How it all began...
As a self taught sewer, I have always been crafty
finding things to make for family & friends.
I made my first dolls for my nieces, because they wanted dolls that looked like them but there was nothing that represented them, in shops or online at the time (even today it's not easy).
The delight these first dolls brought, made me realise there was a gap in the market, for dolls that reflected not only my family but the diverse multicultural society around us today. I wanted to give making dolls a chance so headed to my favourite local market, Camden Lock and found my first opportunity to start her business.
I opened Sugacandipop as a pop
up shop in the Dingwalls Gallery, next door to the famous Market Hall in 2012. I made and sold my dolls in my shoplet 7 days a week. With help from my sister and a good friend, the initial pop-up was so well received that it stayed open for 18 months and only closed when I was due to have a baby starting a family of my own.
During my time off with my family I continued with my professional background in childcare and playwork, specialising in crafts. I have worked with children for over 15 years and made their delight, my passion. I craved to bring my dolls back to the public so I brainstormed, crowdfunded and planned her way to become a mother maker.
I relaunched my diverse doll making business under a new name Thimble & Doll ready for Christmas 2017. The dolls are still designed, drawn, cut and stitched by hand by me but are now even more environmentally friendly, safety conscious & more diverse.
In 2012 I started with 5 skin tones but I've now doubled this to 10! I brought my remastered doll selection & bespoke order service back to my roots - local markets in London & associated events. Touching base with my customers new & old; young and young at heart alike.
You can buy a selection of pre made dolls from my online shop or make a bespoke order for your own doll using a user friendly online form.
There are currently 4 styles of doll available and different sizes to choose from, with lots of customising options for that really personal touch.
Seasonal specials like Easter bunnies and Christmas angels, personalised decorations and interesting collaborations are also in the picture so continue to follow and support me as the journey of bespoke diverse dolls continues.
"Diversity is a core value of my business and is important because representation matters. We don't all look the same, we come in all different colours, so dolls should too!"
- Alisha, Founder
all the dolls are handmade in London from felt & cotton. Alisha selects all the fabrics herself and buys them in small quantities to make each pattern limited edition.