What is the history of Expressions? When did it begin? Officially, it began in 1991 when Randall and Dianna Effner incorporated their new company and advertized the popular and widely acclaimed doll Aaron in the Doll Crafter magazine. But going back four years earlier, we would have seen the beginnings of Dianna's long association with the mold industry in 1987, when she created what came to be one of the most popular dolls of all time: Hilary. Or, we can go back even further, and visit Dianna in 1976, when she was sculpting her very first doll for a small doll factory in Illinois.
Actually, Dianna is a doll person, through and through. She has been playing with dolls and designing dolls nearly all of her life. So if we want to know when Expressions really began, maybe we should go all the way back to the early nineteen fifties, when a sensitive, artistic, five year old girl named Dianna Iid got her first Toni doll for Christmas. For no doubt the formative experience of dressing, undressing, styling the hair, and putting that doll to bed at night played a large part in shaping the future career of one of the world's premier doll artists.
The guiding philosophy at Expressions has always been to support, rather than exploit, the doll industry. We have resisted the temptation to flood the market with large numbers of hastily sculpted, badly proportioned dolls. Instead, we have consistently worked to improve our support of the mold industry by producing a relatively small number of very good quality dolls which will be just as enjoyable to make and display ten or twenty years from now as they are today. To an artist like Dianna, who is and always has been a doll person, a doll is more than just a pretty face. A good body construction with a clearly written pattern, an imaginative outfit pattern, shoes, wigs, and other accessories-- all of these things are important aspects of marketing a doll that will ultimately create a pleasant experience for dollmakers.
Dianna Effner is committed not only to her own success and the success of her family business, but also to the advancement, health, and well-being of the entire mold industry. She has produced two videos-- one in which she shares her sculpting techniques, the other in which she shares her eye painting secrets-- in order to assist other aspiring doll artists in realizing their dreams. Her philosophy is lived through her art and through our business: that before you can expect to receive, you first have to give... and give... and give. For this, we at Expressions are very grateful, for it insures our longevity as a company. What is well planted and deep rooted will weather any storm, and continue to grow in any circumstances. We at Expressions are here to serve you, the doll public. We see ourselves as a resource. Please make use of us.
Randall W. Effner