The art of crochet combines the talent of skilled hands with the love inside the heart of the maker. That love is shared in each stitch and comes together to create beautiful things such as hats, blankets, and even dolls.
Tammy Blunte, a mom from El Paso, Texas, who loves to crochet, understands how important it is for children to see themselves in their dolls. Her company Tammy B Creations specializes in custom-made crochet dolls that can currently be made in 18 different skin tones and nine hairstyles.
Here’s an image of her with her dolls, which she posted to her Facebook page:
Blunte grew up in Trinidad and told Yahoo! Life she always had to play with white dolls as a little girl.
“I could never find one that looked like me,” she shared in the interview. “It was pretty much difficult to find a Black doll. And if you [did] find a Black doll, it was never with an Afrocentric type of hairstyle. It was never the right skin tone. The representation was not there.”
So, when Blunte began crocheting dolls as a hobby, she made sure to offer a diverse array of skin and hair options. In 2015, the mother of four started sharing her hand-stitched dolls on her Instagram account. Followers flocked to her page and left so many positive comments, it shocked the crafter. And, that’s when she realized she might have a business right there in the palm of her hand.
“After I made my first doll of color, I realized that no one else makes them,” Blunte told Southern Living.
Inspired by the amazing feedback, Blunte founded Tammy B. Creations, a website where customers can browse through pre-made dolls with a rainbow of skin tones available. People can also place a custom order through the website to have Blunte crochet the doll of their dreams. This allows you to choose skin tone, hair color, and hairstyles such as curly coils and cornrows for the 18- to 21-inch dolls.
Here’s a set of sisters she created as part of a custom order:
You can send in a photo and she will use her creative talents to make a miniature version of the person in the photo. She will order material from Africa and other countries to recreate cultural clothing and is able to customize shoes, eye color, hairstyles, and even accessories such as glasses, hearing aids, and more.
Check out this video Blunte posted to TikTok showing off a custom doll she made in nurse’s gear:
“Clients send in their photos, and I try to capture them in doll form,” Blunte told Southern Living. “This is special for those who need confidence and/or have a disability and need know that they are loved by having something that looks like themselves.”
Dolls cost between $150 and $250 and have a 3- to 6-week production time. The crocheter takes five custom orders at the beginning of each month and is currently booked through May 1.
She also created a doll with lavender hair, which was posted to her Facebook page:
She told Yahoo! Life that on a personal level, experiencing kids’ reactions to receiving the dolls is “what keeps me going.”
“To say that, ‘Okay, this doll has my skin color and it looks like me,’ those are the words — ‘just like me’ — that I love hearing,” Blunte said.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.