About Sowatzka's Dolls

Sowatzka's Dolls is a family owned, and operated business. Gary and Louise started their business as a home studio in their home in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1975. Louise taught classes, and Gary made casting slips. In 1981 they bought their storefront in De Pere, Wisconsin, and worked out of the storefront for 19 years. Gary and Louise relocated to the Northwoods of Wisconsin in 2000, building their new private studio which they very much enjoy working from. This studio was custom built by Gary Louise and Stephanie. The building is of timber frame construction which works well as a studio being open, airy, and with wonderful natural light to work with. Their new studio is located in Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

They started making and teaching dolls in 1985, and their love for dolls grew. Gary did the pouring and assembly of many dolls, and people began bringing him dolls that were broken or falling apart to see if he could fix them. He hated saying no, so Gary began his research into doll restoration. He has perfected his art and technique for restoring dolls, and has been teaching the art of Doll Restoration for a number of years. With the knowledge he gained from restoring dolls, Gary is now able to give accurate appraisals of antique dolls and related items. Many people have come to him to have entire estates appraised. If you have a doll to sell or need a value for insurance purposes, Gary is the person to talk to.

Louise and her daughter Stephanie have completed the Master Doll Artisan program offered by the International Federation of Doll Makers. They have all been teaching and painting dolls for many years. In 1992 Louise won the Golden Bell. This trophy is offered by Bell for outstanding reproduction dolls. The trophy is so prestigious in the doll community that you can only win it once in your life. She has also won a number of Best of Show awards. Louise has taught for the International Federation of Doll Makers (IFDM) seminars in their store, as well as throughout the United States and Canada. Stephanie is following in her mother's footsteps, rapidly becoming a nationally known doll artist. She has her own line of limited edition dolls offered through Sowatzka's Dolls.

Sowatzka's Dolls offers a unique blend of past and present. Besides having one of the largest selections of antique dolls in the state, we also teach classes in the art of doll making in which people can create a unique reproduction or make a beautiful modern doll of their choice. Many dolls are on display for you to choose from. Our teachers are certified and have won many doll making awards including masters in the art. We carry a complete line of doll supplies, including eyes, wigs, shoes, stockings, and have a large selection of doll patterns. We also do custom orders for the antique and modern dolls.

Stop in and visit the doll hospital with their own in-house surgeon, Gary. He has many years of experience in restoring antique German and French dolls. He is able to fix porcelain, composition, paper mache, and plastic dolls. His artistic talents and repair skills truly show in the end results.

Even if you are not an avid doll collector, Sowatzka's Dolls have a lot to offer. Sowatzka's Dolls also buys and sells antique dolls, toys or complete collections. Gary offers doll appraisals for individual dolls or entire collections.

Meet the Team