All American Homes of Indiana

Decatur, IN

40.812344, -84.937471

Welcome Home
Much more than sticks and bricks, your home is a sanctuary from the pressures of work, errands, and untold commitments. At All American Homes® we understand this and have designed our homes to be a refuge where you can relax and recharge.These homes feature open spaces, well-designed kitchens and baths, and a variety of sizes, elevations, and options to fit your lifestyle and tastes. For warmth, comfort, and security an All American? home is designed with you in mind. So, welcome home.

Architectural styles and floor plans to suit your taste.
Whether it?s the simple lines of a Craftsman style home, the cozy feel of a Bungalow or even the varied looks of Traditional, Victorian, Colonial or Woodland homes of our Signature collection, you will find a home that is just right for you. Be sure to use the Builder Locator to find a helpful All American Homes independent builder to provide pricing, answer your questions, and explain all the reasons that your best choice for quality and value is an All American home.

Annie Oakley Perfumery

Ligonier, IN

41.4669480, -85.5834250

The Annie Oakley Perfumery Story
Annie Oakley Perfumery was founded in 1980 by perfumer/entrepreneur, Renee Gabet. Her mission was to create world class perfumes right here in the American heartland. She traveled all over the world in pursuit of the finest natural perfume essences. These essences were brought back to her perfumery where she hand blended and created her very own fragrances?.and now, Annie Oakley Perfumery has sold over 2 million bottles and remains the only perfumery in the USA.

Share in the Magic?
You will meet Renee, her husband, Charles and the Gabet family as they guide your group through their beautiful perfumery located in Ligonier, Indiana. This will be a rare opportunity to view a perfume studio and experience a world collection of natural and organic fragrances. You will learn how our company started and how fragrances are created, blended and bottled. You can also sample Annie Oakley fragrances and products, from the original Annie® fragrance, to not-yet-released products in development. Be the first to try a new Annie Oakley fragrance! We offer the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a personal fragrance just for you! (Subject to availability of Annie Oakley Perfumer) We are thrilled to be able to share the unique process of perfuming with you.


You will begin your tour with our enchanting story filled with fun and adventure. ?The Annie Oakley Story of how a Fragrance and its? Brand is Born.? Learn about Annie Oakley?s history, how we began and move on to a walking tour.

The Perfume Factory Tour
View where the creative perfumery process takes place on your perfume factory tour, including the bench lab where fragrances are created and blended, and the factory where they are bottled and readied for distribution. You will experience first-hand perfumes being hand-made and have an amazing sensory experience with some of the world?s most exquisite perfume essences - including those considered rare and vintage.

Sample and Shop
Upon completion of the tour, you will have the opportunity to sample more world class fragrances and essences, and shop our gift area. You will also have the opportunity to use your certificate(s) to purchase and take home your favorite perfumes and exotic SPA products.

Create your own Fragrance
If time permits, one of our perfumers can create a fragrance just for you!

CrossRoads RV Inc

Topeka, IN

41.5449, -85.543659

Manufactures Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels under the 4 Brand names of Cruiser, Paradise Pointe, Cross Terrain, Zinger

Damon Motor Coach

Elkhart, IN

41.6865329, -85.9172669

Damon Motor Coach is a leading manufacturer of quality motorhomes - from affordable Class As to luxurious diesel pushers. We employee over 400 experienced and dedicated craftsmen - workers we take pains to empower through cooperation and teamwork. With sales of $200 million and more than a decade of manufacturing, sales and service expertise behind us, we're a veteran RV company. We're committed to our dealers and customers, and to manufacturing quality products using advanced engineering and innovative manufacturing techniques.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates

Fort Wayne, IN

41.174634, -85.115009

Coming to Fort Wayne? Visit our beautiful corporate headquarters to see our chocolatiers in action. You’ll enjoy a short video on the history of DeBrand and view our chocolate making kitchens where you’ll see the artisan process involved in making our coveted chocolates along with tasting several gourmet chocolate samples. DeBrand Tours are a great way for people of all ages to add a little fun and chocolate to their day!
Open Public Tours:
-Tuesdays at 10:00 AM, Thursdays at 1:00 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM
-Cost is $10 per person, with each person receiving a rebate of $10 off a $20 or more purchase. No reservation required. Tours begin promptly on time, plan to arrive before the scheduled start time.
-No minimum number of people required. Open Tours are subject to cancellation during holidays. Please call 260.969.8333 for more open tour information during any holiday season.

Scheduled Private Tours
-These tours must be scheduled ahead of time. Email [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or call Public Relations at 260.969.8335, M-F 9 AM – 5 PM. Tours can be scheduled Monday through Sunday; however, it is suggested that you schedule your tour Monday through Friday in order to view an active chocolate-making process.

-Cost is $10 per person, with each person receiving a rebate of $10 off a $20 or more purchase. Available for groups of 10 or more.

We can make exceptions for groups less than 10 (depending on availability). The cost would be $100 total and you would receive 10 rebates of $10. Each rebate can be used on a purchase of $20 or more after the tour.
Production varies daily. You may not always see full production happening, but regardless there will be up close videos shown at each kitchen detailing our chocolate making process.
Please call 260.969.8335 if you have any questions!

Dynamax Corporation

Elkhart, IN

41.722843, -85.933665

DYNAMAX creates luxury motorhomes designed to fit a variety of budgets and lifestyles. When you see how much DYNAMAX has to offer, you'll see why so many people are choosing these great looking, easy to drive DYNAMAX recreational vehicles.

Fair Oaks Farms

Fair Oaks, IN

41.01041, -87.27603

Because you care and we care: Fair Oaks Farms award-winning dairy products are produced from the milk of cows NOT treated with any hormones or antibiotics. From artisan cheese to fresh milk, homemade ice cream to specialty butter, we've got something for everybody.

Every day, several thousand gallons of our great-tasting milk are sent to discerning customers who then bottle or process our milk to create their own delicious products. You've probably tasted our milk already and not even known it!

Naturally, we take tremendous pride in our own Fair Oaks Farms-labeled products as well. You can taste and purchase all of our dairy products in our Cheese Factory on the premises (as well as in a number of quality retailers in the region) or you can order our award-winning cheese and artisan butter from our online store. We'll ship anywhere in the country and take special care to make sure that your products arrive fresh and ready to enjoy!

Fleetwood RV (Decatur, IN)

Decatur, IN

40.832393, -84.957298

At Fleetwood RV we welcome you to visit our manufacturing facilities
where we build America's Favorite Diesel RV's. We provide a
behind-the-scenes look at how quality and innovations are built into
your RV.

See the assembly lines that produce American Heritage, American Eagle,
American Tradition, Revolution, Revolution LE, Providence, Excursion,
Discovery, and Expedition.

Hitzer, Inc

Berne, IN

40.658158, -84.948053

Hitzer is a small privately owned manufacturing company with the family approach to marketing and service. All hitzer products are made by the Amish craftsmen who take great pride in their work. Hitzer has been manufacturing the Hitzer wood/coal heaters since 1975. Free standing stoves, fireplace inserts, radiant heaters, furnace add-ons and the qualified cook stove are all available at Hitzer

In 1995 Hitzer expanded their business by purchasing the Heller-Aller pump company which has been in business since 1886. We are the sole manufacture of the Heller-Aller deep-well windmill pumps, shallow well hand and windmill pumps, and pitcher pumps. We have a complete inventory of all parts and assembled pumps on hand.

Jayco RV's

Middlebury, IN

41.666421, -85.705895

Jayco, Inc. was founded in 1968 by a man of strong faith and vision. The late Lloyd J. Bontrager, family man and inventor, felt he could build the world a better RV. He longed to create a company of his own, one that clearly reflected his ideals: a company where everyone would be treated as "family".

With encouragement from his wife Bertha, Lloyd started Jayco on their farm?in two chicken houses and a barn! He developed his own prototype camping trailer and a unique lifter system for fold-down campers, the basic design of which is patented and still in use today. By the end of 1968, his fledgling company of 15 employees had sold 132 fold-down camping trailers. Today, Jayco's "family" of employees has grown to nearly 1,600 people, while more than 25,000 people join our "extended family" of customers each year.

Jayco, Inc. develops and manufactures a full-line of recreation vehicles at its company headquarters in rural Middlebury, Indiana and markets them through a nationwide network of nearly 300 dealers. With a history dating back to 1968, Jayco's mission remains unchanged?to build exemplary RV's and provide customers with extraordinary service after the sale. Whether your travels take you through Middlebury or you simply want a closer look at how we build our RV's, please visit us. We look forward to meeting you!

Kokomo Opalescent Glass

Kokomo, IN

40.471247, -86.128964

In the mid 1880's a huge pocket of natural gas was discovered in Kokomo. The City of Kokomo offered free gas to any business who would locate here and bring jobs.

The gas was gone inside of ten years, and now, we are the last surviving Gas Boom business, and the oldest manufacturer of opalescent glass in the world.

Kokomo Opalescent Glass is proud to present the KOG Hot Glass Studio. Established in 1998, a division of Kokomo Opalescent Glass Co., the purpose of the Hot Glass Studio is to produce a unique range of quality hand blown and hand cast glass using the world famous Kokomo Opalescent glass.

The Hot Glass Studio offers one of a kind and limited edition functional and sculptural glass objects, rondels, and dalles designed and created by artists Jon Wolfe and Michael Amis. Wolfe and Amis are both independent studio glass artists who have exhibited their art internationally.

Mandalay Coach

Elkhart, IN

41.685694, -85.907615

Welcome to Mandalay Luxury Division, a division of Thor Industries. We
produce the Presidio and Mandalay diesel powered motorhomes. If you are
looking for luxury, innovation and functionality in your next motorhome
look no further. The Presidio and Mandalay offer spacious floorplans,
ranging from 38' - 44' long. The Freightliner chassis provides
world-class driving capabilities, and the "big-block" Cummins engines
have the power and efficiency to impress.

Newmar RV Company

Nappanee, IN

41.442651, -86.000639

Newmar, we're different. Our single production line assembly method promotes consistency, uniformity and brand quality throughout the entire product line. This permits us to build everything from the American Star Travel Trailer right up to the London Aire coach with the same tools, the same workforce and most of all, the same Newmar quality.

Newmar believes in personal responsibility. If an error occurs during manufacturing, the entire team stays after the work day is finished while the person who made the error corrects it. Needless to say, every team and team member does their utmost to get it right the first time. Newmar quality?our customers expect it, we demand it.

The crowning touch in the assembly process of our painted units is our newly completed finishing facility, which is one of the largest in the industry. It employs twin 22' x 55' downdraft paint booths, which allow technicians to paint even the largest coaches and fifth wheels with slideouts extended. This method allows for exact color match of the slideout panels and greater efficiency in the finishing process.

Pinnacle Building Systems

Bristol, IN

41.709627, -85.822231

"Pinnacle Building Systems Corp. is a manufacturer of custom modular homes, or "off-site built homes", in Bristol, Indiana. Homes are built to meet state building codes. Models include ranch, cape cod, two story and multi-family. Sizes range from 900 to 4,000+ square feet. Homes are distributed through a builder network in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky. We welcome and specialize in unique projects such as lake cottages, accessible homes, custom designed multi-family units, and medium sized commercial projects."

Sechler's Pickles, INC

St. Joe, IN

41.329046, -84.887327

For all the technical advances in food processing in recent years, many of our processes have changed little or not at all. We avoid any shortcuts that might detract from the quality of our pickles.

Farmers from across northern Indiana, northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan bring us their freshly picked cucumbers straight from the fields. They are immediately "graded", that is, sorted into seven sizes. From there most will go to tanks for curing. The tanks, mostly of cypress, contain a salt brine solution in which the cucumbers will be transformed into pickles over a period of three months or longer. We're best known for our many varieties of processed pickles.

Those cucumbers that don't go immediately to the tanks become "fresh pack" pickles. These are washed, usually cut, packed and pasteurized. They can be eaten within three or four days of being packed. For example, Sechler's Bread and Butter Pickles and Kosher Spears are fresh pack.

Nobody takes more time and care in the process of making sweetened pickles. All of our products labeled "sweet" or "candied" have been through this process, the candied having been sweetened twice. We take up to two weeks for the sweetening process alone, (many pickle companies take only one day) to insure our pickles are sweetened all the way through. As we like to say: "We could make them faster, but that wouldn't make them better." All the candied and most of our sweetened products are tank-cured, but you'll also find some among the fresh pack items.

As you'll see while perusing our product pages, cucumbers are only one ingredient among many to go into our product line.

Defects are minimized by our stringent quality control, another tradition at Sechler's. We inspect pickles at the grading stage, after processing and, if they're sliced, again after that.

Sechler's Pickles, Inc.

St.Joe, IN

41.3277778, -84.8871296

The origins of Ralph Sechler & Son, Inc. date back 85 years to 1914, just before the First World War. Ralph Sechler actually got his start in the pickle business running a pickle station in St. Joe, Indiana for the D. M. Sears Company. He'd deliver "brine stock" (freshly picked cucumbers in salt brine) by horse-drawn wagon to a railroad siding in nearby St. Joe, Indiana, where it would be transported by rail to Sears, 20 miles away in Ft. Wayne.
After a respite from the business in college and the Army, Ralph went back to work for Sears in 1919. Two years later he leased two of their pickle stations, getting his start as an entrepreneur. He was still shipping the brine stock to other companies like Heinz. By the early '30s Ralph was selling pickles and relish in bulk in wooden kegs and barrels, some of this directly to restaurants. Jars for consumer sales were hand-packed by Ralph's wife Anna in her kitchen, often with the help of some neighbor ladies. In 1930 the business grew out of the house. The barn was converted into a factory, after another home was found for the cow. After the barn burned in 1937, a masonry building was erected from which the present facility continues to grow.

Starting out as "St. Joe Valley Brands," the company wasn't renamed "Ralph Sechler & Son" until 1948, when Ralph's son Frank finished college and committed to the family business. At that time it was also decided to concentrate on consumer-sized packaging. On Ralph's death, Frank took over management.

Sechler's first product available to the consumer was Genuine Dill Pickles (which is still available from Sechler's today as Genuine "Aged in Wood" Dill Pickles.) Sweet relish and sweet pickles soon followed. Sweet pickles quickly became a Sechler specialty. Candied Sweet Orange Strip Pickles were added in 1940, being a Sechler's favorite ever since. Pasteurized "Fresh Pack" pickles were introduced to the Sechler's line in 1958. Innovative product development has been a constant over the years, to where Sechler's now offers over 45 items to the consumer, many of these unique.

The late '40s saw the first mail orders. Gallon jars were sent out in boxes individually hand-made by the boiler operator. These were sent out by railway express. The volume and sophistication of our mail order business has steadily increased ever since. Our factory has had an attached showroom since 1965 from which all of our products are available and groups are given tours of the factory. Frank's wife Fran took over responsibility for the showroom and mail order business in the late '70s.

A third generation of Sechlers, Franks' son David and daughter Karen, assumed leadership roles in 1990 when Frank took partial retirement. After 75 years Sechler's is still family owned and operated. While new processes and procedures are introduced, we've resisted change that might in any way detract from the quality of our pickles. While most pickle companies emphasize fresh-pack pickles, the majority of ours are still tank-cured.

Sechler's Pickles is still located near St. Joe, Indiana. That old farm house in which Anna Sechler hand-packed pickles now serves as an office. The surrounding facility, including the tank yard, now exceeds 60,000 sq. ft.

In retrospect many things here at Sechler's have changed with the times, but only if they improved our pickles. Traditions like family ownership, original recipes, and fresh, quality ingredients haven't changed. As we like to say "We could make them faster, but that wouldn't make them better."

South Bend Chocolate Company

South Bend, IN

41.664631, -86.294789

Our tours will introduce you to the world of chocolate. We can accommodate any time frame. Choose either the Basic Factory Tour or the Inside Scoop Tour. And while you're here, be sure to visit the retail store and café - attached to the factory for your shopping convenience.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA)

Lafayette, IN

40.3815680, -86.7999210

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. has been the home of the North American Subaru production since 1989. SIA employs over 6,000 people, and every SIA Associate is committed to quality, safety, and environmental stewardship.

Swiss Woodworking

Berne, IN

40.673045, -84.943463

Amish owned and operated hand-crafted wood household items, play furniture and toys, Amish dolls, Lazy Susans, bread, and recipe boxes.
Assortment of stamps and supplies, Homemade cards.

The Rv Factory LLc

Wakarusa, IN

41.5344, -86.0161

The Rv Factory Makers of Weekend Warrior Toyhauler Trailers and 5th Wheel Trailers. also manufactures Mercedes based Class B Motorhomes. Selling Factory Direct to consumer, The RV Factoryenthusiastically offers Factory Tours on demand aslo has an indoor showroom, customer lounge and RV hookups for overnight customer visits.

Turner Dolls, Inc.,

Heltonville, IN

38.928635, -86.375589

Turner Dolls has a complete line of lovable babies, precious toddlers and beautiful girls for your collecting enjoyment. May they bring you as much enjoyment as they have me.

Virginia Turner has spent her life in joyful company. Twenty years in doll making as given her many reasons to celebrate. Her merry family of dolls has also introduced her to many wonderful friends and exciting experiences, and has led her to her destiny.
A former bank employee, Virginia's career in doll making began in 1981 with Virginia's Very Own, a line of reproduction porcelain dolls. "My career in dolls began in the basement of our home in North Vernon' Indiana," Virginia explains. "My husband's sister, Judy, had sculpted a doll that a doll company in New York wanted to market. Since they were a vinyl operation, the company asked if Judy would provide them with the doll and they would make the clothing. Judy asked my husband, Boyce, and me if we would make the porcelain arms and legs and attach them to the body."

Boyce, who had managed a porch swing factory for 25 years, and Virginia began producing porcelain in the basement of their home while Judy sculpted the dolls' heads. Virginia also learned to paint china. Soon, Virginia, Boyce and Judy decided to start manufacturing their own dolls. Turner Dolls began with three reproductions by Virginia and three of Judy's sculpts.

In 1989, Virginia began creating her own original porcelain dolls after a sculpting seminar helped her to take responsibility for her own destiny. Lewis Goldstein, a sculptor and teacher, held a sculpting seminar at the Turner Dolls studio for Virginia and a group of her friends. Lewis encouraged Virginia to continue sculpting. "I had sculpted a small head," she says, "that I thought was not very good. Lewis told me that I had potential. I remember him saying that I wasn't ready for a Doll Reader ad, and that you crawl before you walk, and to keep sculpting."

Virginia did continue to sculpt, and finally called upon divine inspiration to seal her fate. "One Sunday afternoon I was wondering if I was really meant to stay in the doll business," she explains. "After a quiet time in prayer asking for guidance, I decided to sculpt another head. The result was a smiling toddler with two teeth. When I showed the sculpt to Boyce, his comment was, ~ow that's worth making a mold.' He made the mold, and we offered her in either pink or blue, with brown or blue eyes and blonde, red or brown hair." That doll was Jeannie, Virginia's first original porcelain doll.

In 1991, with vinyl dolls gaining in popularity, Virginia created Kitty Kay, her own vinyl doll. The vinyl parts were molded for the Turners by another company. Due to Kitty Kay's success, the Turners installed their own vinyl ovens in their studio. Haley was the first vinyl doll to be produced in the Turner Dolls studio.

In 1986, Virginia and Boyce had moved from North Vernon to a 40-acre farm in Heltonville, Indiana, where they had begun to manufacture their dolls. "My in-laws deeded the farm over to us," says Virginia, "and we began to remodel the house and build the Turner Doll Studio on the front acreage." The house, built in 1848, originally belonged to Boyce's grandfather and was willed to Boyce's father, Ralph Turner. "There are two good-sized ponds on the back side that are stocked with fish," says Virginia. "The fields are in pasture for our cattle and sheep. We have our own chickens, geese and swans, and also, not to be forgotten, two little jackasses. Yep, that's the correct name for them!

"The studio that I sculpt in was once the woodhouse/smokehouse," continues Virginia. "Underneath my studio is the cellar, which is still being used today for potatoes, etc., that are raised in the garden. I have a little deck on the side of my studio that I can sculpt on in the summer that overlooks one of the ponds. Our farm is joined to the 90-acre farm of Boyce's parents, and our cattle graze their fields, too. It is a very peaceful way of life on the back side of the house, and a very busy, commercial way of life on the front toward the road."

The very busy, commercial way of life Virginia describes is no exaggeration. Turner Dolls makes approximately 15~000 dolls a year, with Virginia designing most of the clothing for the dolls. "The ideas for my dolls come from many different directions," says Virginia. "Sometimes a picture inspires me. A lot of times, fabrics inspire the doll. A beautiful fabric can make a vision come into my head quickly." The insights and support of others in the doll business also inspires Virginia. She explains, "A program director from the Hamilton Collection said to me, 'Remember, no matter how many times something has been done, when you do your version, it's new.' So, I keep that in mind. I also listen to the public as they talk to me while viewing my dolls. My daughters, Julie, Susan and Teri, are good critics and my employees are really very supportive and inspiring."

The process Virginia goes through when making a doll begins with deciding which category of doll needs a new sculpt. "We have several different sizes and ages of dolls," she explains. Virginia begins to sculpt with plastic clay that does not dry out with an armature supporting the clay. Next, Boyce makes a plaster of paris mold of the sculpt that will allow the Turners to pour the doll in porcelain.

"When we get the porcelain pieces done," she says, "we must decide if we think the doll will adapt to vinyl well. If so, then we send the porcelain head to a wax artist who makes a rubber mold of the porcelain head. He casts the head in wax so that it can then be sent to the metal mold maker who makes our metal molds we use in our rotational ovens to make the vinyl dolls."

Virginia's 2001 collection echoes the beautiful words of William Wordsworth. The dolls Virginia has created are a gleeful band of children in a colorful array of costumes that are destined to bring joy to anyone who sees them. "Sometimes I feel that I can't do anything different or better," she explains, "but each year I come up with a new group of faces that become almost like my family. It keeps growing each year, and I can truly say they become real personalities to me." Two of Virginia's favorites from the 2001 collection are "Tanzie, a happy baby in a dress that I feel makes Tanzie smile," says Virginia, "and Dina, Born to Shop because I like to shop and because I also wouldn't mind having a coat and hat like Dina's myself! "

Fairy-tale characters also appear in the 2001 collection. Virginia has created Red Riding Hood, a 24-inch vinyl doll wearing a multi-print dress with a red, velvet hooded cape. Her basket contains a checked cloth and a loaf of salt dough bread. Red Riding Hood is limited to 200. Cinderella is a 24-inch doll that is also limited to 200. Her blue-and-cream charmeuse dress is accented with an overlay of sparkle and ivory venice, which is embroidered with sequins and pearls.

In addition, Virginia has created Mona, Cherie, Barry and Celadon, four adorable children. Mona, a 32-inch standing, vinyl girl dressed for a tea party, has auburn hair and green eyes. She is limited to 400. Siblings Cherie and Barry are each limited to 500. Cherie, a 30-inch vinyl little girl, comes with Cherry Beary, her favorite white bear. Her brother, Barry, carries a friendly green bear. And Celadon, a 33-inch vinyl doll, also comes with a bear. The doll wears a celadon green dupioni silk dress and an ivory wool pillbox hat. She is limited to 450.

An adventure from Virginia's life has also inspired one of the dolls in the 2001 collection. "One of the most outstanding highlights of my career in dolls," she explains, "was a trip to France in 1992 when I went for a two-week long sculpting class from Martine Vogel. Martine was a master sculptor. I wasn't familiar with the professional sculpting artists, only doll artists. Sculpting for the purpose of having the sculpt put into bronze or some other medium was a different story. For Martine's class, she had us first sculpt the skull and then finish the head, using the model's profile more than the front features. I learned from the class the benefit of having a live model. I think that Martine helped me to achieve a more realistic look to my dolls rather than a 'dolly' look. I'm still working on that and probably always will be.

"After the class was over," Virginia continues, "we toured France for 10 days. One of our most memorable stops was the town of Limoges. The town is noted for the porcelain factories there. While there, I purchased several pieces of popular cobalt blue decorated in gold. So, this year, my new sculpt for my large girl will be the Girl From Limoges. She will be holding a cobalt blue-and- gold Limoges lidded box with Turner Dolls 2001 printed in gold on the inside bottom of the box." Turner Dolls will create 20 dolls of the Girl From Limoges in porcelain and 280 in vinyl. While Turner Dolls are made in Caucasian skin tones, they can also be made in olive skin tones for Hispanic and Asian dolls and African-American skin tones.

In addition, Virginia has added a new doll to her Metropolitan Moments series that she created for the Ashton-Drake Galleries. The series, which began with Deirdre, a little girl in a pink coat carrying a carpet bag, will end with Alexandra, an ice skater in a light blue, velvet coat. Virginia has also made two dolls for Seymour Mann. "I really stay busy," she says, "because I sculpt the dolls, design the clothes, help Boyce with the photography, stay very much in touch with the factory production and do about seven signings and at least three trade shows."

Virginia's busy schedule allows her to come into contact with many of the collectors who enjoy her dolls. The feedback she receives from collectors has revealed to Virginia that they are drawn to her dolls because of the emotions the dolls inspire. "The collectors tell me, 'Your dolls make me feel happy,"I love the clothes you put them in,' or 'They remind me of real children.' I've always said that when a collector goes toward a certain doll, it's similar to being drawn to a special melody or a picture or a piece of art. It touches a place that says this makes me feel good. I would enjoy having this around me for enjoyment."

Collectors and others in the doll business also have helped to make Virginia's 22-year tenure enjoyable. "I think there are so many things that are exciting in being a doll artist," she says. ',I love getting the new dolls together each year for the American International Toy Fair(r). Toy Fair is by far more exciting for me than Christmas was when I was a child. I have been able to travel all over the United States and have met so many wonderful people that there are no words to express how I feel. I have enjoyed all my friends who are also doll artists and owners of doll companies. Although we are basically in competition, we are always ready to help each other. Some of my dearest friends are my friends who, like me, are making their living making dolls.

"Now that I start my 22nd year in dolls," Virginia continues, "I will also be starting my 66th year of my life. I feel that I could easily be happy doing this for another 20 years. I just hope God gives me the chance. It's a great profession for this lady!"

Weekend Warrior

Wakarusa, IN

41.537309, -85.997564

Factory Direct Manufacturer of Toy Hauler RV'S