When Christina Platt set about making a doll for her baby niece over a decade ago she could never have predicted that one day she would have a handmade doll business that employs 48 local women and produces 80 dolls each week. She couldn’t have known that the dolls would sell out so fast that her ecommerce platform would be overwhelmed by the flood of orders. She certainly didn’t foresee her dolls becoming so collectible that a secondary market would pop up on eBay.
What Christina did know was that she loved making dolls from natural materials and she wanted to continue to make them by hand. She founded her business, Bamboletta, so that she could continue to do so and on her terms.
To get a sense of what it’s like in the Bamboletta studio on Vancouver Island in British Columbia take a look at this video showing how a single doll is brought to life:
Bamboletta dolls are a modern spin on a classic Waldorf-style doll. They’re beautifully collectible while also being designed for real play by real kids.
In our chat, Christina talks about how she created a thriving handmade business in a way that is true to her ethics by going against the advice she was getting to have her dolls mass-produced overseas or to use less expensive materials. We talk about pricing, Etsy, hiring employees, charity work, and balancing raising two young children while running a business.
- Aeolidia – the web design firm that built the Bamboletta website
- Mahar DryGoods (a now closed shop owned by Robert Mahar)
- Tricot fabric for doll skin
- the subtle changes among the dolls visible in the Bamboletta Flickr stream
And, of course, I ask Christina to recommend something she’s enjoying right now and I have a recommendation as well.
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