Spring Bada Bing is less than two weeks away! From now until the big day we will be highlighting two vendors a day so you have the chance to get to know some of the awesome makers who will be with us at the show.
Richmond Craft Mafia’s Spring Bada Bing – at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
April 29th 10am-5pm
Meet Tracy from Terran Dollmaker!
Tracy makes the most fabulous dolls! We are thrilled to have her at Spring Bada Bing
How did you get started making your products?
I’ve always sewn, and I enjoyed making cloth dolls. I never knew that people actually made dolls for a living until a friend of mine showed me book by Susanna Oroyan about doll artist. I was hooked! I’ve made several types of dolls from clay, cloth etc. I originally started out to make boudoir dolls, but they somehow evolved into fun dolls for home décor or for play.
Do you have any new products debuting this Spring?
Mom and daughter yoga dolls with matching expressions.
Tell us about your process.
I use original patterns that I created. Most of my dolls are made with 100% cotton fabrics, but I also use re-purposed clothing for some body and clothing. My dolls have and inner cotton lining. I trace my patterns, sew the pieces, then cut and assemble. I use polyester fiber fill. My dolls are very firmly stuffed. They are sewn at the knees, elbows and wrist to allow for posing. There are no wires in my dolls. The head and neck are attached by hand. I sew the hair onto the doll by hand, and then I paint a face onto the doll. The doll guides me in it’s expression. Some of my dolls choose not to have a face, while others have unique expressions. When the doll is complete, I make small skirts for some, pants or other clothing, depending on the doll.
Do you have any long term goals for your business?
To one day open up a cloth doll workspace/shop where people can take classes on dollmaking, buy doll patterns and doll kits or order speciality dolls for weddings, births or even to celebrate a loved one’s life.
Of all of your products what is your favorite and why?
My Terran Dollmaker Calypso dolls are my favorite. Their bodies are so expressive and they are just fun! They always make someone smile.
What is your most popular product? Why do you think it’s so popular?
My celebrity dolls. I think they are popular, because people feel like they have a part of the celebrity just for themselves.
Which of your products is most time consuming to make and why?
Although I have my process narrowed down pretty well, my celebrity dolls are the most time consuming. I spend time researching the facial expression I want to use, then I practice sketching it out. I also try to accurately capture the celebrity’s clothing, which can take time to get just right.
How much time do you typically spend making each product?
One doll can take me 2 or more days to make. A lot depends on the hair chosen and the time it takes to paint the faces
What drives you to continue making? Who/what is your inspiration?
My motivation is to brighten someone’s day. If I can bring a smile to someone’s face, that makes my day. Fabric inspires me! I see beautiful fabric and all I can do is imagine a doll!
Tell us about your most memorable day as a maker?
When my Prince doll sold in 1 day. I made the doll over the weekend as a tribute to Prince after he passed away. I knew it would sell, but it sold with 3 hours of posting it in my etsy shop. I immediately wished I had made more.
What makes your product different than other similar projects?
My dolls are not targeted to children. I actually make them for adults for home décor and collectors. With that being said, most of my dolls are child friendly. They have the added advantage of being washable and there are no wires or sharp edges, so children can play with them.
What is your favorite thing to do in Richmond?
I love going to the parks in the area! Any park, whether it’s by the River or in Henrico, I love taking in the natural beauty of the area!