Bargain hunters were invited this weekend to visit a curious business on the outskirts of Fulbeck that sells and hires out recycled shop ‘dummies’.
Roz Edwards set up her company, called Mannakin, on her return from 10 years living in Malawi. Starting out as a retail marketing business from home, she quickly discovered a demand for mannequins, buying them up as shops felt the recession and the online boom.
Roz has nicknamed the wartime farm warehouse complex, ‘Dollywood’ where she stores her 20,000 dummies, handled by a 20-strong team of staff since relocating from Newark three years ago.
Once refurbished in the workshops, the majority go out to shops or fashion shows like London Fashion Week, but this year she has also begun holding a public open day on the first Saturday of every month, giving people the chance to look around and pick up a bargain. The latest event was on Saturday and visitors were able to roam the two-acre site at Fulbeck Lowfields with unrefurbished model,s stored in massive eery mounds in the yard.
Roz said: “We were really rushed off our feet with people mainly thinking ahead to Halloween parties to make them into something gory. For people coming into the yard for the first time it must be jaw-dropping.”
Mannequins were going for £10-20. Roz said: “I get a regular guy come over from Nottingham who collects costumes from movie sets.”
Some have appeared on stage with Lady Gaga and on The X Factor, and others have been used in stunts by the Top Gear team. Roz once spent the day with pop singer Mika and his mum while filming a video with 30 of her ‘models’.
Roz even provided a line-up of mannequins for firing practice by Lincolnshire Police. She said: “After dropping them off I went back to get my car keys to find the policemen trying on the wigs and mucking about!”
Her next plan is to encase the old sheds to put in a second floor, saying: “I want to build it up so it looks like a huge doll’s house.”