Today we’d like to introduce you to Sherry Baloun.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sherry. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My Mom, Gigi Williams and I, Sherry Baloun started collecting dolls together when I was a child. We would go antiquing and to flea markets looking for dolls. 44 years ago we started participating as dealers at Toy and Doll Shows in the Chicago area and we have traveled as far as Paris and London for Toy and Doll shows. As a family we organized and ran for 21 years two Doll shows a year, Bru to Barbie in February and Jumeau to Ginny in September.
December 15, 1981, I opened our first shop Gigi’s Dolls in Plainfield, IL, after a year of commuting 2 hours a day to Plainfield we opened Gigi’s Dolls and Sherry’s Teddy Bears in the Oak Mill Mall 7900 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Niles, IL. We were in two different shops growing from 1500 sq. ft. to 4000 sq. ft. during the 8 years we were there. We then moved to 7500 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL for 2 years before moving to our present location 6029 N. Northwest Hwy. Chicago, Il. We have been here for 20 years and have 5000 sq. feet. At Gigi’s Dolls and Sherry’s Teddy Bears we have a large assortment of antique, vintage, and modern collectible dolls. We also carry teddy bears and plush animals, doll houses, and doll house miniatures. We do estate appraisals as well as any insurance claims, whether one doll or an entire collection. We purchase antique & vintage dolls & teddy bears. We are also available to present doll education seminars at local doll clubs or organizations. Our store is also a Doll Hospital offering a wide variety of services. We continue to participate in many Doll and Teddy Bear Shows across the country. It’s a Life Long Love Of Dolls and Bears that has been filled with lots of wonderful customers, collectors and wonderful treasures.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Through the 44 years of buying and selling dolls and teddy bears we have seen many trends. We have lived through the Cabbage Patch Craziness, Beanie Baby frenzies and Recessions. Not always easy but the love of the business and hobby has helped us through.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Gigi’s Dolls & Sherry’s Teddy Bear story. Tell us more about the business.
Gigi’s Dolls & Sherry’s Teddy Bears has been serving the Doll and Bear world in the Chicago area for over 35 years. We cater to all ages and all different doll lovers and collectors. Gigi’s Dolls provides a variety of dolls in a variety of price ranges as well. At Gigi’s we have a large assortment of antique, vintage, and modern collectible dolls. We also carry teddy bears and plush animals, doll houses, and doll house miniatures.
We not only a retail store but we are also a Doll Hospital, Repairs can be as simple as a restringing and as complicated as rebuilding a head.
We sell our dolls and bears worldwide, sending them around the world to collectors. It’s wonderful to work with my mom everyday being surrounded by lovely dolls and bears. It’s so heart-warming to have a new mom bring in her child and say “I remember when my mom and grandma brought me in to Gigi’s Dolls as a child”.
We have so many people that call our shop there happy place. Many happy memories come back to our customers as they wander through our store.
Our shop has an ever changing inventory as we purchase collections and bring back treasures from doll shows and doll conventions.
We are definitely not your run of the mill shop.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The LUCK I have to having a wonderful supportive family. We have always been collectors and enjoy the hunt and excitement of the find. As well as the thrill of being able to help collectors find that perfect treasure that they are looking for.
- Address: 6029 n northwest hwy, Chicago, IL 60631
- Website: www.gigisdolls.com
- Phone: 7735941540
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/GigisDolls