TOYS & GAMES

One-of-a-kind handcrafted Waldorf doll by Bamboletta

A few months before her 5th birthday, Nayou, my daughter, told me that she wanted a new doll. That was interesting because she had never asked for any specific toy before! She used to have a couple of classic baby dolls, but we ended up losing one of them during a move. That particular doll had similar features to hers. It was always my intention to replace that doll, but I never got around to actually doing it. Especially since she had plenty of other toys she liked to play with at that time.

Intrigued by her request, I asked her if she knew which doll she wanted, expecting her to bring up the missing doll. Instead she told me she would love to have a brown skin doll, “like you and I, Mama”, with blue eyes “like Dada” . She wanted her new doll to be a little girl, “like me” she said.  And, she had to have a cascade of rainbow colored curls!

It took me a few weeks of scouring the Internet, showing her doll after doll. But she rejected them one after the other because none of them was her doll.  She said she’d recognise her immediately if she saw her!

After a while I figured I would have to make her new toy myself — with my limited skills. So I started researching doll making kits, hoping to find one I could make over the summer. And that’s when I found her! A wonderful handmade little beauty, perfectly mirroring my daughter’s requirements and waiting to join our family! Some of the rainbow colors were missing but I figured I could easily add them myself. What a special gift this would make for her upcoming 5th birthday!

Nayou is now 6 years old. And her precious doll is lovingly known as Lavender (she sometimes get rainbow ties to her hair). This one-of-a-kind Waldorf-inspired doll was ethically handcrafted by Bamboletta, a wonderful company based in Vancouver, BC. The company uses local wool as well as raw hand-dyed and hand-spinned yarn. They also give a hug to each handmade before sending them off to their new home with their very own birth certificate and a set of clothes. Isn’t that lovely?

x Mariam


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Comments (6)

sophie
June 30, 2020

Those dolls are truly beautiful but are we sure that showcasing dolls that cost 300USD is a good idea? What kind of message does this send?


sophie
July 1, 2020

Dear Marian, thanks for your reply. Your post was not offensive at all! And I totally understand of course your choice to buy one of those dolls for your daughter, especially in complicated circumstances. My point was mainly that it’s sad that to buy good quality dolls that are ethnically diverse (and rightly so!) one has to spend that kind of money. I’m sure that the profit margins on those dolls are quite large.
Have a good day.


Mariam in Germany
July 1, 2020

I totally understand. It absolutely is a valid concern. Please know that we are always on the look-out hidden gems, including DIY kits. I’m on looking for alternative items of similar quality and ethical production standards on this side of the Atlantic. I’ll share when I find one, for sure 🙂 ~ Thank you for your note!


Mariam in Germany
July 1, 2020

Hi Sophie ~ That’s a great question. First, let me say that I did not mean to offend anyone. The current price you mentioned is not what we paid at the time. I think we paid the equivalent of 200USD at the time, including shipping and handling. I know this is still high but please read below.
We actually put in a request with family early on not to buy her random toys, but instead help us pay for a collective family gift if they were interested in participating for a special occasion. I also would sell back some toys we no longer needed.
Regarding our selection: The craftsmanship to make a Waldorf doll is very intricate, the entire process is done by hand, and all of the filling is organic, the makers are also paid a fair wage in Canada. At the time we chose to splurge on this because my daughter was dealing with some serious health concerns after being exposed to some heavy metal hazards, she needed to get blood tests every few weeks and we had to be extremely cautious with what we brought in for her to cuddle with (because whatever is in the doll would be breathed in). These are ethically made at all levels, as vouched for by the company. When we lived in Arizona, and I could not find any ethically made organic doll that remotely looked like us at a cheaper cost (even if I had made it myself). That doll met all our criteria. The company also offer kits at a lesser cost, which I would have loved to get, but those are hard to come by. There are alternative brands in Europe that are more affordable, but the shipping and customs costs would have ended up being the same for us at the time. She is very special to us, my daughter adores her and she will be loved for many more years. We plan on keeping her forever.
I hope this makes sense, with kind regards ~ x Mariam


Mum24
June 30, 2020

This post made me smile – I purchased dolls from this company (and I think the “company” at that time was the owner and one or two family members!) over a decade ago when I went searching for some more diverse doll options. To the previous comment, while they were not quite as expensive at that time, they were definitely still an investment – that being said, I can attest to their quality, having lasted very well through my four children (who played with them constantly), unlike some of their cheaper (and less ethically sourced) toys. While I kept one doll for memory’s sake, the others have gone on to enjoy new adventures in the kindergarten at my children’s old school and to the best of my knowledge they are still loved and used. Thanks for bringing back this special memory!


Mariam in Germany
July 1, 2020

Hello Mum24 ~ Thank you for your note, I am so glad this brought back some beautiful memories to you. I appreciate your input, these dolls are indeed an investment, but we still have a few years of play before she will be put away (we plan on keeping ours as well, vacuum sealing it at some point I think might work best).
x Mariam


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