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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12 Responses to The Bamboletta Story

  1. Tressa May 5, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I am such a fan of Bamboletta Dolls, and of Christina. She brings such integrity and passion to her work, and it really shows. Thanks for highlighting her beautiful work!

  2. Laura May 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Never heard about Bamboletta Dolls, but they sure are cute!

  3. Hillary May 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    Fairly new to Bambomania I can’t get enough of them… patiently waiting for our little Bambo :-)

  4. Wendy Armbruster Bell May 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    I don’t even remember how I heard about Bamboletta dolls over three years ago, but instantly fell in love with them. I grew up in a household where most everything was homemade (and that was before homemade was cool). I have always appreciated homemade/handmade items in this “disposable world” that we live in and it is wonderful to see others following suit. Kudos to Christina for all her hard work and for keeping it “real”.

  5. shannon May 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    A few years ago, I was commissioned by a customer to spin a special yarn to be sent to a dollmaker in Canada so it could be used as hair on a custom doll. This was my introduction to Bamboletta and I fell instantly and madly in love. Last fall, I was able to get one for my son (now 5) and ‘Pete’ is a constant companion…on hikes, to violin lessons. It has been requested that I make a felt violin, cell phone and pen for Pete so that he will have all the tools required for a modern boy’s life!
    Anyway, I am inspired by Christina’s drive and the tremendous amount of love she puts into her work. If all the Bamboletta dolls are like our Pete, then they just radiate that love all over the place. :)

  6. cheryl May 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    My children and I adore them so much they are truely a magical part of their chilhood. Every child should have a Bamboletta to snuggle up with. Thanks for putting into words what we all know…The Bamboletta Groupies

  7. Rhonda May 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    oh my goodness! How have I not discovered these dolls already? A doll that looks like a child…imagine that! Beautiful work. I am now a fan.

  8. Nadine May 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    I was introduced to Bamboletta dolls through this post and today I finally was able to get one for my 2 year old, after trying for months! Almost one year to the day since I first heard about these gorgeous little dollies. Can’t wait for her to arrive.

  9. suzanne May 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Hi Nadine! You must be so excited – congratulations! Your daughter is the perfect age and will love her Bamboletta….enjoy!

    Suzanne
    Mommy Footprint

  10. Pam November 16, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    I just saw these dolls for the first time when i was visiting her work shop at Whippletree.
    I could not believe how absolutley amazing they are. I fell in love . I am hoping to get one for my granddaughter but it is going to be very hard to pick one they are all so special.

    Grandma

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