Little Seeds …

I grew up listening to stories of my dad’s workplace in Italy. He worked at a mill there where wool was woven into beautiful fabrics. Most of my family worked at the mill and they speak of it with great fondness. The owners would do stuff like close down in August so the whole factory would go to these cabins on the water that the factory owned, the owners cared and took care of their employees like family. And in turn the employees would stick around forever and generations of families worked there. I’d like to think that their work became ingrained in their family’s cells, passed on from one generation to the next. This took the craftsmanship to a whole other level, their fabrics and woven materials were world renowned.  These stories stuck with me and I often thought of how lovely it would be to have such a big ‘family’ because essentially that’s what this was. You never know what idea or conversation will affect a child and this one resonated with me on a very deep level.  It’s really only now that I’m realizing the scope of what are doing may have on future generations. How we run our business and how we make our products might be planting little seeds in our children, our future business owners and entrepreneurs, that business can be done differently with heart and caring and love at it’s core. Like I read somewhere – that the business owner seeks an inner attunement rather than attainment.

It was when I was doing a presentation for the  ‘Best Community Impact’ award that I first thought of this. I thought of all the homesewers that I’ve had throughout the years, sewing dolls at home with their children playing and watching and growing up with that reality. Then I think of all the children out there receiving their dolls and the parents that can proudly state where they are from, show them pictures of the hands that sewed them and perhaps open up a discussion on another way of making things. Who knows what little seeds are being planted out there? Doll by doll, stitch by stitch, it makes me teary to think of what effect this may have on our little ones.

I’m off to Vancouver on Thursday to see if we won the award. I’m excited that we got to this point because it really made me look deep and hard at Bamboletta from different angles and points of view. What a gift to have been ‘forced’ to do this. I’m usually so deep into the running of things that this reflection time was inspiring. Either way, award or not, I’m so proud to get into the top 5. I could not have done this without my ladies (and John!) around me, moving Bamboletta to where it is one stitch at a time.

Kim Giovannini - February 26, 2014 - 4:40 am

I’ve often given accolades to Bamboletta and to you Christina for inspiring me to keep going with my Etsy shop. Even when “friends” looked down on what I was doing since it didn’t fit the “cubicle-farm” profile of what they considered a good, respectable job, you told me to keep going. As a little business owner now, I’m thankful and continuously inspired to see Bamboletta’s posts, photos, and now the BCI nomination >AWARD (???!!!). I know it’s cliche to say this but keep up the great, creative, empowering work you’re all doing in the studio. It means more than you think for you fans and future entrepreneurs. <3

Ilene Chalmers - February 26, 2014 - 5:34 am

What a beautiful blog entry. I am a bit of a writer myself having spent years as an English teacher. Your words touched my heart. It is obvious what a great company, or should I say “family”, Bamboletta is. The impact you have made on your customers and their children and grandchildren can’t truly be measured. You are an inspiration to us all. I am so looking forward to my visit to your studio on July 8th when my husband and I make the journey to Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver. It will be amazing to see just what you do in person, and meet all the lovely ladies that I’ve come to know via email and Facebook. My fingers and toes are crossed that you get this award which you all so richly deserve. Hugs to all! 🙂

Genny Martin - February 26, 2014 - 10:57 am

In all of our hearts you are already the winner Christina Bamboletta (that is what Lauren and Michael call you) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Katharine - February 26, 2014 - 3:38 pm

I love this story!! Wishing you the best of luck – you’ve built something so beautiful, heart & hands that have touched so many! I agree with Genny, you and your girls (and John!) are already winners! 🙂

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We *Love* Local

Many of you know sweet Leola, she is the lady that spins some of the yarns we use in our doll hair. This afternoon she brought in this wonderful yarn telling us that it reminded her tulips and daffodils. She also told us that this particular yarn came from Twilley, a sheep belonging to a friend in Qualicum, BC.

This is Twilley …

twilley

And after Twilley was sheared, her wool went into this carding machine…

carder

In the carder it’s then combed out again and again and made into these lovely wool ropes, called roping. I don’t have any pics on hand, but after this, Leola dyes it and then spins it on a wheel to make the yarns. I’ll try to get a pic of her working on making yarn in the next bit of time.

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Details like this about the making of the dolls make me swoon! There are so many hands that take part in making them – I love sharing little stories like this and I hope you enjoy them too.

Christina

Nicole D - February 19, 2014 - 9:14 pm

I love this! Amazing and Twilley is adorable. :0)

Ida - February 24, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Really neat to see! We live in California and have black faced sheep. We sheer them every year. It’s fun to see how you turn her wool into yarn! Really enjoyed this blog! Twilley is so cute! Glad to have seen her!!

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Shipping Rates Note

Canada Post has raised their rates. Again. Last time they did they increased rates we absorbed it but just can’t do it this time. We are a small company and don’t qualify for the rates the big companies get. I really want you to know that we aren’t making money off shipping, we are just covering our costs. We don’t inflate our prices to cover shipping costs – it’s a personal pet peeve of mine when companies do that.

Here are the new rates ..

15″ Classic, Sitting Dolls and Baby Doll
CAN – $18 (no change)
USA – $26 (up $2)
INT – $43 (up $3)

Cuddle Dolls
CAN – $16 (up $2)
USA – $20 (up $2)
INT – $36 (up $8)

Little Buddies
CAN – $14 (up $2)

USA – $18 (up $2)

INT $26 (up $2)

I’m ever so grateful that you are supporting our little company!

Thanks so much!

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Introducing a New Addition to our Doll Family

A long time ago, back in 2007, I was playing around with making a weighted baby doll with limbs. I had been making weighted dolls for our local Waldorf school for them to use in the classrooms and really fell in love with the concept. Those dolls were essentially a head with a sack full of millet . Weighted dolls are sometimes used in therapeutic environments as they are thought to comfort and ground a child (and adults, too!). Anyhow, I’ve been wanting to create something for a while now, it’s always been at the back of my mind, but that pesky lack of time kinda got in the way.

A few months ago Jes came to me with a baby design she’d been playing with – it was amazing – my doll dream had come to life! Jes is one of our lovely ladies who sew our Cuddle Dolls and she used construction techniques from those to make the baby. When I tried working on the pattern, I always got held up in the limbs area but now with our new pattern Jes figured it out in a snap! It is so awesome working with this group and watch how ideas are hatched, incubate and come to life. It’s like a beehive of creativity.

So, this is our new baby. I don’t think I’ve fallen in love with a doll this much – I LOVE them. Originally we weren’t going to do hair but when we put pics up on Facebook and Instagram we had quite a few comments asking about hair. Again, here’s where our creative flow comes in because it comes from all of you too. After a conversation with Leola, we brainstormed on making a little crocheted cap with boucle or mohair to give the baby a little fuzzy hat. It’s just so cool on how these things evolve. THEN just this week we started really trying to make an indent in the top of the head (this is where I put the threads through to make the eyes) so it would feel like a soft spot on the dolls head. This only works on some of the dolls though, depending on a few factors on how John makes the heads. Ohhh, how I love handmade!

Then there was the weight issue. I didn’t want to use any sort of foodstuff, like millet or rice. And I totally didn’t want to use those poly pellet plastic weight things – that just seems totally wrong to put in our dolls. I’ve always loved crystals, seems like there’s a bit of magic whenever I go into a crystal shop. My kids are so drawn to crystal shops and are constantly collecting different stones  – I think there’s something to it that they can feel. So, crystal chips are what we use inside the doll to weight them. It’s mainly Rose Quartz, which is thought to be the stone of love, and Amethyst which is supposed to assist in calmness. We put the chips into a bag that’s sewn up nice and safe and then wrap it in wool and put it in the doll. It gives such a lovely feel to the dolls. Those little round bottoms are kinda the best!

We are doing some dolls with the regular open eyes and some with a sweet sleepy eye. I wanted to do them all with a sleepy eye (I love the look of the sleepy baby) but got a bit of feedback from people wanting an open eye, so I decided to do both. Jes then designed a sleeper, diaper, cap and swaddle to complete this sweet little package. They are about 14″ long, perfect for little mama’s. I hope that you all will love them as much as we do here!

 

Janet Cook - January 24, 2014 - 4:30 pm

They are lovely. Would be great if they could smell like a baby too.

Ilene Chalmers - January 24, 2014 - 5:51 pm

My sweet baby Peyton is on the way. Can’t wait to experience it for myself. So excited!!

Barbie Harwell - January 24, 2014 - 7:47 pm

I love these! So sweet!

Natasha - January 25, 2014 - 4:37 am

Thank you! I was thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be so great if Bamboletta made heavy baby dolls too? That would be so perfect!” And you have! I actually shouted when I read your blog! Now to try for one next week!

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Staff Pick!!

Hello Sweet Friends and Happy Friday!!

There’s a lot of hustle and bustle in Bamboletta-land as we all prepare for another awesome week next week! Our resident Bamboletta helper Madz (Madeline) got the lucky pick today and she chose ‘Rainbow’, the gorgeous dark tan Sitting Friend with a flair for fashion.

IMG_4860

Hair styled by: Shauna

Clothing styled by: Christina

Likes: Shopping with friends

Dislikes: Not hearing the alarm and being rushed in the morning

The upload is scheduled for this afternoon at 12pm PST…see you then!!

xo

Brooke and Madz

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