Jarrow grandmother turns doll-making passion into business

Debra Patterson in the window of her new born baby doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID
Debra Patterson in the window of her new born baby doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID

A grandmother has turned a passion of making lifelike dolls into a business.

Debra Patterson has opened the doors of her own shop - Debra Ann’s in Stanhope Road, South Shields - 10 years after creating her reborn doll.

New Born Baby Doll in the making. Picture by FRANK REID

New Born Baby Doll in the making. Picture by FRANK REID

The 48-year-old, from Low Simonside, Jarrow, was introduced to the life-life dolls following a trip to America.

Mrs Patterson, a support worker, said: “I started making the reborn dolls about 10-years ago, people said how good they were, then they were asking where to find clothing for them.

“I used to buy everything wholesale and I kept them in the house, but it got too much so when the chance came to open up a shop I took it.”

She added: “I’ve always been into crafts and I’m still learning. It’s one of those things, I’m always learning as there’s always new moulds, new paints coming out.

Each one is individual and unique. I’ve also created dolls that have been designed to the customer’s exact specifications.

Debra Patterson

“Each one is individual and unique. I’ve also created dolls that have been designed to the customer’s exact specifications.”

The shop, which attracts customers from across the region sells a range of reborn dolls - which can take a number of weeks to make - and clothing items.

Mrs Patterson added: “This is the first business I’ve run, so it is a bit frightening. I have been self-employed working from home, but this is the first time I have in a shop.

“My sister Dianne Binyon and husband Keith have been really supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Debra Patterson in her workshop at her New Born Baby Doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson in her workshop at her New Born Baby Doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID

The shop is open Monday to Saturday.

New born baby doll for sale at Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

New born baby doll for sale at Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

New born baby doll's for sale at Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

New born baby doll's for sale at Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

New born baby doll items on display inside of Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

New born baby doll items on display inside of Debra Patterson's shop. Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson holding a pair of new born baby doll shoes Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson holding a pair of new born baby doll shoes Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson outside her New Born Baby Doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson outside her New Born Baby Doll shop. Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson holds a new born baby dolls head that she is close to completing . Picture by FRANK REID

Debra Patterson holds a new born baby dolls head that she is close to completing . Picture by FRANK REID