We first opened our doors over 30 years ago, but our family was in the doll business long before that, more than 100 years in fact! It all started when current owner Katy's grandfather was born in the family doll hospital. He later opened Emmert's Doll Hospital, which served center city Philadelphia for over 20 years, until closing in the early sixties.
Flash forward to 1985 when our shop first opened at 8th and Wesley in Ocean City, NJ. Back then we were Kay Jay's Doll Emporium and we sold mostly collector's dolls, including big names like Madame Alexander. Katy's mother, Kay Jay Nichols, carried on the tradition of the doll hospital and proved to this day that you are never too old for dolls.
Mother and daughter nurtured the business as it grew over the years. When we moved to 9th and Wesley, we began to expand our inventory, and by the time we reached 9th and Simpson in 1988, we had added vinyl play dolls, plush, and American Girl clothing. We even opened a porcelain doll-making studio on the second floor.
In 1999, we finally made the move to the downtown, the heart of Ocean City. One at a time, Katy's daughters learned to run the shop. We were raised among the dolls and toys, helping customers as soon as we were tall enough to reach the cash register. Over the years, the doll doctor torch has been passed and nowadays, we all take care of the broken dollies in need.
Today, we are the coolest toy store around, selling everything from board games to baby dolls, with a focus on family-friendly fun for all ages! We want families to sit down at the table and play without electronics. We encourage kids to get outside and play with friends. We always strive to be different and we carry many unique items that can't be found in the big box stores.
We take great care to play every game, test every craft, and swaddle every baby doll by hand. And we take even greater care to make sure every customer leaves with a smile. Just as we've done for more than three generations.
MEET THE FAM
Opened the shop with her mother Kay Jay in 1985 and still runs the store to this day.
Grew up working beside Momma in the store and now makes beautiful doll clothes!
Worked in the store since the age of eight. Creator of the shop's magical pink dragon!
Second in command at the shop and plans to take over one day and own six million cats.
Makes awesome displays and creates stylish outfit combos for the dolls.