A long-time passion: rag dolls since 2013
Since 2013 I have had the hobby of rag dolls, which has now become my passion and I work as a doll maker. In the beginning it was Tilda dolls, then stuffed animals and now the personalized rag dolls. So far I have worked on a wide variety of projects, sewing everything from simple stuffed bunnies to dolls individually copied from a famous personality. Sewing dolls is an extremely relaxing activity and one of the best things to do for adults and children. So I have decided to organize doll workshops for small groups. Either mothers with their daughters on a “mother-daughter day” or adults who just want to treat themselves to a few hours of downtime, or companies looking for a special team event for their employees.
Doll workshop as a “girls' day” or “mother-daughter day”
Mothers and daughters: a very special and beautiful relationship, but one that can also encompass a wide range of all feelings of a positive and negative nature. It is one of the most complicated relationships that can bind two women together. Tensions between mothers and daughters increase significantly with age. Psychologist Kira Birditt of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor summed it up quite well: “The parent-child relationship is one of the most enduring social bonds that people form. The connection is often very positive and supportive, but usually contains feelings of irritation and tension.” She also found that, on average, parents rated the relationship with their daughters worse than that with their sons. (Source: welt.de)
Maybe a mother-daughter relationship needs more work? Experts recommend joint activities with the children; especially during puberty, so that they can take a lot of pressure off the strained relationship. Of course, “girls' days” or “mother-daughter days” are particularly popular, when mothers go shopping or to the cinema together with their daughters. But that doesn't replace the feeling of having achieved something together! So I think I offer a wonderful idea for a Mother Daughter Day with my doll workshops. My doll workshops are exceptionally popular with mothers with daughters who range in age from 6 to 18, almost all ages from small children to teenagers, so to speak. With small children under 12, the mum usually helps, and the rag doll is sewn together. With older children, the daughter and mothers typically sew 2 dolls, and help each other with the whole doll workshop. In the end, however, everyone leaves the doll workshop with a cute, self-made rag doll. With a rag doll that they have sewn themselves and that will always accompany them from now on. Even years later, when the grandchildren ask about it, the grandmother will be able to proudly tell how they sewed this doll themselves with their mum back then.
But mothers need time out too. Not only mothers, but all women like to have their own time with their friends, without the daily chaos of family life. So it's not uncommon for a group of the girlfriends to book my doll classes, so they can spend time together making beautiful handmade rag dolls. Some then make a rag doll that resembles their loved one, while others simply sew themselves as a rag doll. Always a good gift idea for a favourite person, but most importantly, very precious time together with girlfriends.
Doll workshop as a special idea for a team event or a corporate event
Bowling, go-carting, golf driving range… These are some typical corporate events my husband has had to attend during his career. Rarely has he experienced a team event that actually had his whole team participating in something together and created a shared sense of achievement. Many companies now know how important teamwork and team building are to a company's success. But what is more often underestimated is the purpose of team events. A team event should:
- enable people to get to know each other
- Integrate new staff members into the team
- Improve internal team communication
- develop a “we”-feeling
- build a foundation of trust
Lee Lacocca, the US automotive industry executive and author of several books, put it succinctly: “The only way to motivate people is through communication.” I doubt how a go-kart race or golf driving competition, in which employees compete individually and even against each other, can improve team spirit and communication among them. That's why I offer my doll workshops as the alternative corporate event, and not just for your female team members, but for everyone. Sewing a doll yourself is pure handwork and is challenging for anyone with no previous experience. It is precisely this challenge that brings people together and ensures a common goal. During the doll workshops, there is a wonderful team spirit between the participants. From the very first moment, even though people don't know each other, they start talking and helping each other. Here a crooked doll's head is corrected, there a missing leg is sewn up... In the end, all those who persevere to the end own a cloth doll they have sewn themselves. They then either give this rag doll made with hard work to others as a gift, or they keep it as a souvenir of the special team event.
How the doll workshop can make even more sense as a team event
The doll workshop as a joint team event makes even more sense if it serves a good purpose. How about if the cloth dolls produced are donated to a children's charity? That's exactly how the agency I was working with had organized a fundraiser and auctioned off the handmade cloth dolls from my team. It was all backed up with news in the media and celebrity faces, so you ended up donating a considerable amount. The self-sewn rag dolls for a good cause: a wonderful source of motivation for the staff.
A typical doll workshop
My hometown is Wiesbaden in Hesse. So far, most of the workshops have taken place in the Rhine-Main area, in cities like Frankfurt am Main, Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg or Mainz. If the number of participants is sufficient, I also organize doll workshops in other cities. So far, for example, I have often been to Munich for puppet workshops. When the weather is good, we can also run the doll workshops outdoors because we don't need a sewing machine or similar electrical equipment.
For corporate events, of course, I travel to the venue and use the available premises of the companies. Since you don't need sewing machines for the doll workshop, you can run the rag doll workshops in any room with enough workspace.
The duration mostly depends on the skill and experience of the participants. Most doll workshops last 3-4 hours. If a participant is experiencing difficulties, I help out to keep the overall duration of the workshop within reason. We usually start at 10am, and finish the workshop at 1pm.
All materials from fabrics to needles are included and waiting for you in a nice package. Before the workshop, I ask participants for personal preferences for hair colour and doll clothing. If any doll accessories are still needed, I take care of that too. So far I have been able to provide everything from mini doll glasses to a mini stethoscope.
According to valid spacing and hygiene rules, 5-10 participants per group. The smaller the group, the better results can be achieved. Even without previous knowledge in rag dolls one can participate. In the end, everyone will learn how to make a rag doll as a doll maker. For small children under 10 years old, I recommend that mothers stay with their children, so they can make the best of the workshop.
Dates for the doll workshops are planned according to the number of participants. You can see the current dates for the doll workshop on our website.
How do I order a doll workshop?
For your private workshop, you are welcome to reserve your space via our website. Simply select the number of participants on the product page and conveniently order via PayPal, credit card or invoice. After the ordering process, I will contact you by email and present you with the options for hair colour, dresses and shoes. Of course, you can also reach me anytime via our contact form or through Facebook and Instagram.
For corporate events outside the Rhine-Main area, I recommend first contacting me by email or phone so that I can know more about your planned team event. Companies can, of course, pay by invoice.
Last but not least
Stuffed dolls are a perennial favourite of a child's bedroom and are always a good gift idea. But the time spent with your girlfriends, children or colleagues at a doll workshop is simply an unforgettable experience.
The participants, even if they are meeting each other for the first time, help each other and quickly get into conversation. There is only one and very important rule: Everyone must arrive in a good mood, and walk out with a finished doll!
At the end of the doll course, you can then have a “doll party” like the one below :-)