I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s day to day life is in flux at the moment. With doll shows, sports matches and other events, large and small, being cancelled due to the Coronavirus, the world seems a little bleak right now. Rachel Hoffman, however, is trying to shine a light in the darkness by hosting a free Virtual Doll Convention, Beyond All Limits, March 25-29, 2020. Like her other virtual doll conventions, Beyond All Limits is being hosted on Facebook and will feature seven days of high quality video content sure to delight all sorts of doll collectors!
The schedule for Beyond All Limits is still being worked out, but currently there are some exciting things on it, like In Studio with Artist Helen Kish, Doll Repair with Linda Wall, Barbie Program with Bradley Justice Yarbrough, Schoenhut Pin Dolls with Beth Morris Nance and more. Yours truly is putting together a quick collection tour video for this event, so be sure to keep your eyes open for that!
Like your traditional convention, panels will stream throughout the day in PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). The panels will be available afterwards for those who can’t watch them live on Facebook and YouTube.
On top of the new content being created for Beyond All Limits, you’ll also have access to all the exclusive videos from the January 2019 and June 2019 virtual conventions! To access that content, just use the word ‘community’ as your registration number when adding yourself to the conventions Facebook pages: January 2019, June 2019. (Mention I sent you!) Once accepted to the group, you can start accessing that content immediately.
I’ve been Facebook friends with Rachel, owner of doll shop Turn of the Century Antiques in Denver, Colorado, for a few years now and asked her a few questions about this inspiring event. Our Q&A is below.
What was the inspiration for starting your virtual doll conventions?
“Feedback from the community. For years I worked in the Virtual realm creating content for people who couldn’t attend on-site events. These videos were always were met with so much gratitude for those who couldn’t be there. I had participated in several virtual workshops myself for hobbies I have like cooking and health, and I had this deep feeling of what I KNEW needed to be done. I was driving to my brother’s birthday party on a Thursday at the end of November 2018 and announced at his party that I was thinking of doing a Virtual Doll Convention. I ended up working for 48 hours straight and launching the first one that following Monday. Now, we are heading into our (unexpected) fourth Convention. It has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life on so many levels.”
What should people expect from the Virtual Doll Convention if they’re new to the format?
“First, – you will have a BLAST! We have fun at the Virtual Doll Convention, so get ready to laugh, learn, and make new friends. This Convention is virtual because it is hosted entirely online in a Facebook group through videos, photos, workbooks, and downloads. All of the videos, content, and resources are posted inside this group and shared over email. Each day during the Convention, you receive a follow-up email with direct links to what happened so you can review it at your own pace. This Convention, Beyond All Limits, is a little different because it is free, and I will also post the daily videos on YouTube.”
Why do you feel it’s important to celebrate the hobby of doll collecting now with everything that is currently going on around the world?
“Dolls, teddy bears, and hobbies, in general, provide an incredible amount of comfort. They are a way for us to escape, cope, love, dream, travel, and live happily indoors. We need these things in the forefront of our lives right now more than EVER. I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of what I knew I needed to do during this time. It’s like I have been training for it my entire life. Someone said to me today, “How can you afford to do this?” and I replied, “I don’t think I can afford not to do it.” I am a virtual convention creator, and right now, we NEED a Virtual Doll Convention. I hope you will join us next week for “Beyond All Limits” – because that is just what doll collectors are.”
Free registration for Beyond All Limits opens up Thursday, March 19, 2020, 9AM MDT. For the most up to date information, be sure to check the Virtual Doll Convention website or follow Rachel Hoffman on Facebook.
Will you be partaking in the fun? What dolls might you like to see in more detail in the short video I’m doing for the event? Let me know in the comment area!