Dolls Talks with Papusile Mele
This interview is by far the longest in the making. It took three months for us to decide on the cover photo! But it was worth the effort: the head photo is beautiful, and the interview is a great fun to read. My blog would be incomplete without an interview with this bubbly lovely lady, who knows everything about dolls and is always braving the mainstream by raising questions and concerns no one else does!
- Hello and welcome to Dolls Talks! Can you please introduce yourself :)?
My name is Ada although a lot of people do call me Papusilemele. :)) I have just turned 40 and I am a passionate doll collector and graphic designer.
- So, you are known as Papusile Mele! What does that name mean? What is the story behind it?
It literally means My Dolls. Papusi = Dolls, Mele = Mine. I wanted to name my blog Barbie Romania, but someone told me I would be in trouble with Mattel if I used the Barbie name, so I decided to name it Papusile Mele.
- When did you start collecting dolls and was there anything or anyone who inspired you to start your collection?
As an adult I started collecting late 2008, early 2009. It was a difficult time for me back then. Some personal stuff, my grandmother that helped raise me passed away, so I just felt like I needed to escape in a fantasy world to relax. While I was walking down the aisle of a supermarket in my hometown, I spotted a ballerina Barbie doll and fell in love. From that point on I began buying more and more dolls.
- How big is your collection, Ada?
Not sure to be honest. I used to have much more dolls a year ago, but I decided it was time to let go of some to make room (and raise money) for more expensive dolls. Quality over quantity.
- Do you collect any other toys apart from dolls?
No! :)) Don't tempt me. I would love to collect MLP G1 and other 80s toys, but I try to stay away from the temptation.
- How do you look after your collection? Is it on display?
I have it stored away in two places. In one I have constructed a special storage with a lock and a key and that is where some of my NRFB dolls are. I also have a storage closet that is overflowing with stuff because that is where I keep all my dioramas.
- You have a blog with loads of useful information on dolls, new releases, fashion, etc. and you always seem to be on top of what is happening in the dolls' world. How do you manage that?
At first, I used to sit at the computer for hours and hours and search for info. Now I have people that help me find stuff and also send me pictures.
- I know from my customers that during the lockdown many people have re-discovered their childhood hobbies and started to collect dolls. What advice would you give to someone who’s new to collecting dolls? Any tips, warnings, …?
Don't try to collect everything at once. Slow down. Some dolls take years to track down and that is part of the fun. Also try and join all official clubs as you get a lot of perks as a member.
- Do you think fashion dolls are a good investment?
Yes, they can be, but it's a very volatile market. You have to be careful and sell or buy at the right time.
- A question that is so current at the moment in the doll community circles: as the new dolls are getting released to the Wclub members and are limited in numbers, a few people are taking advantage of that and are re-selling dolls at the price which clearly is much higher than they are worth. Do you want to share your thoughts on that?
Selling for a little profit is ok. We all do it at one point, but I think there is a limit to what I can call a decent profit. Selling a new product for 4, 5 even 6 times the original price is just not ok. Be kind to your fellow collectors. Ok, have a small profit, but don't be a jerk about it.
- Have you made any friends through your doll hobby?
Oh, yes!! Lots. Both abroad and in my country. With some of them I talk on a regular basis. I also have a group of friends with whom I get together at conventions, drink Aperol Spritz and have lots of fun.
- Who do you consider a sound voice in the doll community?
My Froggy Stuff, Beauty Inside A Box, Jeffrey Steinman, Grandma Gets Real, Mauricio Jordan and others.
- Do you have your mini-me doll?
Not yet but stay tuned because she is coming!
- What's next on your doll wish list?
Oh, boy. :)) I have lots of dolls on my wish list. My immediate one is Poppy Parker Garden of Versailles, Mademoiselle Eden and Lilith, Poppy Parker Pink Powder Puff, Haute Desire Dania Zarr, Mothership Dania Zarr, Sucha Gem Dania Zarr and the Lycans Brides of Dracula series dolls from Mizi.
- Unbox or not unbox? (& why?)
Both. I used to be a NRFB collector, but I developed an appetite for unboxing, touching and enjoying my dolls. But everyone has the right to collect as they wish. I don't judge anyone.
-Thank you so much Ada for chatting and sharing your thoughts!
You can read Ada’s blog at www.papusilemele.com
She promised to get back on TikTok and YouTube this fall!
All photographs are property of Ada Bogoevici and have been published with her kind permission.