A visit to the doll factory of Santa Claus!
Tic toc tic toc … Only a few hours before Santa passes by. This week, I’m taking you into Etain in Meuse, to visit the latest factory of French dolls: Petit Collin! Founded in 1860, today, it is known as a high-end production site.
You’d expect to enter a magical workshop! But it’s actually rather surprising when you see dismantled dolls. Maybe even a little confusing … (Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at the little foot mold below, you’d think it’s real!) So I focused on my passion in discovering an exceptional know-how. And I also liked seeing them come to life a bit more after every step. Starting with these molds made of copper from the 80s. They can carry liquid vinyl and hold it at 210 degrees in the oven. When leaving, you find the traditional dolls with soft bodies: the swimmers. Mainly a body, some arms, legs and a head … that will need to be assembled and painted. The most glamorous ones are taken to the hairdresser to get a beautiful hairstyle. What’s left is to pick out an outfit of choice and dress them up. The magic is finally working! Here they are in front of me. I’m only thinking about two things. The children who will soon be holding them in their arms, and the 5 people I met in this workshop who made them with love and patience, one after the other.
30.000 dolls are made here every year !
Warning! Part of the production is made in Spain. For an entirely Made in France doll from this workshop in Etain, you will need to choose a high-end doll or collectible !
Photos & Videos : Jessica Lia @thefrenchmakers