I'm super excited to introduce you to my sponsor, My Fair Cottage! The Etsy shop is all about creating beautiful furniture for dolls like American Girl, including beds, tables, dressers, vanity sets, and more. I had the great opportunity to interview Leighann, the designer behind the furniture and I can't wait to share our talk with you.
When did you first start making doll furniture & accessories?
I first started making doll furniture and accessories for my own daughter's dollhouse. I built her a small house several years ago, and it just kept expanding. I found myself looking at everything in a new way...what would this function as in an 18" doll's home? The old jewelry box became the bathroom vanity, I recovered a doll sofa I got on Ebay, I made new bedding for the doll beds we bought from Target so they would match the bedrooms. I tried to fill the house with pieces and things that we had in our own home. Sometimes it wasn't possible to purchase exactly what we wanted, like a fireplace, so I started building things.
How did you get the idea to open your shop, My Fair Cottage?
I really enjoyed making things for my daughters' house, but I had more ideas than I could fit in one dollhouse. I also found that it would be nice to make some extra money to pay for what was quickly becoming an expensive hobby for us. I say "us" because I enjoy it as much as my girls...if not more!
Do you have any American Girl dolls? Which one is your favorite?
I have one American Girl 18" Doll. She's a truly me doll and I named her Willa. I also have one of the new Wellie Wishers, which make perfect sized little sisters for the 18" dolls. My Wellie Wisher is also named Willa (by chance this is what AG named the character), and she spends a lot of time with all my daughter's dolls. I have three daughters, so we have a lot of dolls. Julie, Grace, Emily, Lea, Samantha, Chrissa another Truly Me Doll we named Claudia and another Wellie Wisher, Camille. We also have an 18" boy doll. His name changes periodically!
I think my Truly Me doll is my favorite because she was a gift from my husband when he saw me enjoying my girls' dolls so much. He and my girls chose her because he thought she looked like me. I often use her as my model when I photograph items for my store. There are a few dolls I don't have that I would like to get, especially Emily Bennet and Kit. Typically I enjoy all the accessories and clothes more than the actual doll, so my list of sets I would love to purchase from AG is LONG.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I often get inspiration when I'm playing with my girls and we discover that we need something for the house. Once we know what we want, I set out to make it happen. Many times I'll be out shopping and discover a miniature sized chair or desk and the wheels start to turn. The fabric store and antique stores are also big inspiration places for me.
Is there an item you enjoy making for dolls the most?
I enjoy making the beds the most because I love to pick out fabrics and put them together with trims and paint. Each bed I make is a labor of love, and I always imagine someone's little girl using it to tuck in her babies. Many people buy pieces from me for baby dolls as well as AG dolls.
Thank you so much, Leighann!! You can check out all of her doll furniture & accessories at MyFairCottage.etsy.com. :)