Sunday, March 24, 2013

keepin' it real

I love making dolls and I feel very lucky to have found something that I am good at, that I enjoy and that reaches out to other people. I love handmade things and I would always prefer to be surrounded with things that are made with love and care than things made from plastic in a factory by someone who really would rather not be there. 
But it is all well and good, loving handmade items, being able to afford them is quite another matter! I know the work and time and materials and all the other costs that go into making handmade items. I appreciate that they need to be priced accordingly. But I am always a little dissappointed when I look at the wonderful waldorf dolls for example on etsy and find them so, so highly priced, (even over priced at times). 

I have kept the price of my dolls as low as I feel fair, I do this for two reasons. Firstly, I know what it is like to be in a low income family, to feel that beautiful, handmade items are just way beyond my price range. So I try and keep my prices as affordable as possible. I am also always open to exchange and barter (on that note the dollhouse family and the angel are still in my shop and I open to offers of exchange, please email me laura.whalen@yahoo.ie).
Secondly, I would really like my dolls to be played with and used and loved and taken on muddy, dangerous adventures, and help with baking and be fed 'baby food'. I feel that if my dolls were any more expensive perhaps parents would feel less willing to let the doll go on such adventures. I know that if I payed $200 dollars for a toy, I would be pretty nervous about it being played with.
So on that note I want to announce my first pay-what-you-can doll:
 His name is Eric. He is a gorgeous mocha skin toned, 16 inch waldorf style doll. He has hand embroidered brown eyes, a little mouth and his cheeks are blushed with a little red wax. His hair is made of a cap of very dark brown mohair that is firmly stitched onto his head and brushed out to make it oh so soft and fuzzy.
 He is wearing a handknitted cardigan that closes with a little wooden button. He also has a matching pointed gnome hat and socks. The yarn is 100% pure vintage irish wool and is a really beautiful blue and purple.
 Underneath this he has red dungarees made of upcycled cotton. They are elasticated around the waist so the little wooden elephant buttons are just for show.
 His top is the sweetest little jungle animal print cotton.
As I mentioned Eric is my first pay what you can doll. I really want to be able to help make beautiful, handcrafted toys available to all children, regardless of the family income.
If you think that Eric is just the right wee person for your family, then you can contact me either through private message on my facebook page (have you liked it yet?) or you can email me laura.whalen@yahoo.ie. Please leave details of what you can afford to pay for him (not including p&p) and how I can contact you. Please bare in mind the cost of materials when you quote what you can pay. On Easter Sunday I will randomly choose one person and list Eric reserved for them in my Etsy shop for the agreed price plus p&p. I will contact that person and you would have 24 hours to purchase Eric before he would be offered to the next person.
I hope to be able to offer more dolls this way in the future, so do keep looking at my facebook page for more info.
 I would ask you to really think about what you can pay for a waldorf doll like this. If you sincerely can afford a normal priced doll I would ask you not to try and get him as a 'bargain', but to allow this offer to stay open to a family who genuinely couldn't afford normal waldorf doll prices.
...and do please feel free to share this post with anyone you feel might be interested in Eric :-)

13 comments:

  1. You are so generous Laura. ;) I love this idea. ~Kristin

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  2. Such a sweet doll and a wonderful idea!

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  3. He is precious! And such a lovely idea.

    I bought a beautiful Waldorf doll for my son last year. Unfortunately, my Dad (yes an almost 60 year old) drew on his face with ballpoint pen, to make his mouth more "defined"! I was so upset, as was my son. Any tips for how we might clean the pen off? x

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    1. Hi mama shara, oh dear, if I were you I would spot clean it using an old toothbrush, if you look on the side bar of my blog on the right there is a link to a post I did about how to clean a waldorf doll. hope it helps some! hugs L x

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  4. Laura, that is such a beautifully generous idea. If only this was the principle of all commerce the world would be a fairer, kinder and more equitable place. Love, Lou xx

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    1. well Lou perhaps it's a start, I for one am pretty sick of people just out to make money from others, that is not what this world is about surely!

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  5. Laura, this is so incredibly lovely! What a brilliant idea, and so sweet and generous of you!
    HUGS

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  6. I love this idea, and he is really a handsome little guy :) I have a big family with 6 kids and it can be tough at times to get quality items. I have often thought that I wished we were still a bartering society, I garden, can, cook, clean, sew some :) crochet, have chickens that lay wonderful eggs etc. I am not musical at all but music lessons for 6 kids is out of my reach and have often thought I wish I could trade for them. My husband and I are considering a new side business venture if it happens perhaps one day I'll have something to barter across the big pond with you! Again a fantastic idea!

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    1. HI Cheryl, why don't you just put it out there, take out an add in the local paper say you're looking for music lessons and this is what you can offer? How about a 'home cooked ready meal' for each lesson? It's always worth a try x

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  7. He is absolutely precious, and you are so generous to offer pay what you can! Blessings on your week!

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