BROOKFIELD, Conn. — The Doll Clothes Factory is set up in an unassuming two-story building on Federal Road in Brookfield. But the inside is the stuff of dreams for little girls who love dolls — and for parents looking for a perfect gift.
Monica Weber, a Newtown native and Roxbury resident, is the owner as well as the chief creative force behind the handmade doll clothes — dresses, skirts, pajamas and more — sold at the shop. And she does nearly all the sewing herself — a hobby Weber taught herself as a teenager.
"I have a photographic memory for color," says Weber, who got her start by making doll clothes for a friend's adopted daughter. She keeps piles of material in her store and in her home studio. "I liked making the clothes for the dolls. ... The fabric talks to me — I know what I have, and I know what I can make."
What began as a hobby, soon morphed into a cottage industry, as Weber began attending up to 60 craft shows per year. About five years ago, she opened the shop to better serve her customers. She partially credits the popularity of her creations to the surge in sales of 18-inch dolls, including those in the American Girl line.
But unlike the mainstream and commercial doll clothes available, the Miniatures by Monica (the name of her doll clothes line) are handmade. Many are even one-of-a-kind, depending on available fabric and Weber's imagination.
"Sometimes I make a dress with just a scrap of a fabric," Weber said. "Or I vary it with the placement of the fabric or the trim."
The store's walls are lined with doll clothes of every imaginable style. Weber designs outfits for every holiday and special event — Communion dresses, cheerleader outfits and Brownie uniforms always prove popular, she said.
She sells holiday-themed clothes year-round, but for December, the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa outfits are right up front with other winter and "Frozen"-inspired items.
"The contemporary styles are most popular," Weber said. "I look to see what the girls themselves are wearing for inspiration."
The Doll Clothes Factory is located at at 132 Federal Road in Brookfield across from ShopRite. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 203-775-2222 or visit the website . The store is open every day until Christmas. The hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. but check the website .