Today, we bring you a giveaway from SouleMama Sponsor, Bamboletta Dolls. In Christina's words:
"We create handcrafted one of a kind dolls using natural materials. We believe very strongly in protecting little one's childhood by creating dolls that capture the imagination and innocence of childhood."
SouleMama: How long have you been in business/ How did you start?
Christina: It's been about 11 years now since I made my first doll. My dollmaking blossomed from an interest in Steiner philosophy and in the recent birth of my niece. I was drawn to these dolls because of two basic tenants in the 'philosophy' behind them. The first that they are made with all natural materials (because children are thought to be more receptive to natural materials) and that they have neutral faces so that ,during play, a doll can be happy or sad or somewhere in between. This really resonated with me and I wanted to find one for my new little niece. My search did not prove fruitful, I just could not find anything that I was drawn too. I wanted a doll that held on to the main principles but that was contemporary and fun and relevant to a modern child. Now this was pre Etsy - and there wasn't much available. So, being the crafty lady I am, I found a German dollmaking book and set to work. I remember being breathless as I worked through the night, so excited to see this little doll come to life from an old tshirt, some yarn and stuffed with clippings from my Ikea sheepskin rug! I started making them for friends, then friends of friends and then ,soon enough, I was selling the dolls at local markets and fairs. When Etsy started up I then sold online. I remember when a search for Waldorf dolls brought up 9 items! Now, there are about 30 of us creating about 60 dolls per week, but the exhilaration of creating dolls has never ceased.SouleMama: Tell us about your customers.
Christina : Well, I often say this, but I know we have the best customers in the world. That's because they aren't really customers. See, I feel so honoured to make these dolls - I remember how absolutely important my doll was to me growing up and the fact that I get to have that part in your little one's childhood? Amazing. This creates a very special bond between us at Bamboletta and our customers. When we do meet in real life it's as though we've known each other for ever - it's amazing. My customers are incredibly giving and supporting. It's not always easy to get one of my dolls, they sell super fast on our site, but our customers are always there on Facebook cheering on 'newbies' and encouraging them. I've seen an amazing community develop over the years, all these women drawn together through a love of natural dolls. We've held many charity auctions over the past few years and our customers are always so willing to donate items and to bid generously to help families in need. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about how many wonderful people I've been blessed to meet these past 11 years. Love them!
SouleMama: What's your favorite part of your job? the hardest part?
Christina : Well,
aside from the obvious of getting to make cute dolls all day, I'd have
to say it's all the ladies I work with. I feel like I've found each and
every one of them through serendipitous events. It's funny, I just know
when I've met someone that they will work at Bamboletta.
See, making dolls is a very personal thing - over 10 hours of handwork
goes into each one and every one of my ladies (and my husband who makes
the heads) has a certain something. Some of us sew on the machines, some
by hand, some spin and dye the yarns, some stuff the dolls but we all
put our hands and time together and these dolls are created. When I was
first thinking about getting 'bigger' I often worried that the magic
would be lost some how. Working with these women has quashed that fear,
if anything, working together like this makes this all so much better.
A few years ago I was feeling lots of pressure to get bigger, bigger, bigger - when you talk to bank people and accountants and that realm of business that seems to be the way you should go. If you are successful you get bigger. Period. I had so many people frustrated at us because they couldn't get dolls, the resale market was through the roof, supply could not meet demand and I felt a lot of pressure. But, if I went the way the bankers and accountants were urging me to, then something would be lost. It's not only about the bottom line, I feel a deep responsibility to our customers to make an amazing doll handcrafted with love and I feel a responsibility to take care of the ladies that work with me. So, I've kept our studio at making the 60 dolls a week and that seems to be our sweet spot.
For today's giveaway, Bamboletta Dolls is generously offering the following gift to ONE winner:
~ This 'Piccolina' doll (above) is a new doll we are currently working on and thought it would be fun to debut her here, as a giveaway. This little lady is a wee 9" tall and stuffed with clean, carded wool. Her hair is made with mohair boucle and her skin with cotton tricot. I remember loving all things small when I was a child and hope that our customers children will love these too.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
To enter today's giveaway, please leave a comment (one entry per person, please) in today's post. I'll close comments by 8 am EST on Monday, and announce the winner, chosen via Random Number Generator, shortly after. The winner is...
Such a sweet thing. My little one would love her, and we have such a soft spot for redheads in this house.
Posted by: Megan D
Thank you, Bamboletta Dolls!