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To Have and to Hold

June 13, 1996|LAURIE K. SCHENDEN

Marie Osmond began collecting dolls at age 7, but about five years ago she got a notion that she might design and make the collectible dolls as well--just for fun. What could've been an amusing pastime for the singer-actress has turned into a multimillion-dollar business. Osmond now has a stable of more than 200 doll designs--each patterned after friends, family and people she's met through her work with the Children's Miracle Network.

"I've designed a lot of my own things, growing up in this business," says Osmond, a veteran of music, stage and television and now a mother of four. "I worked with some of the best designers in the business."

Osmond also loves the idea of creating something that mothers and daughters can share, as she did with her own mother. "It's something that's cherished from generation to generation," Osmond said. "I'm really big on things that bring people together."

Thousands are expected to come together this weekend, for the Doll and Teddy Bear Expo at the Universal Sheraton in Universal City. Osmond and Annette Funicello, who has her own line of teddy bears, will be on hand to greet the public and sign and show off their collectibles. On Saturday, QVC will broadcast from the expo, and will premier new works by top designers.

"I enjoy going to the trade shows," said Funicello, who is celebrating her fourth year as a designer this month. "I definitely want to continue designing bears. . . . It has given me a chance to be very creative."

More than 200 manufacturers, designers and artists will represent all aspects of doll and teddy bear collecting. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $7; children 12 and younger are free. Information: (800) 800-BEAR.

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