I’m Melanie Pugni. Some of you may already know me as one of the Associates at Girl Again boutique.
I started off as a Girl AGain customer and then a volunteer when I was in high school. I would bring dolls home and fix them up, then bring them back to the store. In September 2018, I was hired as an Associate to run the store on Sundays. Chandra was my manager.
I am an avid collector of American Girl dolls, and love fixing them up and making them look new again!
I am excited to become the new Assistant Manager and help Girl AGain become even more successful.
Along with my passion for American Girl I also love baking and cooking. I currently attend Norwalk Community College. I have my Culinary Arts Certificate and am about to graduate with my Associates Degree in hospitality management this Spring. I wanted to have a diverse set of skills so I can be successful in any job. I decided to also get an Associates Degree in accounting which I will be finishing up in the Fall.
I started collecting American Girl merchandise when I was 6 years old, when I received my first American Girl doll, Nellie O’Malley, for Christmas. She went everywhere with me. My parents did not have a lot of money, and in order to keep collecting my mom and I would go to tag sales and garage sales to buy more dolls and clothes.
I would watch YouTube videos and experiment with the dolls to learn how to fix them up. My cousin Lilly was also interested in American Girl and when I was 13 we started a YouTube channel to show the stop-motion videos we created. I learned photography and about the American Girl Instagram and Facebook community.
By the time I was in high school, I knew a lot about the company and their products. I was collecting myself and learning how to buy and sell products through Facebook to earn money for college. I wanted to work at the American Girl doll hospital when I got older. I was fixing up dolls and selling them to improve my skills. In order to do that my Mom and I would search for upcoming tag sales and garage sales. That’s when my mom came upon the Girl AGain website. I was lucky that the store was not far from where I live.
I now get to use my skills to refurbish dolls and sell merchandise for Girl AGain and for a good cause. I am happy to be able to improve my business skills and communication skills along with continuing to work alongside a wonderful team of workers.