Tag Archives | Bambolettas

Eco-Friendly Dolls for Christmas

I’ve been asked this questions many times over the last few weeks with parents getting ready for Christmas: “What is an Eco-friendly doll?”  Greener dolls are often called Waldorf dolls because historically they didn’t contain facial expressions to further enhance imaginative play for children. I believe the definition of Eco-friendly dolls include ‘manufactured locally’, ‘stuffed and made with natural materials’; no plastic or polyfill preferably.  I prefer a face on the Waldorf dolls when I was searching for my twins because children become quickly accustomed to how ‘real’ many of the plastic dolls look.  But we know that plastic dolls are far from Eco-friendly. I have yet to find a plastic doll that’s make from a recyclable plastic or from ‘rubber tree’ design like the toy Sophie the Giraffe.  When I think of an Eco-friendly doll, my first thought are Bambolettas or Dragonfly’s Hallow dolls. I was lucky enough to purchase two Bamboletta dolls for my daughters but it took me close to a year. Why a year?  The demand for these hand-made dolls is so high, you are very lucky to actually get the opportunity to purchase one. Both doll makers handcraft these beautiful dolls, step by step, from dying the wool to create the magical hair, use wool stuffing, hand-embroidered faces, even the doll’s clothing is made the by the respective store. They are unique, one-of-a-kind, and like nothing you will find in a traditional store. They are truly Eco-friendly.  Follow either of the Facebook pages for a few days and you will get the feel of how much work and time goes into creating these dolls. Here is the link to my article on Bamboletta Dolls from last year. Here is one of my girls snuggling their Bambo.


By now you’ve fallen in love and your chances are low to purchase a doll in time for Christmas. That wasn’t my intention – honest! There is hope, with getting a doll. I’ve also just become a fan of Crazy Baby Accessories doll’s called Gumdrop Kids and asked her about her beautiful waldorf dolls. I wanted to know what the dolls were stuffed with and the dolls listed in the shop are a mix of wool and polyester, but can be custom ordered 100% organic for an extra $20.  I can’t believe there is actually a listing this time of year – walk don’t run mamas!

One of my favorite things about these dolls is the interchangeable clothing options that become available after you own a doll. There are many stores that make clothing for these dolls and the clothing is also mama-made and totally unique! One of my favorite waldorf doll clothing suppliers is Reggies Dolls. She is a very sweet person and the clothing she makes Waldorf Dolls is awesome. I purchased some mermaid tails for my daughter’s Bambos and it solved my dilemma of trying to find a Waldorf mermaid. It transformed the Bambo from a doll into a mermaid and was easy for my girls to pull onto their dolls. With different clothing options your children will play with these dolls longer. It’s kind of neat to add to the dolls wardrobe and see how adding PJs, bathing suits, mermaid tails, etc. keeps the dolls in more demand by the child. Also promotes reusing with the doll because instead of buying more dolls to change things up, you are just adding clothing.

I’ve also carried dolls stuffed with wool and bamboo at Green Planet Parties – trying to make an affordable option for Eco-friendly dolls.  Also for Christmas I love the Sweetie Petites that are fabric panels, ready to be sewed to create a little doll and yes, they come with carded wool stuffing! They are a completely different designs from the Waldorf dolls I’ve talked about, but also a very nice option for greener gifts.

 

I hope this explanation of an Eco-friendly dolls gives you some options. You will most likely not find these in a store – check online by using Google and the phrase ‘Waldorf Doll’, checking out winter markets, or checking out my above recommendations. I love the Bamboletta and Dragonsfly Hollow blogs so much because they are able to breakdown and educate us why these dolls are so special, why they cost what they do, and why it’s important to support how they are made…it’s mama powered and mama created!  That’s important.

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The Bamboletta Story

If business owners or consumers doubt that today’s economy cannot support the local handmade movement – they haven’t heard of Bamboletta. Made with love, proud founder Christina began hand-crafting Waldorf dolls in 2002 and 8 years later, there aren’t words to explain the growth and popularity of her magical little ‘Bambos’. Because of Christina and husband’s John desire to keep these dolls made locally by her team of mama doll makers, there isn’t a way to meet the growing demand for these dolls, but the intimate working environment of supporting many moms and paying them well is worth the growing pains to Christina and John. The 15 hours of dedicated work that goes into each Bamboletta doll – hand stuffed, sewed, knitted by 8 Bambo team members is what parents around the world are opening their arms to embrace. Christina is very modest, but her hand-made movement has inspired and enlightened thousands of people and it’s the dedication to her business model of supporting a local, handmade dedication that just might be the Bamboletta legacy.

The beauty of a Bamboletta doll is instant – the moment you see one you will fall in love. Not only is the quality of a Bamboletta doll difficult to find, but the special details of a Bambo’s face and hair is almost impossible to match. Bamboletta doll faces have the detail of a plastic doll – but they are handstitched and made with natural cotton. The finest materials have been sourced and it’s why Bambos stand out so easily compared to mainstream dolls. Bamboletta dolls are filled with top quality wool that naturally repels water or mold, a mixture of hand dyed wool and yarns that are mixed for incredible hair results, and the sweet little faces embroidered by Christina are my favorite part of Bambos – especially when those faces have a smattering of little freckles. I’ve included some pictures of my favorite Bambolettas – here is a taste of Christina’s magic.

Yes – there will be lots of doll pictures in this post – honestly it’s hard to stop once you start looking through the wonderful galleries of photos. The infectious beauty of the dolls is already prevalent – my desire to cover the Bamboletta Story is my awe of the mama power that has changed the way tens of thousands of parents have decided to support and stalk (for lack of a better word) the phenom known as Bamboletta. Does it make sense that in today’s shaky economy that a doll selling for $140 would be something that thousands of moms are trying to purchase every week? In financially challenging times – why is this business experiencing high waves of consumers that would do practically anything to have the opportunity to purchase a Bambo?  If you follow The Bamboletta fan page on Facebook – you will find your answer. It is understanding the love that is put into the creation of each one-of-a-kind dolls that passes through this network of special people. It becomes immediately apparent that each Bambo is loved before it’s shipped out for orders, complete with an individual hair style, outfit, and name that somehow completely suits each doll. It is also the story behind the business. It is this doll maker sharing her experience of personal angst and turmoil with the fact she is not able to meet the demand of producing enough dolls to satisfy the thousands of people trying to purchase one. Then it is the quiet confidence you also feel from Christina and John knowing that if the option is to mass produce these special dolls, some of the Bambo magic would be lost. It is actually a wonderful thing to realize that so many parents are supportive of this business concept and you can feel the deep satisfaction and joy from Christina and John knowing the commitment to quality is more important.  There are so many examples to list of this business model but my favorite is that so many of the new dolls still come with little sweaters that are made by Christina’s Nonna who has supported her from the beginning.

When you are new to the process of trying to purchase a Bamboletta doll – frustration can become a familiar emotion. We as consumers are not used to waiting months for something we REALLY want to purchase.  Usually we go on-line or to the store, pay our money and have instant gratification. Well acquiring a Bambo takes a bit more patience.  I personally spent 7 months trying to purchase a Bambo for my girls. I started in the Fall thinking I could purchase 2 ( I have twin girls) in time for Christmas, but it was just not to be. I would read Christina’s words to other mamas on her Facebook wall explaining that Bambolettas just seem to go to those when the time is right. At the time, this explanation didn’t sooth my feelings of frustration. Then a month ago I was successful and have two very special Bambolettas hidden away to give my daughters.  Of course I will not be waiting until Christmas to give them these dolls – that would take away too many months of special play time. I’ve been planning to give them to my girls after the Mother’s Day tea at the preschool where I’ve been able to celebrate with my children for the past 4 years. This year, I will have my twins both sitting with me during this special time and I’ve been searching for a way to explain to them how much I adore them. This Friday I hope my girls know that I cannot think of a more magical, special, unique, quality friend for them than a Bamboletta. The idea of sitting in the preschool forest and giving my girls their Bambo boxes puts a smile on my face every night before I fall asleep. There aren’t many presents since becoming a parent I’ve been this excited to give.

I’ve been writing this article in my head for almost a year and I hope it doesn’t just bring more excited parents to the Bamboletta site, but encourages business owners to wake up and realize that success is measured in many different ways. Supporting handmade, supporting local craftsman, supporting a local economy is key to North America’s financial success and if you need any proof – take a peek over to a magical little house on Vancouver Island where the measure of success shines brightly from a craftswoman sewing dolls and fulfilling best friend wishes for children all over the world. How wonderful for Christina to know that her sons will always remember their mom carrying around a purse filled with a doll partially embroidered – what an incredible role model of following your heart and sticking to a clear vision filled with integrity and determination.

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