“I’m just like country. I’m young, scrappy and hungry.” – Hamilton
In 2017, Lauren Piland began hand sewing cloth dolls and related accessories from her kitchen table in Garner, North Carolina. “I started Scrappy Little Studio after my oldest daughter Amelia asked for a doll for her birthday. I couldn’t find one that was perfect for her, so I decided to make one,” she recalled. “It took several tries after reading every book on doll making I could find to get it just right. I loved the process so much, I decided to keep going and thus Scrappy Little Studio was born. My little shop has grown so much and I couldn’t be more grateful for it.” The meaning behind the shop name is actually a double entendre. “I used scraps of fabric passed to me by friends left over from quilts and other projects to make the first dolls, so in that sense, they were scrappy dolls. But, also, I like to think that they are scrappy little dolls that can hold their own,” she laughed. I always appreciate a good pun.
Scrappy Little Studio produces heirloom-quality dolls that are genuinely intended for play. “They are all fully lined and double stitched to make them durable,” Piland explained. “I hope these are the dolls children love so much they keep them to pass down to future generations. My 20″ dolls are also one-of-a-kind, making each doll truly special.” Each cloth companion features an embroidered face, a wool felt nose and high quality fabrics to inspire creativity and imaginative play. “I feel like every time I make a new doll, I say, ‘Now this one is my favorite!’” she joked. “My most popular design has got to be the unicorn doll. I can hardly keep them in stock!”
Piland’s design choices are often influenced by her materials. “Sometimes I see a color combinations I like, sometimes it is the fabric itself. I find I am especially drawn to whimsical designs and floral prints.” Her own children, however, are Piland’s greatest source of inspiration. “They both love creating and making art. Amelia is the most creative person I know,” she exclaimed. “She will pick a fabric combination that I would have never thought of! They both often have strong opinions on what I should make next.”
Speaking of what she is making next, Piland launched a brand new collection in collaboration with daughter Amelia. “I have some new exciting things in the works coming out soon! These dolls are smaller then my one-of-a-kind 20″ dolls, but just as durable,” she shared. “They are animal dolls only, the designs are a little simpler and they will be a little better for smaller kids. The first collection is a bunny ballerina named ‘The Amelia Collection.’” Adopt your own scrappy pal from the Scrappy Little Studio site and “like” the shop’s Facebook page for updates on the new collection.