Debbie Behan Garrett
Debbie Behan Garrett's interest in collecting black dolls commenced after the 1991 catalog purchase of a 'collectible' porcelain doll intended as a gift for her daughter. After the doll's arrival, the decision to keep the doll and to begin a collection ensued. Her avid interest in black-doll history prompted research on dolls made during and before her childhood. She began freelance writing in 1998 for Black Doll-E-Gram. Prior to writing her first black-doll reference book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls, Hobby House Press, Inc., 2003, Garrett's efforts to connect with other like-minded collectors culminated in founding the WeLoveBlackDolls Yahoo! Group, in January 2001, which is now a private Facebook group. In February 2002, as co-founder and editor of The Black Doll-E-Zine, 'the first and only e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls,' her doll research, writing, and networking with doll collectors and artists continued.
In 2008, Garrett self-published Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide to Celebrating, Collecting, and Experiencing the Passion, a full color book which references and values over 1000 black dolls. Her most recent work, The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak I Listen, first introduced as an eBook and sold through Google Play, became available as an ultra-limited edition paperback in April 2011. The Doll Blogs is the first book featuring dolls that blog their experiences with their human. Hard copies are now out of print. The electronic versions of Black Dolls: A Comprehensive Guide and The Doll Blogs remain available through Google Play.
Through an associate membership of Motor City Doll Club, Garrett is also a member of United Federation of Doll Clubs. She has contributed to their Doll News quarterly publication and their 2017 convention souvenir Journal. Garrett's articles have also been published in Doll Castle News, Contemporary Doll Collector, British Doll Showcase, DOLLS magazine, DollReader, and Fashion Doll Quarterly. Garrett maintains her personal Black Doll Collecting blog and the Ebony-Essence of Dolls in Black blog where she periodically profiles past and present doll companies, doll artists, and doll collectors.
Garrett, a native Texan, is the married mother of two adult children and doting granny of two boys. In addition to doll collecting, research, and writing, she enjoys living each day as if it were Saturday.
Queen Cee is a mother of 5, wife, singer/songwriter, actress, community activist for the empowerment of women & girls and Black doll artist. She’s a 2010 recipient for the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Awards for Arts and Creative Energy and has two organizations, When Sistahs Get Together and Be-You-tiful Girls Club Inc., a Not-for-profit who's focus ia building self esteem and powering girls through creative and artistic means. 2014, Queen Cee was the recipient of the John C. Holland Award for Community Arts and was also officially awarded Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal from MP David Christopherson.
Queen Cee and her husband made the cover and were featured in Hamilton Magazine has one of the top influential and inspiring couples in the city. She has been a guest speaker at quite a few elementary, highschool and post secondary schools, as well as empowering women focused events around the city. She also had the honour to be one of the Black Canadian Women to featuring her story on CBC's multimedia feature, "HERstory in Black" created by Emily Mills this year.
Over the past 4 years Queen Cee has added doll artist to her artistic passions under the name, Queen Dollylama. She customizes and reimages Black dolls and turns them into more positive representations of Black people and creative characters. Queen Cee has also designed and developed her own Black doll line called Herstory Doll, to represent the beautiful diversity of girls (and boys) of African descent. It is also to and promote the importance allowing kids to express themselves through the creative arts, creative writing, innovation and storytelling. Queen Cee has many more ideas towards building up of her people, youth in the communities around her, and pushing the dialogue and spotlight on Black women in arts, entrepreneurship and creating their paths through their passions. For more information or to purchase a doll, please visit: http://www.herstorydoll.com/