The Doctor is In
- story by Martha Whitney Butler, photos by Ellis Anderson
She's the Ms. Fix-It of Main Street. "A Stitch In Time" owner Annie Holbrook moved her business to Main Street several years ago with a mission in mind - to serve as one of the South's only doll doctors.
Has your Betsy Wetsy stopped--well--wetsy-ing? Has your Madame Alexander rolled her eyes at you so many times that they are now permanently facing the back her head? Has your grandmother's porcelain French doll lost a finger?
"Go see Annie at Magnolia Antiques," says every antique dealer in town. We recommend her like we recommend a general practitioner or dermatologist. She's a certified Doll Doctor with a steady surgeon's hand that can fix nearly any doll or restore it back to near-mint condition.
From her stories, it sounds like Annie had a beautiful childhood. She can identify and tap into the childhood memories of her customers and bring them to the surface with one of her many vintage toys.
She's a good listener, too! After all, it's hard not to share the fond memories you had with your Raggedy Ann doll or your Dr. Seuss books while you're standing in her booth at Magnolia Antiques. She's got a few up her sleeves.
She's repaired dolls that have been through fires, floods, and the toughest elements - grandchildren. She's even had a customer send her a haunted doll! Now THAT is pretty creepy.
There are so many touching stories that she has shared with me. She once told me about a doll that a little girl carried throughout the holocaust that bore a secret message inside of it. Sometimes I think she repairs much more than just the dolls-she heals the customers too.
When I start to miss my Glo-Worm, or when I go home and assess my 401k retirement plan of Madame Alexander dolls and Beanie Babies, I just call Annie up and chat with her. Once in a while she'll give me an awesome broken doll face or cracked composite doll head for me to use in my bizarre artwork.
She's constantly making people's days and is just a great person to know and talk to. So if you're ever in need of some doll medicine, or just want to revisit your childhood, go see the doll-faced doctor (with the best bedside manner in town) at Magnolia Antiques, 200 Main Street, Bay St. Louis on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.