The designer and owner of Teka and Zoe is Michelle Mahler. Michelle is
a busy mom and 3 (all under 3 years). Her creative background started when
she was very young designing clothes for herself and her dolls. She got
her BS in Textiles and Clothing is 1983. One month later she move to LA
looking for that pot of gold...To become the latest Calvin Kline. She
designed Jewelry, Sweatshirts and T's selling them throughout the Los Angeles
area, all the while working a "corporate job" as a buyer.
Years later she became the Product Develop Manager for Franklin Heirloom
Dolls, traveling throughout the Far East. All the while designing and
selling her own miniature dolls and fashions all over the US and England.
She was renowned for the incredible china painted eyes The dolls eyes
to the right are only 4mm wide. The Franklin Mint decided to close down the Los Angeles design
studio, Michelle stayed with the Franklin Mint for
another year designing dolls from home and working with the design studio in
Taiwan as the liaison. Along with this she also started to
design dolls for the Reeves International (Breyer Horses- yes little cowboys
For her own dolls her "Buyer" instincts were to always find the best
price on the fine fabrics and trims she uses. This led to finding
wholesale suppliers and buying in larger quantities. With all the
loads of wonderful trims and fine fabrics it only made sense to start to
sell little bits at shows along with her dolls. Share the wealth with
other miniaturists and doll artist's. (to the left a pair of
Regency period dolls- under 6" tall)
At the same time Michelle and Jeff decided to make the long needed change
to get out of LA. They decided to move to Gardnerville, NV.
Gardnerville is at the foot of the Sierra's in Northern Nevada, 20 minutes
from Lake Tahoe. This big moved coincided with the exciting
change to step out of the "Corporate" life and for Michelle to go out on her
own. Thus Doll Artist's Workshop (minidolls.com)
was expanded to a full time career, a complete on-line store selling all
things fine to doll artist, miniaturists, quilters and the like.
In 2004 the BIG CHANGE! After 17 years of marriage Michelle and
Jeff took the plunge and had kids. Zachary, Nicolas and Natalie are
here enriching their lives. This coincided with doll
making burnout. Working with porcelain was just not fun anymore.
One day a minidolls.com customer sent Michelle a link....she was looking for a certain
ribbon for a necklace she was making. The link was to jewelry artist
Heidi Hale. Michelle had dabbled in jewelry making, taking a
class in Lampworking...of course she loves wearing jewelry!
But she thought "All that bead stringing, not to sure I am into that". But something about Heidi's website just blew her away,
it clicked - Ok, I get it it not just bead stringing! She just felt
compelled, starting by researching stones, buying a few books, taking a few
classes, BUYING TO MANY BEADS!! "Some days I just have to cut
and pound on some sterling or twist some wire" It is over...she is obsessed.
We hope you enjoy her obsession.
Take a gander at my alter ego : Doll Artist's Workshop at minidolls.com
Here is my Etsy site. I have beads, findings & anything that interests me
hoping to interest you: