It all started on a trip to Moscow with the children. We were walking around the Central Department Store (TSUM) when I noticed a small shop with a large selection of toys. Of course, my children were immediately captivated, and it didn't take long before I was too. There were dolls that looked like real newborn babies, and countless others each with different expressions and poses looking more alive than the next. My son Alexander saw a dog that reminded us of the one from one of our favorite movies “The Mask”. It was so special, with such a pleasant look, and stood out as if it were alive and ready to jump out at us looking for a new home. My son begged me to buy it for him.
The only thing that stopped me at that moment was the price: $400. Still, I found it hard to resist my son's coaxing, and i almost did buy it until my husband stopped me. Nevertheless, walking out of that store, I realized that's what I wanted to do. I wanted a store like the one that captured mine and the children's imaginations that trip.
When we came home to America and got back to the daily routine, I tried to brush the idea off as a childhood fantasy. However, after a few months, I woke up with the clear desire to go for it and start my own store, and dedicate the name to our daughter Milana. For me, it's not just a store but a gift of a special world, into which children can journey and find mysterious toys, beautiful dresses, and original jewelry; I hope this business is something my daughter will continue, and maybe pass it on to her own daughter, therefore I put my heart and soul into every detail.
My vision is for this to be a place of magic, where people can step in to get away from their day to day concerns and dream and get inspired. Since this project is dedicated to my daughter, I decided to use her name MILANKA for the store title. Once I had that, I came up with all the different branches separately. It's important to me that I do all my research, and I spend countless hours meticulously choosing and curating each piece that is sold. I studied how dolls are made, from what materials, etc. I've gone to four major doll exhibitions held in Russia, and out of hundreds of thousands I've selected six hundred that are made with the level of mastery and excellence I want to reflect my store.
Our toys are all totally different styles ranging from the horrific to the most adorable ones. Most of the dolls are decorative, and not intended to be played with, but with some of them you can change their costumes before putting them back on the display shelf. They are high-quality collectible items. Personally, I think they're great if you want to change something up in a certain corner of your home (for Halloween, or Christmas, or maybe just for a mood shift). As a designer, I gladly offer my opinion on what doll character to use to spruce up your home interior.
All our dolls are from Russia and Europe. However, we are working on expanding our collection and seeking out dolls throughout the world. We offer custom dolls, for example, if you want to give your teacher a gift, we will help you find a doll that reflects not only that person’s profession, but looks like them too. Hockey player, doctor, chef, or even card shark.
You can be assured everything in my collection is one-of-a-kind. Some dolls are made by well-known masters, and some by unknowns. The collectible items' value is always increasing and you may be able to see a profit in as little as 5-10 years for some.
In my opinion, toys made by young masters are just as good in terms of quality. It's interesting to note you can never really make the same doll twice since they are all handmade by individual masters.
When you enter our store, you will immediately find yourself in a special atmosphere, and rest assured you will find the right doll for you. They each come in a beautiful and stylish package for display. Everything is made with a lot of heart, and well thought, so feel free to immerse yourself in the magic, and carry this magic with you as you leave to present the special gift.
Since my children inspired me to launch this project, I approach it first and foremost as a mother. That’s why we offer master classes in sewing dolls and drawing. Your child is happily involved, and the atmosphere is perfect in capturing their creativity. This is open for adults too. This activity makes an excellent anti-stress therapy. Since we welcome visitors of all ages we offer wine and light refreshments.
A photo studio.
Yes, you can buy our goods online. But if you're in the area i highly suggest you stop by so you can experience our little wonderland in person. We also offer on set photo services. You can have a photoshoot with dolls you like from our beautiful sets and holiday-themed costumes. It doesn’t matter how old you are; what’s important is your imagination. We are here to help you make your vision come true.
Clothing and jewelry.
You can buy amazing dresses and jewelry by MILANKA. For example, we sell pendants in the shape of keys, dedicated to the fairy tale“The Gold Key”. Our wonderful dresses deserve special attention. They're beautiful and memorable and guaranteed to make you the star of any festive or momentous occasion. One of our most popular services is mother-daughter photoshoots in our dresses.
As a designer, I will help you select not only toys to create a special atmosphere in your home but also unique furnishings that will also be represented at our Store.
Gift boxes and gift certificates.
Even though the modern world offers an enormous selection of gift cards, why not give them something memorable and but that will stand out from everything Else.
Our distinctive style is evident in every detail from the gift to the packaging. We offer jewelry, beautiful outfits, dolls, furnishings, certificates for master classes, or photoshoots. We are now beginning to work with florists, and will soon be adding interesting and unusual touches to your gift. If you find it hard to choose one thing from our store, we offer gift cards.
We deliver everywhere in the US. We plan to deliver worldwide. If you are within a few miles of us, we can have a courier carefully deliver the gift directly to you. The more my project grows from dream to reality the more fascinated I become with the process of developing my company. Maybe I can share my fascination with you and persuade you to want to start collecting, too? In any case, I wish you a pleasant and scintillating journey into our magical MILANKA brand.