"When you buy from a family owned business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college".
It’s that time of year when many people are thinking about gifts for the children in their life. That's why I decided to share some of my favourite shops with you. Not the big shops everybody knows, but small shops that sell beautiful, unique items that are handmade with love.
I'm starting these series with the hand-made dolls by Studio Escargot. The talented artist behind these charming characters, Sophia Smeekens, has been making her own dolls and doll clothes out of pretty much everything she could find since she was a little girl. During her education as an upholsterer and interior advisor she developed a profound love for (old) fabrics, shape and colour. After ten years of working in the fashion industry Sophia realised that she wanted to do more with her own ideas and work on a smaller scale and more with and for her surroundings.
Sophia has a signature style, all of her dolls are beautiful, unique and ignite the imagination. Danielle from @hippieindisguise wrote in a blogpost about Sophia: "While Sophia makes beautiful dolls, it is her energy and story, that make her a person who inspires. Sophia has taken her life experience and channelled it to craft an intentional, slow, creative life, and through this shows us one way to find purpose, overcome obstacles, and live a fuller life. Because of this, I think there is a little something extra special in her dolls". I totally agree with Danielle. You can read her blogpost, including an interview with Sophia here.
Besides making dolls (and being a mom of 2 of course) Sophia writes a blog about minimal living, Less makes happy, which is really worth visiting.
Lucky for me, Lena and Doris love Sophia's dolls as much as I do. They get one at their birthday every year, except for when Lena was one, because I had never heard of Studio Escargot back then. They love playing with the dolls and they are surprisingly gentle with them. I even got one for myself, I swapped it with Sophia for one of my Pilea plants. The girls are allowed to play with it every now and then, but they know it's mine..