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Getting Your Brand Online

Starting Out Online

When I first started out online with my mannequin business I went to all sorts of lengths to show them in the right light.

I’d started my business from home and so the kitchen became the designated photographing area.

I’d tied a big bed sheet up to hide the fridge and you know what, it worked. Well it worked in the sense that I had at least images of my mannequins to put online.

But looking back at them, they were not really that good but I’d done them, they were out there and helped my business take off.

These days I have an actual photographing area (it gets repainted white weekly) and use just my smart phone with my favourite filter.

I use my images now for my product listings and social media content but certainly for anything going into the press I would use the services of a really good photographer.

Just having the right tools to begin and an easy to follow format is just great advice when you are starting out online.

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How To Purchase A Mannequin

If you’ve been given the once in a lifetime opportunity to search for a mannequin – what would you consider first? Here are some of my top tips to help newcomers to the world of dollies decide how to purchase a mannequin.

What do you need a mannequin for?

There are a variety of mannequins available, from cheap and cheerful and fit for just a few uses to those that stand the test of time. Therefore, before you rush out and buy one – think about what you will need it to do.

There are more than 101 uses for mannequins but it’s worth understanding how many pennies you will need to part with as the majority of us have no choice but to purchase according to budget.

A cheap £30 job off the Internet probably comes with 30 days of use before it ends up like a disfunctional robot. Seriously. The fittings on the cheaper ones are not that good.

You can purchase a mid range, good quality one for around £300 all in. Or a good quality used one can set you back about £100.

So if you want your mannequin to have any kind of longevity, you are better off investing a bit more money (in some cases quite a lot) to ensure that the mannequin has the durability to be undressed and redressed month after month – even years.

When do you need the mannequin to arrive?

Whilst you might think this is an odd thing to consider – in the world of mannequins it is rarely next day delivery if we are going for something that will last so it is worth planning your purchase in advance. This is because the process of taking mannequin design to production is extremely involving and takes months.

But I’m assuming your are a newcomer to my world so you will be wanting just one or two in quick time so again I urge you not to purchase those cheap ones online – with faces that look like they have been on the disco biscuits and so my range (own trumpet blown) of male and female mannequins – mid range new and good quality used ones – will probably suit your needs.

Which type should I choose?

This comes down to what you will be needing to display and this is where I can really help you with some free advice. Once you start to look into the world of mannequins – perhaps something you pass and see each day – you will be surprised at all the different kinds. Please do feel free to get in touch so that I can help you.

Is there such a thing as a recycled mannequin?

Yes there is! My ethos totally thrives on recycling mannequins and sustaining and keeping good the mannequins I already own which are available to hire.  Fortunately I do also supply a fantastic range of ex-hire mannequins for sale. All mannequins are recyclable because of the nature of their raw material – it does not biodegrade.

There are processes for recycling the materials that mannequins are made of – grinding them down to incorporate in construction materials for example and this is not a new thing. I have spent years looking into this but prefer to eliminate what I see as an unnecessary toxic process and choose instead to work artistically and creatively with people to turn them into something else. Much more fun.

Where can I get the best advice about buying a mannequin?

Well if I didn’t say via our contact form then I would be lying through my teeth. I have years of experience and so many mannequins pass through my hands each week. I am always happy to chat and see where I can help you best.


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Mannakin Museum

We have this amazing idea that we would like to share with you…

Over the past twelve years I have been lucky enough to handle over 40,000 mannequins through our base in Lincolnshire. Not only have we provided an unrivalled mannequin hire service to clients from all over the world, and turned unwanted dummies into amazing art projects – we have also collected samples of each and every mannequin that has passed through our hands.

We want to share this collection with you through the idea of a ‘Mannakin Museum’.

In order to get this going, we have some costs ahead of us – costs that we hope to recoup through visitors and Museum memberships. If you would like to get involved either with help putting the collection together, becoming a member or anything you can think of – please stay tuned to our newsletter so that we can keep in touch as the project develops.

We will combine the museum with workshops and a cafe area.

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101 Uses For A Mannequin


If you enjoy finding other uses for mannequins – why not join our challenge group on Facebook? Here is the link –

  1. Weeping Angel from Dr Who Weeping Angel - Dr Who - Blink
  2. Bird Woman by Banksy at Dismaland Bird Lady Mannequin at Dismaland
  3. Glitter Ball Mannequin for On Off at London Fashion Week
  4. The Farriers Apprentice
  5. Front Row Floozies – Coco de Mer Windows for London Fashion Week Coco de Mer Windows
  6. Pete and Nicky at Manouche
  7. At Arms Length – perfect help for social distancing >> Keep You At Arms Length
  8. Yazoo Album Cover – Mannakin Supplied Them Yazoo Album Cover
  9. The Original Arm Chair! via @mernpunk on FB & Instagram
  10. Bug Hotel (Click on image for tutorial) How to make a mannequin bug hotel
  11.  Find Them In The Club – Jessica McLean Mannequins in a Night Club
  12. Book Ends by Dawn Williamson >>
  13. Mermaid Masthead by @mernpunk
  14. Home Made Astronaut Home Made Astronaut
  15. Visitors Book – Great idea for a wedding or party too.
  16. On set with Armstrong & Miller
  17. Child Soldier Guarding Fridge of HeadsHalloween Ideas
  18. Typists Table by Cheryl Neve
  19. Jump Fillers @ Tinderbox Sport Horses
  20. Mannequin at the Science Museum, London
  21. Aviation Show Display
  22. All hail Limby, Overseer of the Onions, Bird Scarer and Life Style Judger of those what congregate in groups of more than 1. Thanks Richard!
  23. Scarecrow to Protect the Pheasants
  24. Mannequin Head Handbag by Dawn Williamson Mannequin Head Handbag
  25. Sports Shop Window Display
  26. Soap Holder in Bathroom
  27. Climate Strike Kids
  28. Merchandise Display at Royal Windsor for Musto
  29. Shoe Display Shoe Shop Display
  30. Hungry Snowman Effect
  31. Torso Cabinet by Dawn Williamson
  32. Travel Buddies Travel Buddies
  33. Alcohol Awareness Week or Basically March April May June 2020
  34. Press Day Mannequins Press Day Mannequin Hire
  35. Dressing Table Jewellery BustDressing Table Jewellery Bust
  36. Wall Plaque by Dawn Williamson
  37. Wicked Witch of the East Legs by Dani Thompson
  38. Seasons Band – Getaway – Music Video – Shot at Mannakin
  39. A Drinks and Nibbles Bum Table (Thank you Sylvia)
  40. Bird box Bird Houses Mannequin Bird Box
  41. Baby Lamp Base by @mernpunk on Instagram
  42. The most fantastic mannequin lamp by Jill
  43. Crash Test Dummy
  44. Elf on the shelf (life-size version) Elf on the Shelf
  45. Soap dish by sink for that all important hand washing
  46. Park your bicycle Park Your Bicycle
  47. Skateboarding Girls
  48. Dummy pin bowling Ten Pin Bowling
  49. Spirit Wrestlers / Little Typists Video
  50. Bare bum butler Bare Bum Butler
  51. Jewellery Display for Omerta Jewellery >>
  52.  Illuminated Torso 1 (Add Fairy lights inside) Mannequin Lamp
  53. Ghost Mannequin (Packshot Photography) Female Ghost Mannequin
  54. Dolls House (Crime Scene) Dolls House - Crime Scene
  55. Herbie Hancock – Rockit – Music Video
  56. Papier Mache Bust Project
  57. Illuminated Torso 2 (small strip light inside vs light bulb) Mannequin Lamp
  58. Halloween Surgery Mannequins at Halloween
  59. BBC Radio Nottingham PresenterBBC Radio Presenter
  60. Killer Whale Trainer (Dismaland) Dismaland
  61. Use as a base for sculpture
  62. Artist Mark Jenkins – an amazing use of mannequins
  63. Game of Thrones
  64. Casandra by Dawn Williamson
  65. Mannequin Leg Lampstand Mannequin Leg Lampstand
  66. Hold a TV Interview
  67. Store your Cosplay Outfit Cosplay Costume
  68. Life Drawing Life Art Drawing Classes
  69. Fake Dead Body –  used in our We’ve Found A Body Escape Room Game
  70. Baby Head Planter – follow @mernpunk on Instagram
  71. Ryan Roche Pop Up at Harrods
  72. A Friend for your Elephant
  73. Whiskey Distillery Drunkard
  74. Press Day Cyclist
  75. Carries Grave – Thank you Beth Wheatley
  76. Richard Wakefield Photography – Unique Backdrop
  77. Fake Pregnancy
  78. HOYS Display for Musto
  79. Shop Assistant
  80. Relieve Boredom When Shopping
  81. Hire a Van – Fill it with Mannequins
  82. Art Installation – Coming out of the trees
  83. Astronaut at the Science Museum London
  84. Exhibition Hire Mannequins
  85. Head Planter by Sarah Mannequin Plant Pot
  86. ITV Set Design
  87. Operation Cue (1955) Featuring Mr & Mrs America
  88. Posh Scarecrows! Image from @Arable_Farmer on Twitter (thank you)
  89. DIY 25th Birthday Party – thank you Katy, Pete, Tim & Chrissie for images
  90. Hat Stand by Dawn Williamson
  91. Christmas Tree by Wijnand De Groot Mannequin Christmas Tree
  92. Sitting Bird Feeder by Myra Webb
  93. Dartboard by Dawn Williamson – just add lager and pork scratchings… Mannakin Dart Board
  94. Customers in a Restaurant – Social Gathering! Article >>
  95. Thanking the Bin Men during Lockdown – Thank you Roger & Dot!
  96. Mannakin Book Holder
  97. Cyborg for a charity Halloween event – thank you David for sending us this!
  98. Art Lamps by Melanie Winning Link >>
  99. Screaming-Mandrake
  100. Bird Bath
  101. Mr Illuminated
  102. Mannequin Hand Charging Station – by Michael Davie >>
  103. Kim In The Allotment – Thank you to Mike Adams!
  104. Ashtray Prop from ‘The Walking Dead’ – Michael Davie



In April 2020, we launched the hashtag #mannakin101 across social networks to procure 101 uses for a mannequin, a list compiled by us and our followers. Here we are with the latest list – in no particular order. Click here for an interesting range of mannequins – all available now for your ideas and projects. Or send us a challenge and we will give it a go!

Submit your idea to #mannakin101

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Research & Development Feb 20

When I set out on this bizzare task of recycling mannequins – I was interviewed in depth by one of the Dragons of the Den. The best advice he gave me was to find more ways to use mannequins.

In my latest attempt, artist Dawn Williamson and myself have made a stress busting game, that can happily sit in any office. Stay tuned for more news, but here are our first attempts.