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Hello and welcome to Bamboletta!
Bamboletta was created in 2003 by myself, Christina, in the living room of my home in Vancouver. Two things happened that came together that inspired me to create dolls; the first was reading about Waldorf dolls in a book about Waldorf education. I was entranced by two specific points. Foremost that the dolls be made with all natural materials such as wool, cotton, alpaca and mohair. It is thought that a child's energy is sensitive and natural materials just 'flow' with them (for better lack of a word!). The other benefit of using natural materials is the 'realness' it lends the doll, the weight and feel of a doll stuffed with wool is quite something. Also, wool is naturally antibacterial and has this amazing way of warming up with cuddle and absorbing smells of home, making it a true comfort toy. The other point was that their faces have a neutral facial expression so that the doll can portray happy, sad or somewhere in between. The reason this is so important is because children often deal with their life 'issues' by re enacting them through play. So, having toys that encourage open ended play are great for the development in a child's imagination. The other event that happened was the birth of my niece. I was so inspired by the philosophy about the dolls that I wanted to get her one. My search was futile though, the few dolls I could find did not appeal to my aesthetic and I was really looking for something more modern and sweet. So, with the help of a German doll making book I pieced together my first doll, then another, then another and here we are now.
Each of our dolls takes between 6 to 12 hours. Obviously, I don't do this alone! In our studio tucked away in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, myself and about 30 women work in creating these dolls each week. Some of us work in the studio in big, cozy chairs stitching away and some of us work at home assembling the dolls. One thing each one of my ladies has is an intense love and respect for what we do. I know how important my doll was to me growing up and I consider it a great honor to be making a doll that will play such an important part in your child's life. Our dolls are sewn to the highest standard and are meant for a lifetime of play. It is my sincerest hope that one day your child will give their child their Bamboletta.
We believe strongly in children having quality, handcrafted dolls so much so that each of our 'booboo' dolls is given away to various charities and organizations. Last year, we gave over 250 dolls to the Ronald McDonald House, Janeece Place, Canuck Place and to various organizations that help families in time of crisis (such as St. Lukes who worked with families devastated by the Oklahoma Tornado's). We could just take these 'booboo' dolls (dolls that were used for training, have small imperfections) and salvage them for materials but that just doesn't feel right with us. We also donated many dolls for various auctions and fundraisers to raise money for various causes.
I also love the idea of spreading 'magic' .. read here about our Golden Ticket program! Such fun!
“Bamboletta creates outstanding dolls and doll accessories handcrafted with skill, care and a lot of love. Bamboletta delivers an amazing customer experience and treats each customer as a friend. We are honored to be making dolls and that we are playing a role in the childhood of kids around the world. Our dolls protect childhood and do not propel little ones into adulthood. Bamboletta is committed to provide a supportive, ethical, fulfilling, and creative environment for women to work in.”
Lots of love,
Christina and the ladies at Bamboletta (and John, my husband, who makes all the heads)
PS - Read more about us in 'Living Crafts'. This tells the whole story!
PSS - Amazing images by Erin Wallis, visit her site here!