In her little shop on Slidell's Front Street Connie Born plays with dolls. Not just any dolls, these are Mardi Gras collectibles. She's not really playing with them. She makes them. She and April and Tiffany and Eva the bead lady are manufacturing what is becoming the hottest new collectible in the French Quarter -- and all over the country.
Her client list is a Mardi Gras who's who -- Endymion, Orpheus, Zulu, Pete Fountain, Coca-Cola, even Al Roker. "We buy buttons in big 50-pound boxes," says Connie, "and we never get the same button twice. So we work with what we have, and no two dolls get the same face. A lot of people ask me if I number my dolls, and I don't. They seem a little disappointed in that sometimes, but there's no reason to number them because they are all uniquely original."
You can get them at Harrah's, some of the better New Orleans galleries and, of course, here at the shop in Slidell -- $12 all the way up to $600. It wasn't always that way, says Connie. "When I first started, I had the ability to make the dolls one way, and I didn't even realize that I had a talent to go beyond that. It has now evolved into over 127 different dolls and 10-12 different patterns."
And the fun won't stop on Fat Tuesday. Connie's dolls are hot sellers year-round with patterns for every holiday from Easter right on through to next Valentine's Day. If you would like to know more about Connie's dolls click on the link below.