BORN GLOBAL DOLL CLOTHES
Born Global doll clothes are handmade, high quality, slow fashion, Indian-style garments made for 14” and 18” dolls. Our vision is to provide realistic imitations of full-sized fashions so that kids can experience and explore a little bit of India through play.
THE BORN GLOBAL BACK STORY
Back when immigrant was not a word featured in every other headline, an 18” American Girl doll named Kirsten Larsen gave 8-year-old-me my first encounter with the concepts of immigration, homesickness, culture shock, and cross cultural friendships. Growing up in a tiny town in the Cascades and later in an industrial town in Appalachia, I didn’t have much exposure to diversity. But playing with Kirsten set me on the course to start English classes for migrant workers, teach English literacy to adult refugees from Africa and Asia, and—eventually—found Seekna Company.
Because I knew how a simple doll outfit can transport us to a time, place, or experience different than our own, I would often search for Indian-style doll clothes to gift to the children in my life. Unable to find any such outfits, I had the idea to try making them myself.
And the rest is Born Global history.
ABOUT OUR ARTISANS
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes the minds, hands, time, and talents of people on three continents to create our line of handmade, Indian-style, doll-sized fashion.
The fabric combinations and designs are the brainchild of Anita Singh, long-time-friend of Seekna’s founder and unofficial fashion adviser for all who know her.
The patterns for our outfits were developed by the super talented Amy Sharp, in collaboration with Moriah and other sewing/fashion experts from West Virginia and India (including Charlene W., Phyllis R., and Pheby S.).
Born Global doll clothes are handmade by a growing network of global artisan partners. This network currently includes sewists in West Virginia, India, and Australia. The majority of our artisan partners are women, but we do have a few men creating clothes for us as well.
Last, but not least, are the countless people involved in the creation of the fabrics themselves. We may not know their names, but we know that we owe them heartfelt thanks for their toil and labor to grow, tend, harvest, card, spin, weave, wash, dye, boil, rinse, print, and deliver these beautiful textiles. (Our line of Born Global books are just one small way we can say thank you to these talented laborers, by bringing their unseen and forgotten labors into the spotlight.)
ABOUT OUR COLLECTIONS
enables our artisans to generate extra income when they their free time, without having to set aside all their other responsibilities (agriculture, childcare, etc).
allows our staff time to collect the finished outfits from our wide-spread artisan base, do quality checks, provide additional training to artisans, and prepare the items for public release.
invites our customers (and all of us) to think globally about limited resources, delayed gratification, and the hard-working people behind all the things we buy.
After our introductory collection, our collections are numbered consecutively in a variety of Indian languages.
Parichay Collection (Released in October 2017). Parichay means “Introduction” in Hindi, one of the national languages of India.
Collection Aik (Released in February 2018). Aik means “one” in many Indian languages, including Hindi.
Collection Eradu (Released in October 2018) Eradu means “two” in Kannada, the state language of Karnataka.
Collection Teen (Released throughout September/October 2019) Teen means “three” in many languages of India, including Bengali. (We are releasing only 1 collection in 2019, because the first half of the year was invested in connecting with and training new artisan partners.)
FYI, BEFORE YOU BUY
All our fabrics are pre-washed and pre-shrunk. That means you may not see a "new shine" to our outfits, but you will gain these benefits:
Prevents children being exposed to the irritating substances used in the creation of most fabrics.
Outfits can be washed without any worry about them shrinking or losing their shape (but do follow the individual care instructions to ensure a long life for your outfit).
We choose to use snaps. In our experience playing with dolls, the hook-and-loop tape fasteners generally become less effective over time, while snaps keep snapping. However, this means our outfits have small components to them, so they are not suitable for unsupervised play for children under 5.
Our artisans create these outfits in smoke-free, clean, pet-friendly environments.
We gather our fabrics from three sources:
small remnant pieces from the discard piles of Indian tailors and fabric stores
second-hand clothing cluttering the closets of Indian housewives
select fabrics are purchased from bolt cloth at textile shops around India. (This usually only happens for fabrics we need to complete an outfit, or signature fabrics that are unique to a certain area of the country.)