Meet the Artists
I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. After earning a B. A. Degree in commercial art illustration in 1981, my sister Kathy and I took doll making lesson for seven years from a highly talented doll artist, Charllise Lovet. I learned sculpting from Charllise and Lewis Goldstein. In 1983 Kathy and I started our doll company K&K Creations. Our focus was to specialize in making beautiful Black porcelain dolls. I began teaching seniors and in 1984 I created and founded American Black Beauty Doll Club.
When my sister decided to pursue a career in education I changed the company name to Kissing Kousin Dolls. I began sculpting exclusively my own designs of beautiful children including my own children. I enjoy many different types of emotions on children’s faces, and I express them through my work.
My dolls have been sold nation-wide and in the United Kingdom by Dynasty Dolls of New Jersey and Victoria Impex.
Cheryl Buckley, AKA “The Buck’s Doll House”, “Mother”, “Grandmother”, started her doll-making career creating dolls for her children. She didn’t even like dolls as a child, preferring trucks and trains. As a result of making dolls for her children, she decided to attend a doll show. While there, her interest grew and she decided that she wanted to learn how to make porcelain dolls. Cheryl then met Karen Henderson and Florence may at a Porcelain doll-making class that Karen was teaching,
She enjoyed making Black dolls because there were so few that she saw as a child. Cheryl enjoys reproducing babies and children dolls and has learned to appreciate Black Antique Dolls; Cheryl also dabbles in ceramics. Although her works or art are enjoyed by a larger audience now, her biggest fans remain her children and grandchildren.
I began doll-making in 1995 at Bunny’s Doll Cottage in San Leandro, California, as a stress-reducing hobby. Completing my third doll, I found myself “addicted” to doll-making. So much so, that I embarked on a sojourn to an international doll show in London, England with ten other “Dollarians” (as my daughter fondly refers to us) from the United States and Canada.
It is truly satisfying when the doll is completely dressed and you are asked, “Did you make this?” I simply smile and say “YES” while thinking….”after breaking two arms, a chest plate and maybe even a head!”
Needless to say I still find doll-making to be a great stress reducer.
Patricia Lindsey Harris
I am the proprietor of “May Ola’s Kid’s”, dolls. I have been a member of American Black Beauty Doll Artists (ABBDA) for nearly 18 years, and in that time I have uncovered a profusion of knowledge about dolls and specifically “Dolls of Color.”
I have always loved dolls but never owned a Black doll as a child. My connections and exchanges with the members of ABBDA have revealed the abundant and diverse array of Black dolls – it’s not as surprising that they exists as it is that I got such a late start finding them! As a doll-maker, I was mostly self-taught, then I was invited to join the artists of ABBDA… Once I re-created my first doll, I was hooked!
Never did I ever imagine that one day I would have the nerve to consider myself a “doll artist” J. I am always on a quest to refine my skills, but my ultimate goal is to design my own OOAK doll!!
Anita is from the mile high city of Denver, Colorado and grew up nearly doll less. That is none except for the one black hard plastic doll that stayed in the bottom of the closet, which was so “un-user friendly”. She found most other dolls difficult to identify with. Then one day her mother had a brilliant idea, and mad a black clothe doll for her little sister. Anita thought that this was the best thing since sliced bread. The doll was soft, cinnamon colored, had curly hair, a pretty dress and most of all it was beautiful.
She began helping her mother make and create Black dolls and other dolls of color, entering some into doll competitions. Together they have won numerous awards. After moving to California, Anita contacted other family members, who at the time were spread out over several states, to start up what she likes to call “the doll factory.” Together they created the “Spice of Life” collection. These dolls were sold at various shows, festivals and to family and friends. Anita was over-joyed when she learned of other black doll makers who shared her vision of creating positive images through doll-making. She delights in making dolls of color.
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Ms. Bourgeois
I was taught at an early age by my mother to crochet, knit and make sequin jewelry. In Junior High School, during the summer, I attended classes which were held by the Singer Sewing Company. Later I attended and studied at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.
In the beginning, when I started making my own dolls, I made dolls for my daughter as Christmas gifts for her and her friends. They were such a big hit that I was able to open my own business in downtown Oakland.
I have participated in many craft shows, festivals and fairs around the San Francisco Bay Area. I began showcasing my unique creations at these popular events: Oakland Art & Soul Festival and the Black Cowboy Parade/Festival. For many years I have been associated with the City of Oakland Arts and Cultural Department. With this association I have been able to present my Dolls, Doll Purses and T-Shirts for over 20 years. These items were also showcased every weekend at the Farmers Market in the famous and renowned Jack London Square at the foot of Broadway in Oakland.
My handcrafted dolls are each individually and lovingly created for children and adults of all ages. They are also enjoyed by the avid collector or that special someone for years of enjoyment. I am proud to be a member of the American Black Beauty Dolls Artists association.
Stacelina Monique & Alisha Nicole
Mother and 17-year-old daughter making relatable culture awareness known through Barbie dolls.
Stacelina Monique and daughter Alisha Nichole have been working together for the last 6 years. Daughter Alisha brings youthful, bright, creative ideas to the doll scene. At the doll shows Alisha enjoyably interact with customers as well as do mobile app transactions.
Stacelina has been designing dolls at the early age of six. She started off drawing round face paper dolls and moved up to Barbie repaint, re-root and restyle in modern day fashions.
You have to have energy and passion and some awareness to the culture to make relatable art. My dolls are for the young and old. I find inspiration through friends’ conversation, stories I hear or something that catches my eye that I see in my community. I try to be a positive influence on young girls in the creativeness of my dolls and teach my daughter everything I know along the way.