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About Us

As of January 2024 the Virginia LaVorgna product line became part of The Bell Collection family. We are honored to be a part of Virginia’s legacy. Thank you Mathew and Kimberly for entrusting us to be the future of Virginia LaVorgna.

Hi my name is Kimberly LaVorgna and Virginia LaVorgna was my grandmother. I hope everyone enjoys this website and her products as much as I do. This online store is dedicated to her and I hope I will be able to honor and preserve her name for an eternity. 

My grandmother had many passions, but I believe the paint line she created and the molds she reproduced was her greatest passion. I remember when I was a little girl and my mom and dad would take my sister and I to grandma's house. When we would arrive, there were a few things I will never forget; my grandmother would already be out on the front porch before we even had a chance to get out of the car, ready to greet us with a big hug and smile, she always had a specific smell that never changed, it was probably a combination of antique furniture, oriental rugs, and Opium Perfume. She would then take us inside where our Grandpa Tony was waiting and her many cats would be running for cover, and last, but certainly not least all the doll stuff that had permanent residence in her house. At that time, all the paint and molds were a mystery to me. I didn't know what most of the stuff was; I knew most of it was breakable and that I should not play with it, but I really had no idea how truly important it was to her. As I got older, I began to learn that she had a doll business, and that the powdery stuff in the little bottle was paint and that the large heavy boxes were filled with something called a mold. I later learned that she named a doll after each one of her grandchildren, six girls to be exact, Morgan, Annie, Kimberly, Stephanie, Vanessa, and Christiane. Now here we are today, many years later, she has passed on and I am here hoping to carry on her greatest passion; her love for doll making. 

Thank you, Kimberly LaVorgna

I also wanted to share a letter that was written by Karin Buttigieg and published in the April 2008 issue of Gildebrief:

Before I take leave for this year, I would like to talk about a person who, unfortunately, is no longer amongst us. I found out by accident that Virginia LaVorgna, whose name is known to every doll maker throughout the world, had passed away some months ago. I only found out because I had tried to purchase some of her molds and was unable to find any. I still had her telephone number from a few years ago, but when a total stranger answered the phone I knew something was not right. I asked around and in time a friend informed me that Virginia had passed away in January this year. I first met Virginia in California in 1986 when I gave a tour of seminars introducing my new water-based technique in the United States, and Virginia attended one of my first seminars because she wanted to know more about this new way of doll painting. Those were still times of incredible excitement and innovation in the doll world! We started to chat and exchanged our ideas on dolls and doll making, and she told me what she was striving for and wanted to achieve. Our ideas on the subject were quite similar and we got along right from the start. Although Virginia was not a very public person, she invited me to her home and I visited a short time afterwards. At that time, she was still giving seminars for making antique reproduction dolls (modern dolls were still unheard of) and her dolls were very lovely. She strived to give her students the best tuition she could and freely revealed everything she knew. Virginia was a beautiful, gracious and self-assured lady who strived uncompromisingly for perfection and quality, sometimes to the annoyance of others in the business. Her popular line of china paints, her superb mold line of antique dolls (she had Stan Shelsky of the Dollhouse Molds, the master of mold maker, make the cases for her) are known and loved the world over. She created wonderful photographic painting guides to use with her molds, printed on firm paper and removable from a folder. The photos are of the dolls used for her molds and a list of the required china paints can be found at the back of the guide. I still use my set of Virginia LaVorgna photos frequently (with our china paints, though). Virginia has left an indelible print on the doll making hobby. Her uncompromising quest for a high standard has influenced the doll hobby, ensuring that all doll makers still profit from her philosophy, because she has been instrumental in setting a high standard in the industry. This is not a mean feat, since the temptation to sacrifice quality for profit is all around us, including in the doll world. Virginia was also a very generous person and a superb listener who always found time for anybody who sought her advice, or just needed a person to talk to. Virginia, you can be sure the positive mark you left on the doll world will remain as long as there is a doll making hobby! I certainly will never forget you! And maybe one day we can once more obtain your wonderful molds!