I would like to introduce you to Natural Suburbia sponsor Ulla from GermanDolls. Ulla makes the most gorgeous Waldorf style toys and dolls, her craftsmanship and eye for detail is impeccable.
This is Ulla’s story…
My name is Ulla. I am a German immigrant living in beautiful Colorado in the United States. I was born and raised in Germany. I moved to the US in 1996. Living your life and growing a family in a foreign country is like being on an endless roller-coaster ride of emotions. Creating art and making toys has helped me immensely in this journey.
Growing up in Germany I had a lot of handmade toys. A few of them were made by my grandfather in his wood workshop. Some other precious items came to me through a local toymaker. But most of my playthings were made by my mother who was a great knitter and seamstress. My 4 sisters and I always wore matching outfits. Our dolls were just as perfectly dressed.
After I had children of my own in the US, I was concerned that they would grow up without the same quality handmade toys that I had when I was little. I noticed how many toys here were made of plastic. Who wants to hug and cuddle a plastic baby? I started making Waldorf style cloth dolls after my daughter was born. Naturally, I had to dress the babies and make doll clothes for them. Some patterns I use have been handed down in my family. Others I created from scratch, inspired by my daughter’s play. My daughter has always been fascinated with little babies. Even when she was a toddler she would want to pick up other children who were younger. I invented my trademark pocket dress with the miniature doll because of my daughter’s need to constantly nurture little ones.
Doll Making has provided me with a perfect outlet for my artistic sensibilities. I used to be an oil painter but didn’t want to expose my children to the chemicals. So changing media from paint to fabric made perfect sense. I love the smell of the natural wool stuffing I use. It feels good to work with products from nature that are not harmful to my children or our planet. If a doll breaks it can be stitched and repaired. Broken plastic babies go to the landfill forever.
Sewing has helped me stay in touch with the Old World, my German roots, yet at the same time enabled me connect to people in the New World. Living in a small town in the US you can find many fine crafters and quilters. It’s always fun to talk to folks about sewing. Winning the title of the Weld County Overall Champion in the Department of Sewing and Home Decorating with one of my dolls was one of my proudest sewing moments here.
When I first started making dolls I made dolls for all my nieces and nephews. Next I made dolls for friends’ children. After that I just kept making them because I loved it so much. They began to take over the house. To the great frustration of my husband there wasn’t a place in the house to sit down, so it was suggested to me that I sell a doll or two online. That is how my little business got started.
It has been over a decade since I began making dolls. I still enjoy creating dolls very much. It gives me great pleasure when I receive pictures and wonderful notes from people who tell me how much their child loves a doll that I made for them. I greatly treasure the strong personal connection to many of my customers I have made through my work over the years.
Links for GermanDolls:
I shared on my facebook!
Ulla is offering 1 reader a $25.00 Gift Certificate towards any item in her shop.
To enter, please leave a comment below in this post. To earn extra entries, please share the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and remember to leave extra comments each time you share about the giveaway so you will have more entries.
The winner will be announced in this post on Wednesday the 25th of July and will be chosen by random generator.
Ulla, thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for offering this generous giveaway.
Have a wonderful weekend.