When I was younger about 6 or 7, my sisters and I would run around the old warehouse in Glebe Sydney where our family had their business Making Kewpie Dolls for The Royal Easter Show. We will always remember how the Kewpie Dolls would take center stage at the main warehouse. There were tables set up with all types of coloured glitter, Diamontes, and feathers ready for kewpie doll painting dipping or feathering.
Cutting tables were set up with the biggest sharpest scissors I had ever seen!
I remember the tulle would come in massive rolls on flat cardboard and there were metres and metres of it we would some time play under the tulle like a cubby house invariably always getting in trouble for it.
The family (which included the Faiella’s, Hobday’s and Stringer’s) clearly had a production line going and would do what I thought was like a million Kewpie doll dresses piling up in the corner. They would then start on the next pile of Kewpie dolls dresses in pink or white with lace, ribbons or bows. It was always a sea of colour with tulle skirts everywhere and off cuts and glitter just floating around.
As a boy I wasn’t into dolls but I still found it so exciting being around all the action and accomplishment of getting enough Kewpie dolls done before the show started.
Sometimes we were there till late in the evening and Auntie Esmay, who wasn’t really our auntie was always sewing up a storm of dolls dresses on even then a super old singer sewing machine that we probably had right from the start of making the dolls.
My other “Aunties” were always cutting, gluing or sticking something on to the dolls and they would always have their names on whatever equipment they were using to get through the day of Kewpie Doll Heaven!
It was a happy place and everyone thoroughly enjoyed creating and just being part of the kewpie experience. We had some many of the women come back to work just so they could work on the Kewpie’s. Kewpie Dolls have a cute and heart warming feeling about them and my “Aunties” would always exchange stories about how they love going to The Royal Easter Show and their grandmother or mother would buy them one and it would hang in their room, a story we can all relate to.