Review – Bonnie and Pearl -Make a Friend

As a girl I had a special doll who I took everywhere with me and I still have her now.  Her name was Sammy,  she was a rag doll.  Sammy has a special place in my home now.  One of the things I couldn’t wait to do with Erin as she grows up was find her a doll who would become her special doll. 

I was recently invited to attend a opening of a pop up shop in Cardiff for a company called Bonnie and Pearl. Reading through the information I was sent about Bonnie and Pearl and browsing their website I couldn’t help get excited about what I was seeing.  Sadly I was unable to attend the event but shortly afterwards Erin and I were invited to go along and review one of their gorgeous dolls.  Dad of 3 couldn’t quite understand why I was so excited despite my showing him the website.  However that all changed once we arrived at Bonnie and Pearl’s pop up shop.  

Located opposite Debenhams in St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff, Bonnie and Pearl have their very own doll boutique.  Even I was quite taken aback by just how gorgeous the dolls are.  The look of delight on Erin’s face when she saw the dolls was something that will stay with me.  The dolly matrons and nannies are fantastic, so welcoming and helpful.  They took time to talk to Erin and show her the different dolls in her own time, making the whole experience relaxed and fun.  

There are seven dolls to choose from, from light skin, Blonde hair, blue eyes to dark skin, brown hair, brown eyes and all come dressed in the same outfit.    The dolls are recommended for age 8 years plus.  They are made to extremely high standards and use the traditional doll making methods.  Each doll has realistic vinyl skin, gorgeous hair and accessories.  Erin is only 20 months old her face when she saw the dolls was an absolute picture.  We were fascinated by how she took time to appraise each of the dolls, looking them over before she choose the one she would like.  I’ve never seen her do that before, interestingly she was drawn to the doll that both dad of 3 and myself liked, the light skin, red hair and blue eyed one.  All the dolls are absolutely exquisite so making a choice can be difficult.  

The dolly matrons and nannies are on hand to help you in any way they can.  They are also on hand to show you how to care for your doll’s hair and even have a doll salon at the pop up shop.Hair appointments are currently available free but are pre-bookable
You can even buy outfits for your doll at the pop up shop as well as online, from a Rainy Day set to a Ballet Outfit, to pyjama sets and even limited edition Christmas Party dresses.  So you can have lots of fun dressing your doll for any occassion.  The outfits range in price from £8.99 to £32.99.  Each of the dolls cost £79.99 and will come in its own box which transforms into a bed for them to sleep in.  You can also buy a display stand and a hair brush for your chosen doll.  It is recommended that you use Bonnie and Pearl’s hairbrush as it is specifically made to care for your dolls hair.  I bought Erin the Green Walking outfit for her doll which comes complete with it’s own dog!.  

The dolls are priced at  £79.99 each, but Bonnie and Pearl dolls are not just dolls they have been designed to become your child’s friend and companion, a doll that your child will cherish and keep with her as she grows.  So yes Erin is a little young but believe me she already adores her choosen doll.  She will have it under supervision to start with until she is older enough to play with her unsupervised and really appreciate her.  Until then her doll has been put safe each night.  Some people may like to buy a display stand so their doll can be displayed when not being played with.   

Since we visited Bonnie and Pearl’s pop up shop Erin has played with her doll (she is currently affectionately known as dolly) and I have watched how she plays in a different way with her to her other dolls.  I know it may seem strange but believe me, Erin has already realised that her Bonnie and Pearl doll is special.  She proudly shows her off to her brothers and others but gets very upset if anyone touches her.  She takes time to tuck her up in her bed and carries her around so carefully which really is lovely to watch. Erin hasn’t needed any prompting as to how to play with her doll at all.  Everyone who has watched Erin with her doll has commented on the way she plays with her.  She certainly has really taken to her doll and goes to look for her at every opportunity. 

Bonnie and Pearl  was created by Lisa and Nicola, “As little girls our own dolls, named Bonnie and Pearl, were constantly at our sides; they were part of everyday life, sharing family mealtimes or searching for unicorns at the bottom of the garden. They came with us to the park, went shopping and visited Granny’s house in the car. Bonnie and Pearl played with us, they played with our friends; they were in our gang”. Bonnie & Pearl make dolls, lovingly designed and crafted to last. We make dolls that evoke the feelings we had as children, the excitement and joy that comes from opening the box for the first time and knowing you’ve found more than a toy, you’ve found a friend“(taken from the our story section of the Bonnie and Pearl website)

Bonnie and Pearl have recently opened a shop at the Celtic Manor resort in Newport, Gwent this is a fantastic addition and there are alot of exciting plans being made.  The pop up shop in Cardiff so far has proved a huge hit and will be there until Sunday 5th January 2014.  I would love to see a permanent shop open in Cardiff having visited the pop up shop.  

Once you have purchased your new friend the Bonnie and Pearl experience does not end there, the aftercare you will receive is fantastic.  They have a service that will re wig your doll if you ever require it and in the new year a Dolly hospital will be launched where any repairs needed will be carried out and you will have your doll returned to you in new condition.   I am pretty sure Nicola and Lisa have more plans to come and I wish them all the best with Bonnie and Pearl.  I am sure that many of the Bonnie and Pearl dolls are going to find new friends and embark on endless adventures over the coming years.  I am looking forward to watching Erin’s relationship with Dolly grow and flourish.

Disclaimer:  Erin was very kindly given a Bonnie and Pearl doll for the purpose of this post.  However the content of the post is 100% my own thoughts, feelings and views. 

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