Amy Jandrisevits is a former social worker who was struck by the fact that so few dolls look like some of the children she was working with.
So she went to work. For the past four years, she has hand-crafted dolls that look like children who have ‘visible physical differences ‘ (she prefers that to ‘disabled.’)
Because representation matters.
Each doll is completely customized based on the people she is creating them for. Working from a photo and a letter from the parents, it can take up to seven hours to create each miniature piece of art.
“We need to see each child as a work of art—a masterpiece. While doll-making is an art form, the real canvas is the child him/herself. If we want to become a society that values differences and inclusivity, this is where we start. We start with something as simple as a doll—a human likeness,” she says.
To date she has made 300 customized dolls and explains:
“Typically, parents or caregivers pay for the dolls—about $100 with shipping per doll. When they can’t afford it, I’ll find a way to cover it myself. Whatever it costs, whatever I must do, I’m going to get a doll in the hands of these children. This isn’t just a business. It’s the right thing to do.”
Here’s her GoFund Me so every child who needs a doll that looks like them can have one