Dolly Outfitters was founded in 2007 while I was teaching sewing classes at a local sewing shop one summer. I had a kids class and wanted them to sew something that was meaningful to them. Since many women start by sewing for their children, I decided to have a class for doll clothes so the girls could sew for their children.
We had a lot of fun in the girls class and kept offering doll clothing classes throughout the year. After a while, we had quite a build up of doll clothes samples. My coworker and I decided to enter some local craft shows to see if we could sell some of the samples to fund our fabric shopping budget. We had some success at the craft shows and started getting custom orders for products we created.
In the spring, I decided to sell at a local flea market and introduced the first doll carrier backpack when a customer asked me if I could make a bag that girls could wear with their dolls on the outside. I made a couple prototypes and sold them at the flea market at a discount. As I got feedback on the design, some of the features were tweaked and I developed different sizes for smaller children and smaller dolls.
My daughter loved to model for me and we had a lot of fun during photo shoots. In 2008, I opened up my first online shop and listed the doll carriers for sale. By the fall of 2009, I was getting orders from all over the United States, Canada, and Australia for my doll carrier backpack. This became the focus of my business because of the unique design and trendy fabric selection.
I got some emails asking if I could make a pattern so others could make their own bags as well. So, I developed my first pattern and marketed it on a couple sewing blogs. My patterns are now listed at Pixie Faire as well.
I still make and sell a few ready-made bags which are listed as they are available, but my focus is on writing patterns and teaching about sewing. I love tricks of the trade and sharing how to make sewing easier, especially for beginners.
If you’d like updates on when patterns are available or when ready-made bags are listed, hop on my email list at the top of the page, and I’ll let you know. Plus, you get 2 free patterns when you sign up.