Jess Brown - Petaluma, CA July 17 2013
Brit and I made the easy trek in the Doka, up to Petaluma California to meet artist and entrepreneur, Jess Brown and team. We had the honor of peeking into their studio to hang out while they worked. A clean long wooden worktable was piled high with women's sweaters ready for final details and dolls waiting to be dressed. The back room was stacked with future doll bodies, as well as scads of beautiful miniature dresses, lace, scraps, and stoles. We sat and visited with Jess and her talented team, watching and drooling while they meticulously hand-crafted each doll.
Jess started making rag dolls after she and her husband committed to making things for their kids by hand to emphasize the importance of handcrafted gifting and creativity. When I asked Jess about the inspiration for her signature rag doll and the significance of her look, she told me she labored for months over the doll's construction before landing on the distinct heart-shaped mouth and star eyes. A few years later, she was going through old keepsakes at her parent's home and came across a rag doll that she made for her youngest sister when she was just a kid. She had completely forgotten about making the doll and low and behold, it had the same face as her current signature Jess Brown Doll: heart shaped mouth and star eyes. It makes you wonder, are the things we create as young children coming from a deep and authentic creative place, a place we sometimes forget as adults? Like Jess, I believe we can all tap into our inherent creativity by pursuing what we love.
Please check out all of the dolls we are offering (Pantaloon Girl | Party Girl | Jumper Girl | Floral Dress Girl | Coco In Lace) and enjoy our behind the scenes photos from our exclusive meeting. For the next 6 dolls we sell we will give away a free gift with purchase. A set of 9 Hand Letterpressed Paper Dolls with totally unique Jess brown outfits ($39 value).