Crafter Amy Jandrisevits, have been putting a special smile on children with physical differences’ faces with her hand made dolls. Amy, who is a former social worker, is a skilled crafter who uses her talent to create unique look alike dolls for those with visible physical differences.
After Amy noticed a general lack of diversity in dolls on the market, she decided to create her own to also help those who stand out from the rest. Putting into practice her personal credo, “If you see something that needs to be changed, do something,” she has spent the past four years making dolls that double as inspirational works of art.
Each doll she creates is completely customised based on the people she is creating them for. After getting a request for a doll, Amy makes sure to pay special attention toe the unique details in the photo such as ethnicity, medical issues, physical characteristics, as well as any other distinctive features of her future recipients.
It takes up to seven hours for Amy to complete one figure and to thoughtfully consider how she will illustrate the subject. “Every single doll tells a story and some are raw and heartbreaking and emotional. I am privileged to be a part of their stories and honoured to get a glimpse into their world. I don't take that lightly.”
“We need to see each child as a work of art—a masterpiece. While doll-making is an art form, the real canvas is the child him/herself. If we want to become a society that values differences and inclusivity, this is where we start. We start with something as simple as a doll—a human likeness.”
Thus far, Amy has created more than 300 of her stunning heartfelt and unique creations. “Typically, parents or caregivers pay for the dolls—about $100 with shipping per doll. When they can’t afford it, I’ll find a way to cover it myself. Whatever it costs, whatever I must do, I’m going to get a doll in the hands of these children. This isn’t just a business. It’s the right thing to do.”
Although she is still shocked about the popularity and success of the dolls, she is not surprised by the feelings of inspiration and empowerment each work brings, “On a bigger scale it tells you how desperate we are for representation. I’m changing the narrative one person at a time.”