards and stuffed animals.
Mack also has a thriving doll restoration business and does appraisals. One display case at the store is filled with 100-year-old dolls that Mack is selling on consignment for their owner.
What is your goal for the company?
Mack said one of her primary goals is to do the best doll restoration in the country. She has restored dolls from as far away as Florida, California, Missouri, Texas and New York. Dolls tell the history of our civilization and Mack said preserving and restoring old dolls will give future generations a peek into what life was like in an earlier time. Mack said she spends each Monday and Tuesday in her workshop with restoration projects.
Toland’s Dolls is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and is closed Sunday-Tuesday.