I first stumbled upon the world of reborn dolls almost by accident; simply browsing the web, and have been smitten ever since. At first I knew nothing about reborn dolls other than they were adorable and I longed to cuddle one. Having 3 mostly grown kids of my own, I was in the midst of a severe bout of "empty nest" syndrome. I had been a homemaker for 20+ years, recently divorced and trying to find my place in the world now that my role as "mommy" had suddenly vanished in what seemed like the blink of an eye. After having a few of my own dolls and realizing the benefits they were providing me, I joined many groups within the Facebook community, with likeminded people who had a passion for these dolls as much as I did. At that point, I had realized for myself the joy and the therapeutic value these dolls brought to my own life, and I saw them more as an asset to my mental well being than I did a "luxury item". Having always struggled for pennies and living paycheck to paycheck, one of the greatest lessons I've realized along the way was that some things are more valuable in life than simply paying off another bill. I realized that, having pinched pennies for my entire adult life, I was no better off financially than I was 20 years ago. And I decided that it was finally time to live life with at least an equal amount of fun and enjoyment as I was worrying about the next set of bills. I entered the world of dolls and haven't looked back, and they have been more beneficial to my mental health and happiness than any conventional therapy has ever provided. In fact, as many therapists are becoming aware of reborn dolls, more and more are incorporating them into personal and group therapy with great success.
I kept envisioning the joy of introducing reborn dolls into the lives of others. Some people enjoy this hobby simply because they love babies, but I've found that for most people, as for myself, they are very therapeutic. Some women have lost a baby, or had a miscarriage, and having a reborn, though clearly not a replacement, is a great comfort to them. Some reborns used in nursing homes, or for people suffering with Alzheimer's disease. And for some people, like myself, who are going through empty nest syndrome and are having a hard time dealing with the emotions of watching their own babies grow up. Still others struggle with trying to cope with infertility. There are many reasons why people enjoy and love these dolls, and the value they bring to their mental and emotional health and well being is immeasurable.
So I took a leap of faith and began endeavoring on becoming a reborn artist.
It is a difficult art, and not easily learned. My initial attempts were laughable. But I found that with each attempt, I gained experience and got better at it. I finally posted my first reborn doll online, and within about 15 minutes completed my first sale. I was literally floored that my doll sold at all, let alone that quickly. This motivated me even more, and I began learning to create and sell babies more and more.
I can honestly say that I passionately love what I do. Bringing each baby to life, and then being able to share that excitement with others, is absolutely exhilarating for me. Having always aspired to be one of Santa's Elves as a child, this has truly become my dream job. Every step of the process of creating a reborn brings so much joy to me, from having an excuse to shop for cute baby clothes again to photographing my finished work. But mostly, for when I see a photograph of one of my babies with their new "parent", happy and content for a moment in time. (The babies look pretty happy too. ;) )