herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

City's historic dolls hospital set to close its doors after 80 years

They've been caring for dolls and teddy bears since 1930 -- but now Dublin's much-loved Dolls Hospital is set to close.

The retail store may be closing, but the business is still going strong and will be run as a web-based one, continuing to offer service to its customers.

Owner Melissa Nolan said that The Dolls Hospital will formally close its doors on 4 February, and the hospital service has been suspended until further notice.

Melissa said that high overheads including rent, insurance, and rates means that it makes more sense to run the business, which is going well, via the web.

But she admitted: "I will be devastated the day I close the door."

The store has been a Dublin institution for many years. Some older customers even remember another dolls hospital which opened in Dublin in the 1930s and was run by two brothers.

"People say it's not many shops you can go into today where people know your name," said Melissa.

Three generations of customers have been coming to the store, according to Melissa -- who is a trained doll maker. Her husband Chris builds the dolls houses. Melissa intended to make dolls for the tourist market, but then she started to repair them "and it went from there," she said. "I had a woman coming and she got her doll's house when she was 12. It was the only Christmas she remembers," added Melissa.

hnews@herald.ie

When she originally trained as a doll maker, she intended to make dolls for the tourist market, but then she started to repair them "and it went from there," she said.

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