Here at Gigi Brooks we offer a fabulous range of knitted dolls, toys, blankets, pillows and bedding from Blabla Kids, a company that strives to inspire joy and laughter.
As well as being a firm favourite at HQ, the collection is incredibly popular with our clients and has even been featured by top lifestyle blogger and Youtube star, Hannah Maggs.
We recently caught up with Florence Wetterwald, one half of the talented duo behind the brand. First, we asked her to tell us more about how Blabla Kids came about...
'During a trip to Peru with my friend Susan Pritchett in 2001, we visited a village of artisan knitters. Upon our return to the US, we decided to create a company based on finger puppets that we found in a market. We've now been collaborating with the same artisans for over a decade.'
What's special about the brand?
'There is a handmade feel to all our products... There is the quality of the knitting, and the quality of the cotton; Peru has the best in the world.'
'The design is classic with a contemporary twist. The dolls seem modern, yet feel like old friends. There is a sensibility of tenderness involved with the design, and the personality of each character is unique.'
With so many wonderful characters within the collection, where do you find inspiration for new products and designs?
'French childhood memories, mainly. Also, I use the kids around me as muses, and I use my kids as inspiration. I love old children’s books. I love the design of Japan and Denmark.'
Can you describe your working process, from initial idea to finished product?
'I follow my intuitions of the moment. I read a lot, I dream and wake up and scribble things down. I am always sketching drawings, and brainstorming ideas. I have worked with the same skilled knitters for many years. They had never made dolls before, only sweaters; so it took us a while to develop the basic shape. It still takes a long time to create each one. Between the research for the character, the initial sketches, the first prototype and the many changes to get it “just right”, it often takes 6 months and 2 trips to Peru.'
Blabla dolls seem to embody playful fun. What do you like to do for fun?
'I love to ride my bike, and garden, and sail. I love to travel. During the summer I love to spend time in France. During the rest of the year, I try to spend time at my bungalow on Goat Island near Charleston.'
Which three things never fail to make you smile?
'Watching people climb knotted ropes. Watching my chickens meander around my back yard. Donkeys, anytime.'
If you or your little one needs something that will raise a smile, shop our collection of Blabla dolls and toys here. Which character do you like best?
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