Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Why Do They Cost So Much?"

This is a question I hear a lot. Here are the reasons and when you know the reasons you may ask, "Why don't you charge more?" I've said more than once, that it takes me 3 1/2 to 4 hours to make each doll. The materials per doll cost on average about $15 give or take a little, sometimes up to $20. I really make an effort to keep the cost down. I make each body part one at a time, put it all together; create the face, fingers, toes, hair, and personality. I live 30 miles out of town so getting supplies takes time. I am actually pretty good with time economy so I do lots of things on one trip; pick up the stuffing, the clothes, etc. Then I wash all the clothes since they are clothes that actual children have worn. The face and the hair take the most time, each process can take up to an hour. After creating all the limbs loosely, I work on the head. I create the actual face first so I can "get to know" each doll. That then, determines what he/she will be wearing. It is time to fine-tune the limbs so I work on one arm then the other, etc. until I am able to assemble all the parts and Voila........a dolly. It is then that I begin working on the hair do which can be quite challenging and much of the hair choice [as with any person] is determined by the personality or attitude! Which is why I chose the guy in the corner to represent the dolls for this conversation! Can you hear him explaining this to you? He cracks me up!

So..................there you have it. As an artist I know that I will never be paid realistically by time alone, but I love creating ........ so I do. What's really funny is.......I am really fast and I have been making them for so long that I have the time down to the bare bones. I like to keep each doll different with personality so the child or adult can choose the one that speaks to them. Big, small, it doesn't seem to matter unless the doll is life size, the adult life size:) That doll is more expensive -

One fact that I think is worth noting; the dolls last for a very long time. True enough, I use very good materials so the dolls are extremely sturdy. Cindy Caparosa Sniscak, Play Therapist and owner of The Beech Street Program has been using my dolls for 15 years. [You can read a quote from Cindy below.] I have made a few repairs on her dolls and they have taken some hard hits. In a play therapist's "playroom" the dolls take real beatings sometimes, literally! They last for years and they clean up very well. I use natural products so they are easy to touch and don't get snaggy:( I work with my hands all the time and if I can't touch it, I won't use it! I want these dolls to be hugged and allowed to be close to the body of children. I will not use fabric or thread that won't hold up under the stress of love or the torture of a child working out some trauma. Now for the dolls I use yarn that I can buy fairly inexpensively .......the reason for that is that children like to cut hair and tie it into knots so you should not worry if that happens. I can repair it very far for the shipping and the materials, no labor charges.

Cindy Caparosa Sniscak has this to say, "Playpals have been staples in all of my playrooms and offices since their inception. Over the past 15 years, I have amassed a collection of different ages, skin tones, expressions, and outfits. They have been heavily used in both directive play therapy sessions as well as child centered sessions and offer our child clients opportunities for therapeutic work in many thematic areas. They have been used to work on nurturance, aggression, trauma, victim, perpetrator, good, evil, power, control, anxiety, loss and family and relationship themes. These dolls have been given roles such as perpetrator, robber, victim, jury, police officer, sibling, baby, parent and student. They are wonderful props that offer endless possibilities for creativity in children’s play. They are artistically made, durable and can be easily cleaned. You would be lucky to own one."

Thank you Cindy for those comments :) Cindy will be sending a picture of the dolls in her playroom and I will post that when the picture arrives!

Update on shipping: I just raised my shipping charges to cover the doll getting to most areas in a few days fully insured. I can actually ship two dolls in one box for the same money so that is a benefit for sure. Costs for shipping have gone up every where so I use USPS to ship. I will ship Mondays and Wednesdays. If you have a "doll emergency" please let me know. You can contact me through this sight by making a comment and leave me your contact information or you can go to my website: and begin a conversation. That's all! EC Hanson