Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doll Collecting - Dolls by Jerri – Heather

Each time I open a box that contains a doll that I haven't seen before, the anticipation begins and I can feel my lips begin to form a smile. Each doll is a treasure and I feel like I'm on a treasure hunt each time I decide which doll box I will open next. On a recent treasure hunt, I picked a white box that, although in good condition, was showing signs of age. On the box were the words "Dolls by Jerri®" and "A Quality Vinyl Doll Produced in U.S.A". I looked at the box and couldn't help wonder what tidbits to knowledge would be brought forth with its opening. And so, I opened the box and met Heather. The first couple of characteristics that struck me about Heather were her vibrant, bright blue eyes and her gorgeous long red hair. The clothes are quite beautiful, are made well, and show great attention to detail.

As I took pictures of Heather for www.kfcollectibles.com, I began to become curious about her. Before I met Heather, I had not heard of Dolls by Jerri. And as I started to research Heather, I became increasingly intrigued about the Dolls by Jerri story, and so decided to share information in a blog.

Heather (120108, doll #47) is an absolutely beautiful vinyl doll by Dolls by Jerri. Dolls by Jerri created original limited edition artist dolls. Jerri McCloud, who has been creating dolls since the early '70's, is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. Heather stands 20” tall and has a cloth body with vinyl head, arms, and legs. She has vibrant blue eyes, long eyelashes, long curly auburn hair. Imprinted in the back of her neck is 1201 Jerri 1993 ©. In addition, Jerri McCloud signed Heather with the date 5-6-95.

Visit www.kfcollectibles.com for more information about Heather.

About Jerri McCloud and Dolls by Jerri (information obtained from Dolls by Jerri website http://www.dollsbyjerri.com/)
  • The creator of Dolls by Jerri is Jerri McCloud (Geraldine Gibson McCloud). She was born in Newton, N. J. and lived with her mother and father in Baltimore, Maryland, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A devastating automobile accident left Jerri and her sister orphaned at the tender ages of 4 and 5. The two sisters were shuffled from family to family until the two girls, Jerri then nine, settled in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Jerri attended Strayer Business College in Washington, D.C. Jerri met Jim McCloud in Washington, married, settled in North Carolina, and had two sons of her own. Before Jerri began making dolls, she owned a ceramic shop.
  • Dolls by Jerri is the oldest commercial porcelain doll company in the USA. . For many years, Dolls by Jerri was only known for porcelain. In 1990 after much consideration of their collectors, they agreed to produce vinyl dolls. This allowed the collector to have a Jerri doll at a much lower price. Also, if children were around, there was no danger of breakage.
  • Jerri McCloud has been creating dolls since the early '70's. She is the winner of numerous awards from DOLL READER'S DOTY AWARDS as well as from DOLLS MAGAZINE, DOLL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE. The award she loves the most is having won the very first Doll Award ever, THE DOTY AWARD, in 1985 with Scottie--MANUFACTURER'S ARTIST DOLL AWARD. Scottie was the twin brother of Emily, 1984, that changed dolls forever! Emily with the first commercial doll that introduced real children images into dolls. She was a people doll, not a "doll doll". Jerri's definition of a "doll doll" is one that does not resemble a person, just a toy. From that point on, artists everywhere started creating dolls that had real children features as did Emily.
  • Dolls by Jerri has been based in Charlotte, NC since its inception. All dolls are produced in the United States of America, Charlotte, NC. Jerri and her husband Jim are committed to the best quality dolls available on the market today. She states, that without Jim running the business, Dolls by Jerri would not be here today.
  • Jerri does all the sculpting herself and paints the majority of dolls as well. The costumes are designed by Jerri and produced here in the United States as evidenced by the fine workmanship and the fullness of laces and fabrics.
  • Even though Jerri is past retirement age, her love for dolls continues to be the important factor in her business career. "By giving a person something to love, it is my hope they will share this love everywhere" states Jerri.
  • In the early spring of '97, Jerri was commissioned, by Donna Moore of Downi Creations, to produce a Doll with Down Syndrome. This turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences she has ever had. "
Although I had not heard of Jerri McCloud until recently, I was inspired by her story. Having faced tragedy in her early life, Jerri found a way to move beyond sadness to create beautiful dolls with love and meaning that provided happiness to many. Thank you, Jerri. You are truly a special inspiration.

As you can see, for me, the treasure hunt is more than just seeing a pretty doll, but it is the story behind the doll that is the most intriguing. There are such wonderful stories to share, and this doll did not fail me. If you have a doll made by Dolls by Jerri and wish to obtain the original sale price, a list is available on her website.

Thanks for visiting and

Happy Spring!