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“Mommy, can you make a doll for me?”
It was an innocent request by my daughter when she was about five years old. I had been quilting her whole life and she thought that if I could make a quilt, I could surely make a doll. I knew nothing about making dolls, and little about making clothes for them. This was my daughter, though, and I had to try. How hard could it be, right?
Harder than I thought. Those early dolls had floppy necks and interesting proportions, but my daughter loved them because I made them. Still, I wanted to make a “good” doll, so I kept trying. It was still all about my daughter, and a point of personal achievement for me. I needed these dolls to reflect my pretty, brown, little girl. I sought out interesting yarns for the hair and learned how to dye my own fabric to create the skin tones I wanted.
Selling the dolls and creating a business around them did not cross my mind.
Selling them did cross the minds of my husband and my mother, however. After a few gentle (and not-so-gentle) nudges from them, I agreed to be a vendor at a women’s convention that my mother and several other relatives would be attending in 2010. I took about 30 dolls and some of my quilts, fully expecting that maybe a few people would visit my booth, and maybe one or two people would buy something, and then I’d go home and find some new consulting gig.
It did not turn out that way. I was shocked by the positive reactions of the women to my dolls. Women who had no interest in dolls stopped to chat. I heard so many beautiful stories of favorite childhood dolls and the loving mothers or grandmothers who made them. A tiny, white-haired lady just hugged me. I sold all but two of the dolls I brought. That is when I knew I had hit on something.
Jacq’s Dollhouse had been born!
Now, almost 4 years later, I still create handmade cloth dolls, but now I am working on a new project – children’s books. I have written three short stories about a little girl named Ruby, based on my grandmother, who is growing up in late-1920s Texas. I plan to illustrate the books with my own small art quilts. There is also a doll that will accompany the books. Can I get it all done in 2014? Come along with me and find out!
To check out Jacq's Dollhouse, visit her here:
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!