Through Jonas Denis
“I bring back life to abandoned and damaged childhood dolls,” says Fabienne Mogue, a craftswoman who works at The doll clinic, located near Gambetta square a Bordeaux (Gironde).
Established for ten years, Fabienne Mogue restores infants, teddy bears, swimmers and all kinds of objects damaged by time that customers bring to her.
Upon entering the shop, the customer is greeted by the faces of dolls and teddy bears watching him. Terrible? Not really to believe the craftswoman who restores toys since childhood. “Between the ages of 8 and 10, I did a lot of creating objects and especially characters, I liked it a lot,” she recalls.
Passionate about her work, she has always sought to professionalize. “The restoration of dolls requires a lot of skills. Over time, I learned to paint, sew, reshape broken objects… ”
Customers who come from abroad
In her shop, she performs nearly 300 restorations per year. “Demand has increased in recent years. We are only five to six in France to practice this profession. I know two colleagues in Paris and Avignon. But some have retired like in Lyon or Limoges, ”she laments.
Fabienne Mogue receives orders from all over France and around the world: “a lot of customers contact me via social networks and some of them come from Switzerland, Belgium and even Canada a few times. “
Most of its customers are adults who come to restore their stuffed animal from when they were little. “By appointment, they come to the store and we fix the estimate together as well as the improvements. Dialogue is very important, I trust the customer’s request because the objects have great sentimental value, ”she recalls.
Difficult to estimate the average working time for Fabienne, it is on a case by case basis.
Simple teddy bears with one eye missing, for example, will take a morning. On the other hand, an automaton will have three months of work.
As in any clinic, there is an emergency service. “These are for children who cannot sleep without their soft toy. A parent arrives in my shop in the morning, I see him for the quote and I return the plush in the evening. It’s a real operating theater that is in action when there is a blanket to restore, ”she laughs.
“Customers shed tears”
But it’s not just children impacted by a damaged teddy bear. When she returns a completely restored childhood object, “customers have already shed tears.”
She remembers an anecdote: “An 80-year-old student from the nation came to the store to drop me some teddy bears. He really needed to find his cubs in good shape which were very damaged. When I returned it to him he was very happy and so was I. It was very moving. “
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