Survive and Thrive: Model Businesswoman
"STAR QUALITY" Marsha Doll Faulkenberry
Just down the road in Perry, Florida, Marsha Doll...
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Survive and Thrive: Model Businesswoman
Her grandfather was a Lithuanian immigrant who settled...
Doll Puts Talent and Style to Work
Marsha Doll is no stranger to the high fashion runways...
850 Magazine April 16, 2012 by Rosanne Dunkelberger
With a spiky blonde do, short skirt, sky-high heels, blinged-out jewelry and energy to spare, Marsha Doll is easy to pick out in a crowd
Her grandfather was a Lithuanian immigrant who settled in Perry in 1924 and opened The Fair Store, a local department store that was passed on to her parents and is still operated today by her husband, Dean Faulkenberry. As a high-schooler, she would attend Atlanta apparel marts with her mother, who would let Doll order clothes for the store's junior department. On one buying trip, a model didn't show up, the manufacturer asked Doll to fill in and...a career was born.
For 35 years, the now modeling agent and coach, has had entrée to agencies around the world — particularly in the center of the modeling universe, New York City. Doll, 52, also judges modeling competitions, hosts a television makeover segment and, several times a year, holds weeklong "boot camps" in New York for aspiring models.
Over the years, she also developed a lucrative side business in professional staffing, hiring personable young people to market everything from Bacardi rum, to credit cards to household products. At one point, she had a roster of 48,000 people and workers manning eight toll-free lines in her basement to staff events. That business dropped precipitously with the recession, but she doesn't mind. "I love money, I love nice things, but you know what? I'm just kind of over it," she said. "I don't want my cell phone ringing 24/7. I don't want that anymore."
1. Walmart: That's where I find most of my (makeover candidates), because everybody has to go to Walmart for some reason or another — and usually you don't dress up.
2. Working at Home: I dress up every day; that's one of the things I teach. I feel like getting dressed and putting on my makeup; I just feel more powerful, even when no one's here. It's for me.
3. Meditation: I created and sold what I called The Promise Candle. It has a tag and on the back is a little contract saying you will light this every day and be nice to yourself. Just take five minutes to think about what's important.
4. Hidden Talents: I can twirl a baton and ride a unicycle. Once, I did both at the same time up and down the street. People thought I was absolutely bonkers.
5. The Bird: I'm in the middle of cancer, I've got my nightgown on, I'm looking out the kitchen window and I'm just crying hysterically. All I can think about is that I need my mom, who had died a few years earlier. I look up and a bright red cardinal is just staring at me. I named him Louie — my mother's name was Louise. Now, three years have passed and he comes when I call. I can't wait to get up in the morning and see Louie every day.
6. Favorite Place: I love to go to my condo on the beach in Panama City Beach. It's a beautiful wraparound unit.
7. Splurge: I don't blink at $500 dinners at Daniel Boulud's in New York City. That's my thing. We eat our money, no doubt.
8. Emotion: I'm getting like (my) grandpa. I can't get a story out without laughing or crying.
9. Describe Yourself: People get a kick out of me because I'm so Southern, but I've got this New York attitude. It works.
10. The Model Ideal: If you're not five-foot-nine or above and have 36-inch hips or smaller you can forget it in high fashion. It's not going to happen.
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