Olivia, An African American, Biracial, Multiethnic Doll

I spend way too much time on Etsy. I stumbled upon thehandmadeproject when I searched the site for the term biracial. The picture above is one of her beautiful dolls. I contacted thehandmadeproject and asked her for the story behind her dolls. Below is her response. Enjoy.

Thank you for your interest in my dolls and my creation process. I started making dolls when I became pregnant with my now four-year-old. Although my parents rarely talk about it, our ethnic background is multiracial and that is a concept that intrigues people. For years people have commented on my features, my natural hair (that has been called “good” by some and “nappy” by others) and how my skin can vary greatly depending on the season.

When I had my daughter I was prepared to raise and love a deep brown baby as her father has black-brown skin, but what we were not ready for was a peach-white, freckled baby with steel-blue eyes. After convincing her father that this indeed was his daughter I was shocked to learn how fluid ethnic features can be.

When I make a doll I combine skin tone, textures, and features–and leave any intentions out of the process because I want the doll to best represent the child and not an intended category. As a result I’ve had dolls sent to Thailand, purchased especially for their dark skin, and bought because it’s hard to find multiethnic dolls. And that makes me happy.

10 thoughts to “The Handmade Project

  • Katie@happygirlhair.com

    Those are lovely dolls!

    Reply
  • Nikki

    Those are very cute!

    Reply
  • Leslie

    Hi,
    I to make handmade ethnic dolls, I started making my dolls because I found it so hard to find dolls that resembled my daughter.(Im white and her father is Black) I didnt want to buy her a White doll or a black doll I wanted her to have a doll with her skin tone…I remember as a kid I always picked dolls that looked like me blonde with blue eyes, and I have found Destiny trys to do the same, and I think her disintrest in the dolls at the stores is because they dont look like her, So I started making her dolls myself. My best seller to date is African American dolls.
    Thanks,
    Leslie

    Reply
    • Honeysmoke

      Welcome to Honeysmoke. Your dolls are beautiful.

      Reply
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  • Blanc2

    Nice story.

    Reply
  • Beth

    Leslie–

    Your doll is beautiful! I applaud your creativity.

    I want an Etsy for me and one for my biracial granddaughter. I will be in touch!

    Reply
  • Beth

    I just spent 20 min. online trying to order an Etsy. This must be the most user-unfriendly site I have ever encountered. Tried to find out how to pay with credit card, not PayPal. The trouble began. Went back to beginning. Picked a password, tried to register. Uh-uh. Rejected. Was told to get another password. Followed directions. Entered temp password. Typed it exactly as it was presented in e-mail. Guess what! Rejected. Chose a new password. Tried to log on (again): “OOPS!”, I entered the wrong info. All I want is to buy my granddaughter a doll. Too much like WORK. (note: I’m online many hours every day and do almost all my shopping online.)

    Reply
  • Beth

    Third time’s the charm. After a half hour I succeeded in ordering Olivia, the adorable biracial doll.

    Reply
    • Honeysmoke

      Sorry you had so much trouble. Those paypal accounts take just a few moments to set up and can be quite handy for purchases. I know, I know. Who needs or wants another account?

      Reply

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