The ceramic top to a vintage hairspray cover featuring a lady with big eyelashes, red flowers in green hair, and a yellow necklace. The hairspray cover sits amongst other similar hairspray cover tops and ceramic jars.
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A Collection of Vintage Ado Mizumori Mod Girl Vanity Pieces

A recent twist of fate gave me an opportunity to touch base with Jen of @jen_oneill73 on Instagram. If you follow her account, you have likely fallen in love with her kitschy ceramics collection! A few months ago, I posted an estate sale find on my grid—a mid-century hairspray cover designed by Ado Mizumori—and it caught Jen’s eye. She connected with me, and the little green-haired lady hairspray cover made her way across the country and now resides in Jen’s collection! I’ll let Jen will tell you more about her “mod girl” collection, so keep reading!

How would you describe your vintage collection?

My collection, as a whole, is made up of a lot of vintage ceramic kitsch. There are shakers, planters, cookie jars, figurines, etc. I like a lot of color & whimsicalness. Most everything in my collection has a face, so lots of eyes staring back at me!

An Ado Mizumori "Mod Girl" figurine featuring a lady with big eyelashes and pink hair in a bikini
Sexy Ado Mizumori figurine with pink hair and big eyelashes

What is it about the ceramic mod girls that you love so much?

They’re colorful, fun, and a little sexy. I love all of the different variations. I also love the challenge of finding them. They are not easy to find, and it really adds to the excitement when I find a new girl. I’ve gotten them from the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. So many IG friends (including you) have also helped me along the way in acquiring new ones; it’s been truly amazing!

I have seen the mod girls attributed to the artist Ado Mizumori.  Do you know if she designed the pieces, or is she credited because they resemble her work?

As far as I know, she did, indeed, design them. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of background information out there. I hope to, one day, be able to find out more history about them.

Five vintage hairspray bottle covers made out of ceramic lady busts and cardboard. The cardboard is decorated in various colors and vintage prints, and each of the girls has a different color hair, including yellow, purple, blue, red, and brown.
Vintage Ado Mizumori hairspray can covers
A vintage hairspray can cover constructed from turquoise polka dot cardboard with a ceramic lady head. The lady has green hair, blue eyeshadow, big eyelashes, and a yellow pearl necklace.
The vintage Ado Mizumori hairspray cover I found at an estate sale
A vintage ceramic figural mirror featuring a green-haired lady with big eyelashes and a low-cut blue dress
Ado Mizumori green-haired mod girl

What is the story behind your collection? When did you begin collecting and why?

Collecting is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid. My very first collection was tiny rabbit figurines that I would find at gift shops & garage sales. During college, it was PEZ dispensers. We actually sold our Pez collection for the down payment on our first house. Later on, it was Pyrex, and then that quickly switched over into ceramic kitsch including my mod girls. My husband is also a collector with some of his own collections as well as a vested interest in mine. Collecting has always given us something to do together. We’ve been together since high school, so flea markets, thrift stores & antiquing have always been a huge part of our relationship. Our favorite thing to do on days off together is take a day trip and hit some antique stores.

Which is the first mod girl you acquired? Where did you find her?

My very first mod girl was the purple-haired 3-hole lipstick holder girl. I found her at the local Goodwill for $1.99. I was hooked and obsessed with them from that moment on!

This vintage ceramic lipstick holder is shaped like a purple-haired lady in a yellow dress sitting on a pink cushion
Jen’s first mod girl – a ceramic purple-haired lipstick holder

I read that you are a mother.  What do your kids think about your vintage collection?  Do your kids have collections of their own?

I think all three of my kids appreciate my overall collection to varying degrees. Both my boys have some retro video game collections of their own. All of them have pieces in my bigger collection that they have asked me to set aside for them.

It’s probably difficult to choose, but I must ask: Which mod girl is your favorite?

I actually have two that are tied for first place. One is the blue-haired full ceramic-bodied hair spray cover. It was one I just missed out on very early on in the collection & it took me several more years to acquire her. It was so exciting when I was finally able to acquire her and call her mine! The second is a green-haired bobby pin holder. She is the only one I’ve ever seen. A dear friend from Australia found her and was willing to sell her to me. She’s a tiny piece, but packs a lot of punch!

A vintage ceramic figural vanity jar shaped like a bride with blue hair and a pink dress holding a bouquet of blue flowers
One of Jen’s favorite mod girls, a vintage vanity jar with blue hair!
Ceramic bobby pin jar with a lid shaped like a lady's head with big eyelashes and green hair. The jar reads "Bobby Pins" on the front.
Green-haired bobby pin holder by Ado Mizumori

Do you have any other collections? Please tell us about them!

I love and collect all types of vintage Japanese ceramic kitsch. I especially love anthropomorphic items. I really love anthro flowers and bunnies as well as eyelash kitties. Mod girls being the exception, I am not a completist type of collector, so I have bits and pieces of this and that. My collection is constantly evolving and changing. I have a certain amount of display space, so typically, when I get something new, something else has to go. My husband also collects MCM bar décor, and we have a Florida tiki bar-type theme in our lower level – so lots of mermaids & fish as well.

If you could choose any piece to add to your mod girl collection, which would it be?  Is there a particular piece that has evaded you so far?

There sure is! There is a pin dish/open trinket dish girl that I’ve never had the chance to purchase. Her dress flows out to make the open dish. I know there are at least 2 hair color variations, and I hope to someday make one or both of them mine! I don’t know what else may be out there that I just haven’t discovered yet. New, unknown to me, pieces and variations do pop up, so the hunt is always on! Not to mention all of the hair color variations I always keep my eyes open for.

A big thank you to Jen for sharing her collection with Faedra readers! The green-haired hairspray cover that lead to me connecting with Jen is a good reminder of the power of vintage finds to bring people together. If you would like to follow Jen’s growing collection, be sure to follow her on Instagram @jen_oneill73!

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