Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Handmade dolls fly off the shelves in B.C.

B.C.-based Bamboletta struggles to increase production while preserving quality

1 of 10

Christina Platt’s company, Bamboletta Dolls Ltd., makes handmade dolls that retail for between $130 and $250. They are snapped up quickly; its website is usually sold out.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

2 of 10

A child is seen in a picture all smiles after receiving her Bamboletta doll. The dolls are handmade with all natural materials such as wool, cotton, alpaca hair and mohair. They take 10 to 12 hours to put together, and the company makes 80 dolls a week.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

3 of 10

Bamboletta dolls are made at the company’s workshop near Duncan, B.C. Ms. Platt says there’s no easy way to ramp up production to meet the high demand.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

4 of 10

In addition to eight people at the studio, Bamboletta employs 30 people who work from home. Ms. Platt and her husband, John, help make the dolls – she’s in charge of faces; his task is heads.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 10

Ms. Platt has tried to increase production, but bringing new employees up to speed is a slow process: “It can take upward of six months for someone to get trained well enough to make a doll that we can sell,” she says.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

6 of 10

Production manager Brandi Teufel sews head covers for the dolls.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

7 of 10

Spools of thread line a wall at Bamboletta’s workshop. The company offers several models of dolls and some customization. The parts are made from scratch; workers even dye yarn for the hand-stitched hair, Ms. Platt says.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

8 of 10

Bamboletta dolls owner Christina Ms. Platt sews in the eyes on one of her handmade dolls.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

9 of 10

Employee Brooke Cannon works in the dressing room at Bamboletta. Last summer and fall, the company boosted production to 100 dolls a week, from 80, but Ms. Platt wasn’t happy with the results. Apparently customers weren’t either. “It started to feel like it was a product that we were just pumping out,” she recalls.

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

10 of 10

How can Bamboletta satisfy customer demand without sacrificing quality?

Chad Hipolito/The Globe and Mail

Report an error
Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.