Dolls By Mary Benner
About the artist
Dolls By Mary Benner, (formerly Cherished Collectables' Inc.), was established in 1992. We are a very small family business with myself, Mary Benner, being the artist & designer of all the lovely dolls you see in our gallery and many more which are not shown. I started making porcelain dolls as a hobby in 1989, and started selling my dolls at craft shows in 1991 to in order to be able to continue on with my " hobby" as doll making was then and is now, an expensive hobby! I think I have made & sold hundreds of dolls over the past 20 years!
I specialize mostly in one of a kind handmade antique replicas and occasionally - time allowing - my all original (sculpted by me) artist dolls. I started sculpting dolls in 1996 and at that time Allen and I made all of our rough molds by hand, a very long and tedious job. However, since the birth of our grandchildren, I have not had much time to sculpt & design original dolls and I am lucky if I am able to make 12 dolls a year now ...... if illness gets in the way or a grandchild needs care, the number of dolls I am able to make goes down.
Cherished Collectables has gone through a lot of changes over the years. We used to do Doll Shows up and down the east coast. However we seldom do Doll Shows anymore as my dolls sell so quickly, it's too hard to put a collection together to make doing a doll show worthwhile. And since the internet, almost 100% of our sales are from the world wide web. We sell our dolls all over Europe as well as in the United States!
A little over10 years ago we were having some of the dolls in our collection manufactured in China. But because of problems with the factory overseas, but because of the sky rocketing cost and risks involved in dealing with a company that is not govern by the laws of the USA, we are no longer producing factory made dolls.
Over the years my dolls have appeared in many publications, newspapers and magazine articles. My dolls have also been featured on the Home Shopping Network until HSN closed their doll division. I also have designed dolls for other popular doll artist of the 1990's including Pat Loveless, Thelma Resch, Vincent De Phillipo, Jamie Englert & several other well known doll artists. I have won numerous awards for my dolls including a Doty nomination for my original doll Naomi.
Allen and I reside in Virginia Beach, Va. with our cat Buddy, an orange and white tabby that showed up on our doorstep as a kitten. We have 2 daughters, Marlee and Brandi, and 9 grandchildren who live not far from us.
Our Little Boy "Buddy", our only "baby" who still lives at home!