Playing with dolls cultivates a child’s imagination and helps in the development of both a healthy self-image and a well-rounded sense of other cultures. But, while skin tones come in all different color shades, not every doll is designed the same way. “I am a part of a biracial family and it is important to me that my children see themselves represented in toys they play with,” explained Jennifer Relerford of Fox and Babe. “When I first looked for a handmade doll for my daughter, I had a hard time finding her coloring in our price range. This is when I knew I had to be the shop that represents and supports every race. I have six different skin tones to choose from and I am so proud that any child can have a quality handmade doll that looks just like them!”
Fox and Babe celebrates inclusion. The shop’s dolls range in race and ethnicity, sending a message to the recipient that there are children like you in the world and you matter. “I love being able to offer multiple skin tones,” said Relerford. “Supporting people of color is a huge priority for me and my shop.” Beyond the girl and boy dolls, the shop includes stuffed animal figurines, like the new llamas, lions, rabbits, and, of course, foxes. “I also love introducing new animals monthly to create a wide range of dolls to choose from.” Each Fox and Babe doll features Relerford’s signature long legs. “They look so cute dangling from a toddlers grasp. I try to keep my designs consistent to this look. When creating a new animal, I have to decide if it fits in well with the rest of my dolls.”
Relerford handcrafts all of her patterning. “It usually starts with a crazy late-night idea and then converts to many trial and error dolls,” she laughed. “When I finally lock down the perfect pattern on a new animal doll, it is the best feeling.” She grew up watching her mother sew and crochet. “I would go to craft fairs with her and see her have much success. I picked up sewing because of my daughter Aria. Girl things are just so much fun to make,” she exclaimed. “I made her a fox doll and seeing how happy it made her, I knew I had to make more.” The Fox and Babe shop name refers to the first doll she ever made for Aria. “That is why my logo is so special to me. It is an actual photo of the fox doll and Aria.”
Relerford is proud of the shop’s direction and her commitment to diversity. “It started out as a hobby, with one craft show a year, and turned into a full time online shop.” In fact, Relerford’s husband recently decided to stay at home with the kids so she could transition to Fox and Babe full-time. “I love seeing the dolls go to their new homes and the adventures they get to go on,” she shared. “They give confidence and hugs to littles. The smiles on their faces are what make it all truly worth it.”
Don’t miss the next Fox and Babe restock! Check out past designs on the shop’s website and Instagram account here or message Relerford to customize your own doll.
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