Please book here if you wish to purchase 1 seminar only. Otherwise when you have chosen your seminars go to a package at the bottom of the page which are cheaper.
Seminar Options. At 12.30pm you may choose from two options. The first being:-
Margaret Kincaid -
There are several prices of seminars
Lunch is not included in these tickets
£50 for 3 seminars, £35 for 2 seminars, £20 for one seminar
We are delighted to welcome all our special guests. What a treat!
My background in Dolls
I was born and educated in Baltimore. As a child I loved my dolls. I had a Madame Alexander Baby Genius which went everywhere with me. My great Aunt Eleanor Tudor used to send me doll related Christmas presents. For my third Christmas she sent me Tasha Tudor’s A Doll’s Christmas which immediately became my favorite book. The concept of Grandmother’s doll coming from a Paris lodged in my mind because I had already spent a summer in Paris and seen Wonderful dolls in store windows. The Summer I was Four, my parents left me with my 82 year old Grandfather, Roland Gray, in Hancock New Hampshire. It was a magical summer running wild with my cousins in the woods.
Since my father was an Art History Professor at Johns Hopkins University with a specialty in French Modern Art we spent many summers traveling in Europe and living in Paris. During those summers in Paris I was taught to sew by making doll clothes. I was allowed to buy a travel doll in every city we visited; I spent endless hours looking in shop windows for the best doll I could find with my budget of two dollars.
I so wanted a big doll house like in The Dolls Christmas, that my mother broke down and had a carpenter make me a five foot high and four foot wide dollhouse for my ninth Christmas. At twelve, Mom insisted I put away dolls and I concentrated on academics. In 1961, Mother bought an abandoned Revolutionary War soldier’s house in New Hampshire. Dad found it just too hot to work during Baltimore Summers. Mom and I camped out in the old house, cooking in the old fireplace, getting water from the old well. We removed 13 layers of wallpaper, stripped layers of paint, and refinished floors. She fired the roofer and told me to climb up and finish putting on the roof! I’m very proud it lasted for 25 years without leaking.
In 1965 at age 17, I graduated after twelve years from a girl’s school, Roland Park Country School. I went off to Radcliffe College, the girls part of Harvard and studied Anthropology. I wanted to go off to distant parts of the world and study different cultures. One remarkable Summer, I spent on a dig sponsored by the Peabody Museum in Hell Gap Wyoming which was a huge adventure.
I met and married Brian Kincaid, a Harvard Physics student. We moved to Palo Alto California; so Brian could go to Graduate school at Stanford. I eventually went back to school at Stanford and got a degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering. My daughter, Eleanor was born in 1973, I reconnected with my ability to sew doll clothes. Brian got a job at Bell Labs in New Jersey. We moved to New Vernon New Jersey in 1975 and I started renovating an old historic house. In 1979, my son Christopher was born.
In 1981, I started a Construction company building and renovating houses in New Hampshire. The recession starting with Back Monday in October 1987 hit my small company hard. The best business decision I ever made was to build houses just two at a time; so when the bottom dropped out of the market, I did not go bankrupt. With all the stress and a nasty flu, I developed Guillaume Barre Syndrome that Thanksgiving, which left me paralyzed in my arms and legs.
Brian got a good job at University of California Berkeley in physics; so we moved to California that next spring. The New Hampshire business was basically finished with the recession but I had to go back and forth for the next five years while I sold off various properties. In Berkeley, I bought a historic Maybeck house and completely renovated it.
My health was not good enough to be actively involved with construction; so I rethought all my possibilities and decided to start a business selling dolls in 1989. I named the Business Blackberry Studio, because I lived in Blackberry Canyon and worked out of a little Studio Apartment attached to the garage. At first I did flowers for weddings, staging for realtors and sold antiques and dolls. My first show was a 101 Club Show, I had met Jim Fernando and he invited me to sell at their show and later to join the club. With is introduction, I discovered the fun of UFDC Doll clubs. I was a member of the Grace Drayton Doll Club in the East Bay. I loved being a member of the Carmel Doll and Study Club. While I was at the San Francisco UFDC Convention, my husband called up and asked for a divorce.
Early in the 1990’s I discovered the doll shows at Kensington Town Hall in London. Olivia Bristol introduced me to auctions at Christie’s and the Doll Club of Great Britain. I could make money by selling Dolls and Teddy Bears in London and go to Paris and buy French dolls to sell in California. By the mid 1990’s I concentrated on the doll business. I found the doll business worked well while my son grew up. The highlight of the year were the UFDC Conventions. I would go back to Baltimore to look in on my mother and do the Gaithersburg shows four times a year.
In 2004, I moved to Baltimore to look after my mother who was turning 90. Thanks to Ann Coleman, I was invited to join the Dollology Club in Washington DC, which introduced me to a wonderful group of friends. I renovated my childhood home in Roland Park before my daughter’s wedding to Claudius Li, a Johns Hopkins graduate in Computer Science in 2007. I took courses in Historic Preservation at Columbia, but with the big recession in 2008, I found it was better to keep on with the doll business. In 2009, Mom died at 94.
With the Gaithersburg show four times a year, The Kensington show in London, UFDC and NADDA shows, I decided to stay in Baltimore continuing with my doll business. Eleanor and Claudius had two little girls and settled down north of Boston. Now that I am in my seventies, I have slowed down in the doll business and I decided to renovate Mom’s house in New Hampshire and live closer to my daughter and her girls. Having lived in Cities most of my life, I am now enjoying the slower pace of country living. Now I have made more doll friends at the Boston Doll and Study Club, Granite State Doll Club and Doll Collectors of America. I love coming to London for the 200 years of Childhood show. This Is the third year I have given a program.
Margaret Gray Kincaid