GranAurora’s doll project began as a way to use up fabric scraps left over from making children’s clothes for an orphanage in Zambia. Two dolls, a boy and a girl, were brought to a meeting as samples to see what the members thought about selling some at an upcoming event.
The response was an enthusiastic, “Yes – let’s do it!”
Several people expressed an interest in doll making so we held a number of doll workshops. We made dolls assembly-line style, some cutting, some sewing, some stuffing and some embroidering faces. A number of members and friends also knitted hair. We would take dolls home to finish and sometimes we didn’t end up with all the right components, This led to some very odd emails among the doll makers! “I have an extra arm. I’m missing a leg; does anyone have a spare one? I need more hair, etc.”
We took our first batch of dolls to a Grandmothers Ontario Regional Resource Group event and held our collective breath waiting to see if any of them sold. Well! They sold like hotcakes! We held a few more workshops and then we started making the dolls individually in our homes.
What started out as a one-time project is now in its seventh year! We added Grandmother dolls after a customer who had purchased boy and girl dolls for her children had a dream about those dolls being with their grandmother. She asked if it would be possible to make a grandmother doll and it turned out that it was. Later, we also added the baby dolls for younger children.
Our dolls have travelled to many parts of Canada and the U.S. and also to Switzerland, England and several African countries.