Without being wordy, Lew and I have been putting together an "About Us" page to describe a Bonnie's Bundles doll on our new website coming this spring. Yes, they are unique, original and one-of-a-kind, a companion for life whether for an adult to decorate or for a child to love. Made in Vermont by a creative doll maker and her wonderful team of two, Eileen has been embroidering faces for 39 years and in nearly two years, stitcher Katherine has made nearly 100 perfect outfits. Most dolls, adding my part of cutting, assembly, stuffing and wigging, take fifteen to eighteen hours to make. "Dollycare" guarantees free lifetime repairs on these treasures with jointed bodies and removable layered clothing. In forty-eight years there are nearly 14,000 out there still giving back. Let's profile three models.
My new character doll is Isaac, born on February first. Actually, the real Isaac is the youngest child of six in the Lake family. Our grandson Isaac was born "when the apples are in the orchard" --- October 27, and he loves his siblings, dirt, snow, momma, dog, coconut cream pie, hot dogs, baseball and CATS. He has found the love of his life here and will not leave the side of his new girlfriend, Miss Kitty. Since Isaac met Kitty he always has to be in her vision. It looks like these two kids are here to stay. One can almost hear their conversations, first her, then him. "When were you born?" "My your eyes are pretty." "Can I brush your teeth?" "Did you know I can play the violin?"
Yes, this is a song from the late seventies by Abba, and it was resounding in my head last night while I dreamt I was picking one of my dolls to take to college with me. Did I choose right? The school. Yes, the Katharine Gibbs School. The photo on the left was taken in 1961 by a staff photographer at Columbia University, my first and favorite job as secretary to the Secretary of the University. I can never choose my favorite Bundle doll. I will stick with Lew, especially that he and the girls love and look cool in our new Bundle vests.View image
You have heard about our marketing meetings at wine time. They are not held outside in the yard any longer--for good reason. Yes, the season. Instead we are in the Heritage Room, the doll shop in the old days, with the wood stove keeping us cozy and creative. Our focus? We must consider social media. We have to bend and bite the cracker and use Twitter and Facebook to bullet our message. Into the kitchen, onto the laptop, and done in an hour. Was it hard? Nope.View image
At our fun marketing meeting last night, we had some startling realizations. The Sale Doll page needed a new look; so Lew took out his favorite new camera lens (I keep buying them for my buddy); and in one shot captured four dolls in the late afternoon sunlight. In the process of deciding the percent to offer off on Barbie Barrette, Missy, Autumn and Sharon, twelve popped into my head and into the journal. They will be 12% off, and with the 10% returning customer guarantee, you have a nice saving.
As usual, recapping Open Studio over a glass of wine, reviewing the visitors, renewing the conversations and looking to the future potential rewards - another visit, an order--are the best moments over twelve years. Why is it over?
It was 99 miles one way to the marketing conference at Goddard College for Vermont Crafts Council Open Studio participants. All along the way, there was budding and blooming in the fields, hills and valleys--greens and purples--my two favorite colors. What I learned about the management of my creativity was not a surprise, but reinforced by the presenter, Marianne Mullen. There are occasional forks in the road but once made clear by she and those who shared, I learned that I am watching and waiting and minding the lights and signs.
Here it is the first day of spring. Who can believe it? We are waiting for the first leaves to pop on the maple trees and here is this brave leaf hanging in just outside our bathroom window, surviving our harsh Vermont winter. Lew's image, taken February 27th, conjured up lots of sweet thoughts.