The first and more important ingredient that goes into making a doll is Vitamin “L”, as our mama helper Janine described the day she decided to be part of our team. Vitamin “L” is free, it is our gift to you, to your daughter or son, your midwife or friend....and it is the essence of every single mama that we create.
Then, materials and time come along, a LOT of time....Lots, and lots of time! Starting from the time needed to select and pick up fabrics, notions, fillings, wool, boxes, tape, treats, knitted items from Niko, diaper and blankets from Janine.....It is very hard to keep track of time in this phase, there is so much involved in this process of creation!
Back home, we start by tracing, cutting, sewing and filling the doll, which takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, with filling being the longest, sometimes more than 2 hours depending on the fabric and the filling-kapok and bamboo fillings take longer.
Assembling each doll is also a long process; it takes anytime from 1.5 to 2 hours not including face and hair. Embroidering eyes and mouth is 10 minutes, and putting hair, anytime from 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the hair style and the type of wool.
And we can’t forget the baby! Aside from the time to trace, cut, sew and fill, a longer time is needed to embroil its body, face, ears, belly bottom, little bum and hair, about 30 minutes, plus 10 to 15 minutes for placenta and cord. Snaps on mama and baby, 30 minutes.
Once mama and baby are ready, it is time to get them dressed...but wait...we still have to make the clothes, dresses, pants and tops, skirts and tops....anytime between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on styles and custom requests, maybe more if considering designing and ironing! Baby’s cloth diaper and receiving blankets, 15 to 20 minutes. Shoes, ponchos, slings, leg warmers, scarfs....about 1 hour per doll, depending on what she is wearing before she gets to you.
Tag on arm, hair style and ready for pictures! I must say that I underestimated the time needed to take pictures....way longer than expected, but at the same time, needed. I like to show as much as possible of each doll, so I usually take A LOT of pictures, I think the dolls deserve to be seeing from all angles, especially breastfeeding, I love nursing pictures! This process takes at least 15 minutes per doll.
From camera to computer, editing, choosing the best ones, posting on Facebook, uploading them on the Shop, doing the write up with the description...at least other 15 minutes per doll.
And that isn’t the end!!!
Selling takes time as well...very hard to measure but it definitely takes time. Getting the order, sending confirmations and email exchanges with the costumer, printing shipping slips and packing up mama and baby for traveling (including putting essential oil in hair...yes!!! did you smell your doll’s hair yet?- treats and personal hand written cards)....about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Oh...and the Post Office runs! Love those, especially when my husband does them! It is hardly one package at the time; the largest has been 14 boxes...our van was full!
I am sure I am forgetting to count many other things that we do that are part of this process, but this is a close average of the hours of work put into each doll. About 12+ hours per doll....Surprised?
And the cost of materials isn't included here!... I will leave that one for another post, I will only say that I like to use good quality materials, environmentally friendly and local if possible....mostly expensive stuff, and at times, not easy to find.
More or less, this is about how much time we put into your doll to be created, and this, plus the cost of materials makes the price that you pay for her. Fair, enough, not really...I don't want to even stop to figure out how much we make per hour! Obviously, we not becoming rich by making and selling dolls; it is very hard when I read some people's comments about how ridiculously expensive the dolls are, or about how much money we are making by ripping off people!
MamAmor dolls are here to bring something special and meaningful to the world of birthing and breastfeeding, they are here because we believe that they are worth our time and money, and we intent to keep it that way. So for those of you that appreciate and value our beautiful handmade mamas and see more than their price tag, THANK YOU! Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement, you are not only supporting families but you are also supporting a very important cause!!
We all know that at the end of the day...what make us going isn't really how many dolls we have sold, or how much money per hour we are making, but it is hearing that our work is needed and valued, it is hearing how much a doll is loved by your little one....that makes it all worth it!