Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: Doll from Doll N'Asian

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Doll N'Asian, wanting to know if I would be interested in them sending Vivian an Asian doll. I immediately said yes, since 1) we love dolls and 2) I've searched for Asian dolls before and know that nice ones can be hard to find.
I asked to receive the Chinese doll from Doll N'Asian, since Vivian is half Chinese. Doll N'Asian also sells Japanese dolls, Korean dolls, Filipino dolls and Vietnamese dolls. Here's some information about Doll N'Asian and background on how this company came to be:

The Doll N’Asian Story
Our dolls are the creation of a Filipino-American pediatric nurse. Upon retiring from her nursing career, she returned to her homeland; a tiny island called Binalyan, in the Philippines. What she saw were a once proud people inflicted with a staggering level of poverty.  Living amidst a corrupt government, these people have seen the deterioration of their health and education systems, have watched the opportunity for work whittle away and, in the end, lost all hope of breaking free of these oppressive circumstances.
She had a vision. She remembered, as a pediatric nurse, she made cloth dolls in her spare time for her young patients. These dolls brought joy to those who received them.  She thought, I will teach my people how to sew and this trade will give them hope of work.  So she started an organization to teach people how to sew.  There was a catch to joining her organization.  In order to remain a member, you must attend regular meetings/classes where people are taught to read, taught the importance of good health (including early morning aerobics by the sea) and other important values in order to improve self-esteem.
Soon, her house was converted into a workshop and classes were formed that covered all facets of doll making including embroidery, sewing, stitching, dress design, and how to assemble the dolls.  More and more members joined as time went on.  Soon she had a cavalry of dolls and needed an outlet to sell them.  So she made the long trip from that small island with the hopes of selling her dolls to American children to enjoy and, in turn, returning hope and pride back to her small island.
When you purchase one of our dolls, a portion of the proceeds will be returned to Philippines to help support the educational efforts of Doll N’Asian.  We are truly proud of our product and hope you will purchase one to enjoy for yourself.
 The Chinese doll

Vivian, making her doll dance around

The dolls advertised on the website are 20 inches in size, but Vivian received a 12-inch doll, which is a perfect size for her little one-year-old hands.  I was very impressed with the quality of this doll. All the stitching is neatly done, and the costume and shoes are beautiful. The doll itself looks fancy, but is actually very hugable and kid-friendly. Ethan keeps running off with the doll and making her jump off of furniture, so I can vouch for the doll's ability to withstand life with a 3-year-old boy.  The Doll N'Asian website indicates that the dolls are suitable for ages 3 and up, but after carefully looking the doll over, I felt that it was safe for my 1-year-old to play with. 

All of the dolls are handmade and dressed in a dress that is reflective of the country that the doll represents. I think that any of the dolls would make a great gift for a little girl, and are a great way of exposing a child to other cultures or helping her embrace her own heritage.

So if you're in the market for a new doll, check out the Doll N'Asian website!

Disclosure: I received a doll from Doll N'Asian to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.


Karen said...

What a sweet little doll! I love that it's handmade.