When I was a child, I had no shortage of dolls–Barbie, Ken, Skipper, Chatty Cathy, Chrissy, Betsy Wetsy, Raggedy Ann, you name it, I had it. Then I grew up, got married, had a daughter, and bought her dolls—Cabbage Patch, Bratz, American Girl, the list goes on and on. When my daughter was born, I bought her a Cabbage Patch Doll named Julie. This doll has been sitting on her bed for 18 years—she cannot part with it. So if I learned two things, they are a big girl can never have too many shoes, and a little kid can never have too many dolls.
Last year, we were trying to figure out what we were missing from our assortment, and it hit me– we don't have any dolls. How could that be? We sell toys, but no dolls? We immediately got to work, and came up with what I think is the most beautiful assortment of dolls anywhere. Here are some of my favorites.
Jess Brown dolls are exquisite. They are all handmade by Jess herself. We carry them in a very limited way because they are so special. In the spring and the fall we only carry 50 small dolls and 20 large dolls. And although they are expensive, they sell out almost immediately. Each one is handcrafted- no two are exactly alike, they are made with the finest natural materials–cotton, cashmere, lambs wool, angora, and they are hand sewn and dressed in magnificent outfits. There are girls and boys in this assortment. Each is a wonderful keepsake to be passed down from generation to generation. And, each one is named by our Managing Director, and I personally gift wrap ( yes–I gift wrap them) each and every one with tender loving care. We take great pride in these dolls. They are truly stunning.
Wee Wonderfuls are exactly what the name implies. These handmade dolls were created by artist Hillary Lang. She crafts dolls in her studio right in our backyard, and came up with 5 designs that we created for this holiday season. We will welcome 3 girls and 2 boys to our happy doll family. They are named by Hillary herself– Fern, Winx, Bertie, Charlie and Skip. We produced these wonderful dolls, which are made of cotton and natural fibers. They are soft, and will appeal to kids of all ages.
Hello Doll. Suzy Ultman's genius was the inspiration for these soft printed dolls. There are 7 in all– Fia, Honey, Kiki, Jojo, Mary T., Suzy Q, and Stella. Suzy created these dolls based on people who have had a powerful impact on her life. And one of them is Suzy! The front of the doll has a personality specific to that doll, and the back is printed with a whimsical pattern.
Embroidered dolls– created by Sarajo Freiden. These dolls are based on drawings by the talented artist. Hungarian folk art was the inspiration. Sarajo had Hungarian neighbors that gave her dolls impeccably dressed in handmade Hungarian folk outfits they made themselves. Plus Sarajo's grandparents ran an embroidery shop that made costume and clothing for Hollywood designers. Each of the 4 dolls stands alone– the images do not do them justice. They are hand sewn and embroidered– their skirts all have very intricate patterns, and if you turn them around, they are each holding a surprise.
Little Nod Dolls, created by our in-house designer, are the perfect little nostalgic doll. The 5 dolls each come in jammie's and matching cap, with just a hint of hair peeking out from their caps. They are simple and sweet, and are the perfect first dolls. They are soft and cuddly– I love them.
Bundle babies–is it a doll, or is it a stuffed toy? The answer is yes. 100% wool and intricately embroidered, these babies are perfect. On one side, they are awake and ready to be played with, but turn them over, and they are asleep. These were created by artist Mimi Kirchner. A keepsake for sure!
I really believe this collection of custom and exclusive dolls will evoke a connection with children, just as my daughter has connected with Julie. There is truly something for everyone. I know which one speaks to me. Can you find yours?
Post by Nancy Harris, Accessories Buyer @ Nod
In 1999, I was sitting at my desk as a buyer for a gift company, and my boss brought over a Land of Nod catalog and said "this is what I want us to be.” I immediately knew two things: 1. We could never be like them, no one could. 2-I had to be a part of The Land of Nod. The nostalgic assortment, whimsical presentation, and clever copy were positively inspired. I spent lots of time dreaming about The Land of Nod. Four years later, I was hired as the toy buyer, a dreamy job–a dreamy atmosphere, a dream come true.