By Stacey Tucker
CASS CITY — Nearly ten years ago, Rose Burk started to make primitive dolls for fun in her home, now she is the premier place to find primitive dolls and holiday decorations.
Owner of Primarily Primitives, Burk works out of her home in Cass City and much of her sales come from shows she attends in the summer months.
“It’s a lot of time, very messy, but I so much enjoy doing it,” she said.
Her biggest seller are Halloween decorations. She said she makes dolls for other occasions, but when it comes to the spooky season, she’ll make 400-500 dolls and other decorations.
“Usually Halloween is what seems to take off the most,” Burk said. “I start sewing the Halloween stuff during Memorial weekend.”
Each doll, depending on the size can take a day or two to complete. In the beginning phases she’ll stain the fabric with tea, then paint it or stain it.
Burk does all the sewing for each piece and knows just what little extra is needed to give it it’s own personality. Each doll is also weighted and reinforced on the inside so nothing loses its shape.
“I want to make sure it will last for many years,” she said.
Burk said she started making the dolls because she wanted some for her own home and found the prices on the internet to be just too much. After making a few it became more and more fun and she wanted to be able to share them with other people.
“Given the economy, I like to price things accordingly,” she said. “I like to keep the price down as much as possible.”
During the summer months, Burk can be found at shows all over, including some in the Romeo and Oxford area and this year she showed at Fall Family Days at the Octagon Barn in Gagetown.
As much work as she puts into each doll, Burk said it still isn’t hard to see one go.
“Just the reaction from the people is a compliment in itself,” she said. “I enjoy the look on their faces.”
Next year, Burk said she would like to make more patriotic dolls and show a different variety at each show.
Burk and her husband Jim spend the winters in Florida, but the pair will be in town until October 20 if anyone is interested in last minute Halloween decorations. She also takes special orders.
Anyone interested in a primitive doll or holiday decoration may contact Burk at (989) 872-4565.
Stacey Tucker is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at [email protected]