Local Artist Creates Handmade Doll Furniture

Business owner, Stephanie Scigliano revisited an aspect of her childhood she thought that she had left behind. When her friend, Becky Gannom, acquired a dollhouse she reached out, knowing that Scigliano had been very interested in dollhouses years ago. There was no hesitation, and Stephanie readily agreed to help build and redecorate it. “I was into dollhouses, and I had a lot of them when I was young,” says Scigliano. “I would make the furnishings and little people or animals. It’s funny that I’m doing it again, and I’m now in my 50s.”

A growing project

What started as a small project got a little larger when a woman in Old Orchard sold Scigliano an unfinished four-story vintage dollhouse. Determined to work on it in her spare time, she has been slowly transforming it into a dollhouse hotel, where each room will have a different theme.

Originally embraced as a way to keep her sane during Covid, her creations transitioned online to her Etsy store for the general public to thoroughly enjoy. She is selling handmade pillows, bedding and even miniature planters. One type of dollhouse that has been selling especially well lately are her Suitcase Dollhouses; they are single room “houses” that are easy to pack up and bring along on any road trip or outing. It makes a great gift for your little ones who like to take their Barbies and Kens along for a car ride.

Scigliano is no stranger to running a brick-and-mortar business, as she was the owner of one nearly 20 years ago in Plymouth, MI. In 2019 she was approached by Lynda Kuehn, who had a store named “Art & Soul” at Cricket West. Kuehn’s former partner had to step back, and she realized she was going to need some help to keep the business running smoothly. Though Scigliano initially declined, a few months later she envisioned how great the concept could be when the Main Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library allowed the store to move into the giftshop area. By September, 2019 the store was open and ready for business.

“Libraries are trying to come up with different ideas and offering different experiences to bring people in,” notes Scigliano. “They want to be a community resource. Libraries are evolving.”

Fast forward to today and Art & Soul is still thriving, having survived through the harshest parts of 2020. The store consists of “mainly local and regional artists, so we have a lot of Ohio and Michigan talent,” explains Scigliano. There are handmade delights of all kinds, ranging from notecards and crocheted dolls to painted vases.

To browse the unique doll furniture, visit Scigliano’s etsy page. For store hours, up to date news, or to contact Art & Soul’s Facebook page or website.

What is your favorite Toledo hangout? We go to Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar regularly, and not just because my son works there — we love their pizza!

What is your favorite thing to do with your family? My husband and I love going to Mud Hens games. We go to a lot of shows at the Stranahan Theater. My daughter is really into theatre, and she is going to be studying film at Cleveland State next year.

Describe Toledo in one sentence. I’ve always felt that Toledo is a very art-centric city since we moved here [nine years ago].

A quote that you really like? “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead