I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the Roses founders, Sarah Mellman, about her experience at the Rose Doll Show and what makes her keep coming back so special.
Sarah was born again for seven years, during which time her love of art and babies never changed.
She is as addicted today as ever.
“I started my first doll 7 years ago on March 30. The year before that, in February 2010, my dying mother from breast cancer told me she wanted to learn how to make Reborn baby.
My mom loves dolls and has a variety of dolls and kits, from factory painted Adora dolls, Ashton Drake dolls to porcelain dolls lying around her house.
She was coming to an end and I was stressed because she had to take over her position in their family’s plumbing business so she could go home and rest.
So I convinced her she didn’t need to do anything else when she already had several other dolls to play with and assemble.
I didn’t even see what the doll was. I just remember they had a weird name. “Reborn” she died at the end of May. I didn’t even think about the dolls until 8 months later, when my 11 year old Anna asked me to help her fix the eyes of a doll I had as a child, an old Berjusa doll whose eyes were going in the opposite direction , looks creepy.
So we went to the hobby hall and in their doll section, they have little blue eyes and the name on the packaging is Authentic Reborn. Then I remembered the doll my mom wanted to learn to make.
I bought the eyes, took them home, and googled Reborn dolls. The first link that appears is Bronwyn Strydom’s eBay auction. I almost fell off the chair.
Over the next 3 weeks, I checked every link I could find with the word Reborn on it. I decided to learn how because I felt like I had taken this opportunity away from my mother. I will do this on her behalf.
I sold some stuff, bought a kit and some paint, and tried it out. After 7 years and 427 dolls, when I look at Bronwyn’s list, I’m still hopelessly fascinated. I like reborn. “
Even as an artist, she still appreciates the work of other artists.
“I have several artists and I like their work. It would be easier to name the few kits I don’t like and then list the artists I like.
I love Marita Winter’s carvings. I love how she captures so many different expressions so perfectly. Her details are great.
I love the design details of Cassie Brace. She also has a variety of facial shapes and expressions.
Laura Lee Eagle sculpts such stunning realism in her work. The details don’t match mine.
I was naturally drawn to her outfit. Many of them looked like my own children, so I’ve always loved them.
Bonnie Brown has long been a favorite. She has several kits that look as if she carved them out of pictures of my kids.
Natalie Blick is very talented in detail and presentation.
Like I said. There are many likes.
Even some of the artists who sculpted my least favorite kits also sculpted my favorite ones. “
However, Sarah doesn’t have many babies in her own private collection.
“I have 3 Reborn’s and 5-6 mini resins.
I am more of an artist than a collector. “
When we touched on the theme of the Rose Doll Show, it was clear how proud she was of the event.
“I go to ROSE every year. I started Started rose with my sister-in-law and a few friends in October 2013. Our first show was in June 2014.
We sold the show to bountiful baby after the 2022 show, so we can now go and enjoy it more because we can be part of it instead of running it. Although we still run contests to help them.
I look forward to meeting all the doll friends I’ve made over the years. I love how this show creates lifelong friendships. “
In many ways, Sarah is one of the lucky suppliers. Since she lives in New York, no one else takes part in her travel time.
“I live in upstate New York. So it’s still a long way. But not many international artists come.
I started going up when I lived in Colorado.
The first show was in North Carolina. The second Denver 3 and the rest are in Utah. “
If you are lucky enough to attend, you will have the opportunity to adopt a Sarahs baby for yourself.
“I plan to take 20 to 25 fantasy and human babies. If he gets back from the factory in time, maybe my dragon.”
I can’t even imagine how proud Sarah would be every time she attends Rose.
As a Rose VIP, look at what she started years ago and see it develop into what it is now.
One day I hope to be able to attend where I personally find Sarah to thank her for the vision she has created.
If you love these babies as much as I do and want one of your own, use the link below to head to Sarahs Nursery.
Magic Hour Nursery