This is Jess Brown, and her dog Shortie, in her Petaluma workshop where she handmakes the most beautiful and ecologically fashionable dolls I have ever met. Her inspiration for the dolls came from too many cashmere sweaters shrunk in the wash and a desire to have beautiful, yet functional, handmade dolls for her daughter.
Why shouldn’t dolls wear silk and cashmere too? Especially when the fabric would otherwise end up in the landfill. Jess takes leftover fabrics from local designers and combines them with fabric cut from clothes she finds in local thrift store to make the hair and clothes for each doll.
Jess’s wonderful dolls are gaining a lot of attention, nationally and internationally, so our local artisan is very very busy these day. And my recommendation, grab one while you can, because they won’t last long. You can find Jess and her dolls (and lots of other ridiculously cute children’s clothing) at Maude, her store in Petaluma on Kentucky Street.
This is Mima, the original doll Jess created for her daugher, who has had lots and lots of love over the years. If you click on the photo, you can read the very cute note Jess’s daughter left on her sewing machine. It is written in Mima’s words.
About the author paige green
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.
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your photos make me want one of these dolls. and i’ve never really been a doll person. XO
that portrait of jess is stunning! wonderful photos.