Thursday, November 19, 2015

2016 Detroit Doll Show Save the Date


Sandy's Land 4th Annual Detroit Doll Show was such a success, we had over 1000 people to attend the show on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. It has been coined "the Largest Black Doll Expo."

On Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 1pm - 7pm we will host our 5th Annual Detroit Doll Show with more interactive entertainment, workshops, parking option, new and our favorite doll vendors, adult and children doll look alike contest, arts & crafts, dynamic Doll Legacy Award recipients, children authors and expanded space at the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Early Bird Registration is $5 until July 30th and then will increase to $10 per person.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor send photos of your dolls and a brief bio to

Thank you!

Sandra Epps, Founder
Detroit Doll Show

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dr. Betts our 2015 Detroit Doll Show Honoree

Dr. Margaret L. Betts graduated from the University of Toledo College of Medicine in 1977. She has over 37 years of experience as a Medical Doctor and she is affiliated with DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital and Providence Hospital.

Dr. Betts is a well respected individual throughout Michigan for her contribution to the less fortunate, investing in Detroit people and properties. There are a few things she's known for, a humble spirit and her collection of Black Dolls.

She was instrumental in sparking the interest of Black Dolls in Detroit Michigan because she helped to facilitate the first Black Doll Show at the St. Regis Hotel over twelve years ago. Presently, at her private medical practice, Betts Medical Group PLLC is like a mini Black Doll Museum where she share stories of these historical figures with her clients. Every Doll has a Story.

If you mention Black Dolls in a conversation at least five out of ten people will say, Do you know Dr. Betts?... She's Metro Detroit Black Doll Icon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Toni Scott Grant is our 2015 Doll Legacy Award Recipient

Toni Scott Grant is a successful entrepreneur, celebrity wardrobe/costume stylist and motivational speaker. Prominently featured in the HarperCollins published, “The Mocha Manual to Turing Your Passion into Profit,” Toni chronicles her journey as the owner of ‘Scott Phree”, a former Houston-based fashion boutique.

 Currently Toni’s most passionate power play by far is being CEO and Head Designer of Haus of Swag, a registered trademark brand of apparel and accessories founded in 2011.

Earlier in her career, Toni studied Fashion Merchandise and Management at NY’s venerated Fashion Institute of Technology. While in school, Toni landed a job as a showroom assistant for a celeb-favored women’s fashion brand in the heart of NYC’s fashion district. This opportunity put her considerable talents directly in front of stylists and editors from wildly-popular magazines including Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, Essence, Glamour, and InStyle as well as assisting in the style division of TV shows such as The View and MTV’s House of Style. She also learned a considerable amount regarding the business retail aspect of fashion which aided in her own start-up journey.

Toni would later become freelance honing her craft as a fashion and prop stylist across several mediums, including film, television and print and counted clients from the elit world of Hollywood to the grit of Hip Hop. More recently, Toni has worked as a fashion and set costumer for live action shows such as Disney Entertainment, Marvel Universe LIVE, Cirque de Soleil, Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz” tour, CBS’s televised “Fashion Rocks’, Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience” tour, Madonna’s “Rebel Hear Tour” as well as Arianna Grande’s “The Honeymoon Tour.”

She is deeply passionate about the empowerment of women and young girls. In 2011, Toni was a guest speaker for Project LEAD, a Houston-based organization where she presented a college prep career workshop about fashion styling and costuming to a group of at-risk high school senior girls. The following year, she was invited to be a panelist at “Female Power,” a symposium of successful Houston-area entrepreneurs moderated by Houston’s Fox 26 news.  Toni has also appeard on Arise TV's, "Arise and Shine" and ABC 7, "here And Now."

Recipient of the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award in 2009, Toni has long been committed to raising the bar for herself. In addition to her degree in Speech Communications, she has studied abroad at the American University of Rome furthering her interpersonal expertise and art history respectively. In 2014, Toni was selected from among thousands of participants to be one of the five women chosen as the “Face of Flower”, a cosmetics company owned by award-winning actress, screenwriter and film producer Drew Barrymore.

She is a proud member of the Local 764 Theatrical Wardrobe Union (I.A.T.S.E.) of NY and has volunteered for the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) New York Fashion Week. She resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Debbie Garrett's Doll Journey

Debbie Garrett has been very instrumental in assisting me with the Detroit Doll Show. Her expertise is undeniably untouchable when it comes to Black Dolls. I am in Awe and inspired by her. She is our 2015 Doll Legacy Recipient. Read a little about her Doll Journey:

Debbie Garrett's interest in collecting black dolls commenced after the 1991 catalogue purchase of a 'collectible' porcelain doll intended as a gift for her daughter. After the doll's arrival, the decision to keep the doll and to begin a collection ensued. Her avid interest in black-doll history prompted research on dolls made during and before her childhood. She began freelance writing in 1998 for Black Doll-E-Gram. Prior to writing her first black-doll reference book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, Hobby House Press, Inc., 2003, Ms. Garrett's efforts to connect with other like-minded collectors culminated in founding the WeLoveBlackDolls Yahoo! Group, in January 2001. In February, 2002, as cofounder and editor of The Black Doll-E-Zine, 'the first and only e-zine (now group) devoted to collecting black dolls,' her doll research, writing, and networking with doll collectors and artists continued.

In 2008, Garrett self-published Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, a full color book which references and values over 1000 black dolls. Her most recent work, The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak I Listen, first introduced as an eBook and sold through the Google eBookstore, became available as an ultra-limited edition paperback in April 2011. The Doll Blogs is the first book featuring dolls that blog.

As a member-at-large of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Ms. Garrett has contributed to their Doll News quarterly publication. Garrett's articles have also been published in Doll Castle News, Contemporary Doll Collector, British Doll Showcase, DOLLS Magazine, DollReader, and Fashion Doll Quarterly.

Ms. Garrett, a native Texan, is the married mother of two adult children, and doting granny of two precocious boys. Her non-doll-researching/collecting time is spent working as a CMT-credentialed, home-based, QIS for a leading global provider of clinical documentation.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Georgette Taylor Doll Designer

Ms. Taylor is the Detroit Doll Show 2015 Doll Legacy Award Receipent. She was the Co-Founder of Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc. the first full-figured 12 inch Fashion Dolls. The Dolls included Dasia (African American), Dawn (Caucasion) and Dena (Latina).

Georgette Taylor is the founder of the I AM Beautiful Doll Company... dolls that inspire you to love you. I AM Beautiful is an offshoot of Big Beautiful Dolls, formed in 1999 with Audrey Bell-Kearney.

Her love for dolls started many years ago when her father bought her a collection of four International dolls. It was exciting for her to see how differently they were dressed to reflect the cultures they represented. She was inspired to learn more about where they came from and started her belief that although we are different, we are basically the same people, regardless of our origins. This little collection, albeit at a later time, spurred her into collecting other dolls, beginning with the Byron Lars Dolls.

From her love of dolls came the partnership with Audrey Bell-Kearney that created the Big Beautiful Doll Company, adding a missing dimension to the fashion doll world.

The plus sized dolls they developed “were created to represent a previously missing part of the fashion doll world, that of full figured girls and women” stated Ms. Taylor.

This new doll company opened many doors and started many conversations about body size, acceptance, and love of self for young girls and women, who had never seen an image that depicted them favorably. Women were proud to share this new image with their daughters.

Ms. Taylor’s role in Big Beautiful Dolls has given her the opportunity to speak to many women about the importance of seeing a truly representative image of themselves through a medium that was (and is) an important part of the lives of young girls and women…dolls! She believes that it is important to see yourself represented positively in all aspects of your world. Deep inside, it is unavoidable to feel that you are not seen as important when you do not see positive images of self; this can have a profound effect on how you see and love yourself.

Ms. Taylor has been featured in various magazines such as Heart and Soul; Doll World; and Contemporary Doll Collector. She has also appeared on television on Good Morning Texas, Insights, and Positively Texas. She was included in panel discussions such as Barbara Whiteman’s Black Doll History Lecture (at the African-American Museum in Dallas, Texas) and many more expos and showcases.

Ms. Taylor continues to remain true to her passion for helping women to love who they are, as they are, through her connection to her Big Beautiful Dolls; and now, the I AM Beautiful Doll Company. She plans to keep the conversation about loving oneself, and being empowered. The new line of dolls will help stress personal empowerment, and love of one’s body, mind, and soul.

When she is not creating new dolls, she is also Director of Content Management for Hertube TV, the #1 Digital Lifestyle TV Network for Women; focusing on women’s strengths and passions by providing a platform  for the distribution of tv shows, films, and video tutorials through the Hertube network.

Tara Michener - Guest Blogger

Tara Michener is an author and Counselor who works tirelessly to educate the public about bullying and to eradicate it. She's an advocate of Self Love and a woman who inspires others to live happy and healthy lives. These are her words:

Snuggles, Wendy & Tashanda Rhonda all have something in common…me. They were my first examples of beauty, my best friends and they each shared many sleepovers with me. They also were my favorite dolls. I learned how valuable Wendy was when I lost her at the playground one day. My dad and brother scoured our neighborhood and knocked on many doors trying to find her. I cried thinking that I would lose the tall dark skinned depiction of a little girl. She had two braids and a beautiful face. She made me feel pretty just by being in my arms and as a short four year old we were about the same size. When they brought Wendy home I gave her a big hug and a middle name. I decided that she should be named after the nice receptionist in the doctor’s office. Her name became Wendy Nancy. I had a middle name why shouldn’t she?
As an author of children’s books I realize that my imagination, creativity and love for telling stories began in my childhood play with dolls. As a therapist I also realize that they set a foundation for my self-esteem, my ability to nurture and practice empathy. I got to practice my social skills with my dolls and model the example that I saw around me using them as props. Knowing what I know now dolls are priceless tools to young people.      
I was excited last year to be able to be on the panel with so many wonderful women at the Detroit Doll Show. The event was a wonderland for imagination, beauty and esteem. When we think about the role that dolls have played in the lives of our young people we cannot discount the role that they played in history.  Every child should have an opportunity to see themselves reflected in the face of a doll. Everyone should know that they too are capable of being a model for a beautiful playmate for a small child. Every child should know that they are worthy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Words from Jendayi Iyi

I have admired Mama Jendayi for many years because she always looked like African Royalty. She possess a personal radiance that immediately brightens every room she enters.  Her natural long locks wrapped beautifully under her Gele (African Head Wrap) is her trademark, however. When I discovered that she redressed dolls to reflect her image that's when my admiration for her tripled.
(Mama is a word of endearment used as form of respect ...) 
Words from Mama Jendayi:
Dolls have always had an important role in our lives. Many of us were emotionally attached to our dolls and their play value served as a source of pure joy. Self love is nurtured when we learn through doll play to nurture that which reflect ourselves. Our imaginations soared as we imagined all the possibilities life had to offer. Dolls have a long rich history and within them tell a story according to the times they existed in. As adults, the inner child still remains and fond memories are tapped into.
We now can appreciate the artistry in dolls and the different nuances they express.
I am looking forward to this year's 2015 Detroit Doll Show. I know it will be an uplifting fun experience with dolls and doll artists having a wide appeal to everyone. It's a fun family event sure to leave you smiling. Hope to see you there!
 Redressed Doll by Mama Jendayi
Mama Jendayi's Granddaughter holding her Doll

Photo by David Young and Effects by Steve Novak

The 4th Annual Detroit Doll Show will take place on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 1 pm - 7pm at the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Histor, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit MI 48201. To find out more visit

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Detroit Doll Show

Sandy's Land present
2015 Detroit Doll Show
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
315 E. Warren, Detroit MI 48201
1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
$5 Admission
for ages 3 and up
THEME: Fairytale, Sororities and Pretty Brown Bombshells
(come dressed as your favorite Fairytale character or doll)
Speakers, Hands-on Doll Workshops for Children and Adults, Vendors, Arts & Craft, Doll Look-A-Like Contest (1st, 2nd and 3rd place - doll must be present); Doll Award Presentation, Delicious Food, and Fun Surprises.

Workshop prices are separate from admission
Stay Tuned for Workshops and Vendors

We will be collecting new unwrapped dolls for underpriviledged Girls for the Holiday

Doll Artist/Vendors
Michelle Sapp
Tanya Montegut
LaJeana Kennedy
Jaqueline Cole
April Anue
Natasha Gates
Patricia Coleman-Cobb
Aniqua Janee Wilkerson
Deana Williams
Doll Award Honorees
*Dr. Margaret Betts, Doll Collector
*Debbie Garrett, Black Doll Expert
*Georgette Taylor, Co-Founder of Big Beautiful Dolls, Inc
2014 Doll Participant

 Swan Barbie

To purchase tickets visit
for additional questions email or
call 313-492-6953
Our Motto is "Love the Skin You're In!"