BJDC 2010 is coming this summer to Texas August 5-7. The theme for the event is Carnevale. This is the 4th event held since the inaugural event in 2006. The convention was originally launched by Rochelle Dolowitz. Successive cons in 2007 and 2008 have been chaired by Sherri Rhein.
Sherri has been a life-long doll collector. “Dolls have always fascinated me – they were my door into an alternate me, a way to dream…In the 1990s, dolls became a three-dimensional canvas for me – they allowed me grow as an artist.” She saw her first BJD when a friend showed her a photo of one in a Japanese magazine in 1999. “I was intrigued, fascinated. It took me almost a year to find a way to buy a SuperDollfie made by Volks- but I did…The hardest thing to understand about the BJDs 10 years ago is how hard these dolls were to buy. We did not have easy access to them.” Sherri was president of a Barbie Club for 6 years in Austin. The club included other types of fashion dolls as well. Sherri brought her new dolls to meetings and showed them off to members of the club. “When I first got my SuperDollfie Nono, there were very few people who knew about them much less loved these large 63 cm dolls made out of polyurethane. Slowly, a group of doll collectors began to grow in my area.” She added, “That is where I met most of the people who volunteer at the convention. In 2002, we formed our own group around the BJDs.”
Sherri had previously attended doll conventions. “I had been to other doll conventions and had been blown away by my experiences there. I enjoyed meeting other people who shared my fascination and attitude about dolls in general.” Rochelle Dolowitz organized the first Ball Joint Doll Collector’s Convention Texas (BJDC 2006) which took place in July 2006 at the Marriott Hotel in Round Rock Texas. Sherri had worked with Rochelle before. “Rochelle and I had co-chaired another doll convention… Rochelle is the manager of our local doll store, Kerbey Doll Shoppe.” When Rochelle was not able to run the 2007 convention, Sherri volunteered. She also chaired the 2008 convention. “The first time I was asked ‘Why organize a convention?’, I quipped without thinking about it – I don’t like to play alone. I feel my job as the convention organizer is to create a fun relaxed atmosphere to learn about Ball Joint Dolls and to meet friends who share a similar interest in these dolls. My main job is to make sure that things run smoothly and problem solve any difficulties.”
The theme Carnevale was chosen by the convention committee. Previous themes included Fairies (BDJC 2006), Black and White (BJDC 2007), and At the Movies (BJDC 2008). According to Sherri, “The theme heavily influences the doll costume competition. All the outfits and dolls are designed to fit the theme. Carnevale can be so many things, and I love the richness of the colors and the styles.”
Each year the BJDC convention offered a limited edition outfit for guests. “We have had a different companies design and produce the con outfit each year. In 2006, it was designed by Mary Jordan and produced by Fashion Boulevard. In 2007, the outfit was designed and produce by Softly she Walks. In 2008, the outfit was designed by Cristy Stone of Xtremedolls and produced by Fashion Boulevard. This year, the convention outfit was designed and produced by CheeryDoll.” Unlike previous years, this time the outfit is available as an optional purchase. The convention has not included the convention outfit as part of the registration fee. There is also a choice of sizes this year as CheeryDoll has created both a 60 cm and 43 cm size version of the gown.
Dedicated staff make the convention experience special for everyone. “We do have a wonderful group of volunteers who have helped with the conventions – most of them from the Central Texas BJD Community.” Sherri made special mention of one volunteer in particular. “Evelyn Martinez, owner of Treasure Dolls, co-signed the hotel contract with me. Without her support, BJDC 2010 would not be happening.” A long list of vendors have signed on, many of which have sold their items at the con in previous years.
Con goers will have lots to do at BJDC. “There is an opening reception, a two day sales floor (one day for the attendees only and the second day as a Public sales day), competitions, workshops, door prizes, swap meet, room shopping and more! Our banquet will be held on the last night for attendees and their dolls. Our Special guests will be the CEO of DollHeart Pasu Lau and the U.S. DollHeart representative Ms. Cholong.” Registration includes food at convention events, and a convention souvenir bag and other goodies. “There is a convention hotel rate at the South Park Omni of 89.00 per night which is available to all attendees and vendors.” Space in the hotel is limited. We still have a few registration slots open”
Sherri is excited about the upcoming event. She is especially looking forward to the banquet dinner. “On the back wall of the banquet, there will be 6 tables. These tables will be filled with the convention attendees’ dolls. Our set designer, Lin McCoy, has outdone herself this year, and I can’t wait until people see what she has done. I also plan to come in costume myself. A masked ball, how fun is that!””
Videos of 2008 Convention:
Videos for 2007 can also be found on Sherri’s Youtube Channel HERE.
Dale Rae Designs
Jandy Designs for Dolls
Kerbey Lane Doll Shoppe
Michele Hardy Design for Dolls
Owl Moon Studios
Tisha’s Amazing Brushes
Val’s Rag Patch
Wildflower Designs Unlimited