Jill Nix originally trained as an occupational therapist, and had always enjoyed an interest in crafts of all sorts. Before making dolls she had been involved in making soft toys for charity, and one memorable year supplied John Lewis with thousands of hand made Christmas decorations. Her first dolls house dolls were made out of oven-baked clay, but she went on a porcelain firing course learning how to make large Victorian-style dolls, and never looked back.
In the early 1980’s the opportunity arose to supply 1:12 scale dolls house dolls to private collectors and retail outlets at home and abroad. In 1996 she decided to sell direct to the public at a dolls house fair for the first time. She found she gained such inspiration from her customer’s ideas and enthusiasm, that the decision was made to sell only at fairs from then on. Her husband Roger was roped in, following his retirement, to help make and assemble the porcelain bodies and so Woodside Dolls was born.
Their daughter, Caroline, always a keen needlewoman, has helped dress the dolls since she was a student at University. As the years have passed she has become more and more involved in making, designing and dressing the dolls while continuing to work part-time as a dentist.. In 2002 Caroline’s partner Tim decided to leave his job as a London surveyor. Together they have taken over a large part of the Woodside Dolls workload and attend many of the major fairs around the UK .