SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) - There's a fantastic art collection inside the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce building, and most of it is for sale!
That's where we found Connie Born hard at work, making mischief -- or rather, Mischief Dolls. The collectible dolls cost between $180 to $500 each, and each one is different.
They are not voodoo dolls, but Connie -- who made the very first one in 1997 -- says there certainly is a spirit at work.
"It's the spirit of the people of Louisiana, and if you have lived in Louisiana you know what I'm talking about when I say the spirit of the people of Louisiana. People here live life; they don't walk through life," Connie says.
Members of the Mischief Gallery number in the thousands, and Connie says they have been purchased by collectors around the world.
It all started when Connie was tired of seeing the same dolls over and over, all made in China.
She couldn't find what she wanted anywhere, so she decided to make her own. Now, she's a one-woman doll factory, influenced by steampunk art, tribal designs, and everything that's tied to Mardi Gras and the one-of-a-kind culture of Louisiana.
""The influence of Mardi Gras is something that everybody wants to take home with them, so I developed a doll with a big 'throw me something mister' mouth, which is what I believe happens to people that come here," she says.
She paused from doll-making after Katrina destroyed her business. After a 10-year hiatus, she revived the business in 2015, motivated by her father, who was recovering from a stroke.
"He said that if he could rehab himself from his stroke that I could get back to making my dolls again," she recalls.
From exotic leathers to neon-colored feathers and curly floral sprays, these are definitely dolls with a twist -- and we are so grateful that Connie made one especially for the News with a Twist set!