Maker of the week... Lolli Dolls January 23 2015

Hello lovelies and welcome to another Maker of the week story.

I've only recently discovered these dolls over on Instagram and absolutely couldn't resist sharing the cuteness with you here.

Heres what Anne the talented maker behind Lolli Dolls had to share with me...

Me - tell me a little bit about you?

My name is Anne, and I am a married mom to one daughter, an amazing 11 year old. She is my biggest cheerleader and is constantly coming up with new ideas for me to make (complete with diagrams) as well as being my 'all things technical advisor'

I used to spend my entire summers as a kid drawing, and later that transitioned into painting, all kinds of needlework, sewing (thanks Mom!) and a job at a wonderful little store selling arts/crafts supplies and teaching people how to make all sorts of fun things.

That led to a (very) small business selling painted shirts (hey, it was the 90s) and then doing custom murals and painted furniture. I also dabbled in doll making just a little. Then I gave birth to the aforementioned amazing daughter, and despaired briefly when I believed I would never again have more than 3.25 minutes at a time to do anything crafty or artistic.

Alas, she got a bit older, and a sudden hankering to “work with wool felt and do some embroidery" led me to where I am now - designing patterns for dolls, ornaments and other lovely little items. And I am currently working feverishly to get some very fun and colourful finished dolls in my Etsy shop for sale. I also spent several years in there somewhere learning photography, which has proven invaluable for all these crafty endeavours

Me - where are you based?

I live in Texas, USA, where autumn and winter are generally mild but the summers can be brutal, so it helps to have a nice INDOOR hobby. Yay for crafts!!
I work out of my home. I am lucky to have a room dedicated to, well, lots of clutter - old chairs for photography, bags of stuffing, stacks of fabric and felt everywhere, and an inspiration board crammed full of pretty cards, vintage jewelry, old millinery flowers and photo booth strips. My daughter and I are photo booth junkies, and I will shell out crazy amounts of money when we find them on vacations to cram myself on that tiny little spinning chair to do photos with her.

Me - tell me more about the products do you make?

I design patterns for dolls, some of which could be considered “art dolls,” and some of which are play dolls, like my Happytown Play Sets, which are fun little dolls that are designed to encourage play and spark the imaginations of little minds and hands. I also have patterns for felt ornaments and art, as well as finished dolls.

Me - where do you sell your products?

At the moment, I sell in my Etsy shop

I am relatively new to Instagram, but I’d like to try selling there too, as it’s a more direct connection with buyers. I love conversations with the people who buy my products. I also have a blog, where I share new items, inspiration and tutorials

Me - what inspires you?

I love this question, because I’m always interested to hear what inspires other artists. In general, COLOUR inspires me - bold colours, bright colours, subtle colours, soft colours, colours in artwork, colours in nature, clear colours or colours that run together to make other colours…you name it, I love to look at colour. 

I am also inspired by the illustrations and beautiful lithography in children’s books from the 1920s and 1930s, which were part of the Golden Age of Illustration. My first three dolls (Ellie, Grace and Rosie) were heavily inspired by two children’s clothing catalogues I have that are from the 1920s. I am always charmed by the sweet faces and delicate lines of those drawings.

But I also love a modern sensibility, too - lovely cards, fun illustrations, swirls of pretty paint and so on. A fun mix of old and new always charges me up.

Me - what are your hopes and dreams?

First and foremost, my hope is that my daughter knows that being creative, in whichever form it takes, is good for the soul. She always makes us the most amazing, handmade gifts for Christmas, but this past Christmas she took my breath away by surprising us with dolls she had made using my patterns. She did it all in secret, surreptitiously copying the patterns from the Happytown Play Sets and sneaking in there with my tools and fabric and made dolls of myself, my husband and our two dogs. I was speechless, and there might have been a tear or two shed….OK, BUCKETS of tears, I admit it! She was truly more excited to give us these gifts than she was to receive any of her own gifts. And that, I think, is the beauty of a creative soul.

Me again!

How gorgeous is Anne?...and her daughter sounds like a little lovely too! its no surprise that she makes such adorable dolls with a warm crafty heart as big as that! 

Hope you enjoyed her Maker story as much as I did, go check out her IG feed, Etsy store and blog if you want to see some more.

until next week, keep on making folks!

big love

Allison x x x