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April 19, 1991 - Image 98

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

LIFESTYLES

SERTA

MATTRESS SALE

PROFILE

Riki Schaffer: Sweet Success

INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY
AND
IN YOUR HEALTH

CARLA JEAN SCHWARTZ

Local Columnist

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FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 1991

AGE: 41

OCCUPATION: Owner of the Riki Schaffer
Gallery on the Boardwalk in West
Bloomfield.

EDUCATION: A degree from Oakland
University in psychology and social
work.

FAMILY: She is single. She has a 12-year-
old son. Her parents, Leslie and Jean
Fleisher, reside in West Bloomfield. Her
brother, Robert, is an artist in New
York.

Troy Motor Mall

YOUR EXERCISE CONNECTION

NAME: Fredrica Lou Schaffer

.

RESIDENCE: Birmingham
ORGANIZATIONS: "I'm not particularly a
joiner."
FAVORITE BOOK: "I've reread The Prince
of Tides, but I don't have a favorite
author.
HOBBIES: Basketball aficionado and
travel.

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: In December
1990, Walt Disney World hired Ms.
Schaffer to be the curator for a one-of-a-
kind doll show, "Exhibition of the Doll
Masters," where dolls were sold and
displayed from all over the world.

PHILOSOPHY: "The most important thing

BACKGROUND: Riki Schaffer grew up in
northwest Detroit and graduated from
Henry Ford High School. She describes
her teen years as rebellious and
politically active.
Throughout her college years she
was active in the women's rights
movement and the legalization of
abortion. As a senior at Oakland
University, she spent one semester
following a controversial case involving
an aggressive Detroit police task force
known as STRESS.
After graduation, she worked as a
social worker and then for an
advertising agency. She also worked for
the American Express Co. in the early
1970s and tried to fight the sexism she
encountered in the company at that
time.
After her son was born, she opened
a gourmet chocolate store in Somerset
Mall called Chocolatissimo. At a
children's clothing store in the mall, she
noticed a one-of-a-kind doll by artist
Edna Dali. She loved the artistic
quality of the doll and sought out other
beautiful dolls.
After she went to John Noble's 1985
"Flights of Fancy" exhibit at the
Museum of the City of New York, filled
with exclusive dolls, she knew she
wanted to pursue this field.
"This was art. I view all these as
pieces of art. I was committed," she
said.
When it came time to expand her
business, she moved to the Boardwalk
in West Bloomfield, where she put dolls
on her shelves along with the
chocolates. Her store is now known as
the Riki Schaffer Gallery where the
dolls are prominently displayed.
Ms. Schaffer has traveled throughout
the world meeting artists and
purchasing dolls for her gallery. She
represents many fine doll artists
exclusively in the United States,
including Israeli artist Anna Avigail
Brahms. Museum quality dolls sell from
$1,000-$20,000.
She has sold dolls to many celebrities
including Demi Moore and Anita Baker.
The dolls she sold to Ms. Baker are the
subject of an upcoming HBO special.
Ms. Schaffer is known as a
contemporary doll expert and is now
working on an exhibit in Frankfort,
Germany.
She believes her gallery is an
important vehicle for artists. "It's
important to me that people look at
these dolls as art," she said. O

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