A Decision

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have decided to start selling custom made American Girl Bitty baby and American Girl doll clothes.

    (I can't recall if I mentioned that sometime back or not)

    I need more income than what sitting for easy child's boys is bringing in.......and no job nibbles. Crocheting is keeping me sane (equate it to biting ones nails, it keeps the hands busy) by giving me something to do with nervous energy, and surprisingly the side effect is I'm smoking at least 1/3 what I was. It keeps my mind busy as I develop my own patterns, which is not so easy. It allows me to be creative. Doll clothes are relatively fast to make.

    I'm planning to start with Bitty Baby mainly and see how that goes, then add in more things for the 18" american girl doll. I have a ton of ideas of things to make, but there is only one ME to make them so far. lol (I'm thinking of ways for Nichole to help me and she can get the profits from her pieces)

    The point to it all: Is for a little girl to have "baby clothes" for her doll baby that look real and are quality made, won't fall apart, rip or tear with constant use. (which is what happens with the cheaply made doll clothes one finds in stores for pretty much the same prices I intend to charge)

    Aubrey is my tester. And she gives me honest feedback. lol Like the booties I made her for xmas 2010 were cute, but weren't staying on the doll very well much to her frustration. So, I've designed a pair to custom fit bitty baby's foot/leg, the result is a booty that not only fits and stays on, it looks even better. As a tester, Aubrey of course gets all the proto types / demo outfits (for pics) as her "pay". lol

    The past 48 hrs I've been obsessing over patterns. Several of these are basic patterns that can be easily modified into other articles of clothing. Such as the booties, which can be modified into a pair of winter boots, or the basic top that can be modified into several varieties of tops as well as sweaters, the panties that can be modified into capris or a pair of pants, a sun suit, or a pair of overalls. And so it goes.......... One thing leads to another, then another, then yet another. :rofl:

    I finished off with designing my first spring outfit. I may have to ask for ideas for the name of it cuz all I could come up with was Spring Lilacs and that is sort of lame. in my opinion It has a infant hat, sleeveless top, panties, and booties. Colors are lilac and white. Hence the name.

    I'm going to design a couple more outfits before putting them up for sale. There will be inexpensive sets as well as expensive ones. They will be priced to cover the cost of materials and time involved.

    I was considering just taking orders.....but I think at first I might make some up and then just sell them and see how they do for a while. If it catches on, then I may have to do custom orders cuz like I said there is only one me.

    The nice thing about it is that I take my crochet with me to easy child's when I watch the boys.......so I'm working while I'm working. lol (gives me something to do while they're playing or watching Sponge Bob)

    I've thought about this for more than a year now. I didn't want to rush into it. I wanted to make sure it was something I wanted to try.

    I might be totally off my nut, but the worse that can happen is that Aubrey will end up with a LOT of doll clothes. (which would happen anyway lol )

    Nichole is planning to visit tomorrow unless the roads get bad. She's going to look at my camera, if she can't get it to work she'll show me how to take pics with my cell so I can post the new outfit. :)
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sounds good on all fronts! Now, dont take this personally okay???? I am a non smoker (and by the way, congrats on the reduction, that is HUGE , I grew up in a smoking household and my mom has fought this, still does.... I really feel for anyone stuck on smoking, expensive and not fun to try to quit)

    So, that said... I can always tell when my mom gives Q something, even if brand new. If it is in her car or was in her home for any period of time it smells like smoke. If you are planning to sell them, I would just suggest a way to keep smoke smell off or freshen them just before mailing. Even the mailing envelopes will smell like smoke (my mom gives me books and it smells of smoke even if she does not smoke around them... it just picks it up from being there and she smokes only outside!)

    I am sensitive to it but just thought I'd mention it so you can plan for it. I think if I had need for that (and after being at MOA where there is an american doll store that walks right onto the amusement park and is always FULL of kids) I would buy your stuff for sure! So if you can get repeat business it would be wonderful and that is the only reason I mention the smoke smell. As I say, I am very sensitive to the issue and really really not critical of it being such a hard thing to stop. So please I beg you not to take it as a criticism. Just a suggestion from the perspective of potential customers who by the way are gonna make you rich! I just think this is a wonderful idea and I wish I could do it myself.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What a cool idea! It sounds like fun for you, little money required to get it going, and certainly nothing depressing and there would have to be a market for this. You even have your own personal advisor. LOL!

    You might want to check and make sure there are no laws preventing you from declaring them as American Girl dolls- well, just find out the legal way to advertise them so you aren't infringing on AG territory and you should be good to go!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    No offense taken buddy. It's a very valid point. :) And I am trying to quit.

    I have considered this and what I could do to help with the issue. Smoking outside, surely will help some, but like you said.......sometimes that is not enough. So I thought, well, I was going to "package" them in generic freezer bags to keep them clean, what if I tossed in a fabric softener sheet with them? I dunno if that would work or not. I can't do a lot about the envelop though.

    klmno all I have to say is they're made to fit 16"- 18" dolls such as Bitty baby and American Girl. I've seen enough people word it that way for whatever dolls they're gearing their stuff to fit.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Maybe keep the packaging in a garage??? Do you have a place like that? I think the dryer sheet is a wonderful idea. And if you hang them in a garage or outside space until you mail them???
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I have an idea for the outfit: Lilac Breeze. :)
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    TM wow! that's so much better than mine!! :)

    buddy.......the only room I have separate from the house is the family room, it's where I go to smoke in really bad weather, so that wouldn't work. Hmm, I rarely smoke there though, only like if it's pouring outside or 10 degrees with a killer windchill. (keeps me from either drowning or having to endure frigid winter wind) I don't have a garage, or anything resembling one.

    Guess I could rub down the envelop with a dryer sheet or spray it with fabreeze right before taking it to the post office? I'm thinking of that commercial where they've got these people sitting and smelling the most disgusting things and fabreeze has them thinking their somewhere else. lol
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    For the clothes themselves, crochet can be laundered... The afghan I just finished went straight into the washer due to the cats, dogs, etc. during the 3 months it took to make it. SO, wash them right before sending.

    Keep the envelopes/packaging in a sealed plastic bag with a dryer sheet. They will be fine.

    I have a super-sensitive nose - even when smoking I could smell when Onyxx had been around someone who did. Imagine what it was like for me a week or so after I quit! LOL (again, I was pregnant then, so... Sigh... It was horrible, what with husband's bio diesel & used vegetable oil - YECH!)

    And - I LOVE YOUR IDEA!!!!!
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think it's a wonderful idea Lisa! Does your community have a "trader" or "shopper"page on Facebook? If they do, that might be another place you could advertise and it's free.

    Something else you might think about for the future ... can you do little sweaters? To fit dogs? People willingly fork over $25-$30 or more for nice dog sweaters and even more for ones that are custom made to fit the dog. I know people who do this and do very well at it. And if you sew, I know a girl who makes t-shirts and fleece hoodie sweatshirts for dogs and has more orders than she can handle! Hers all started because her own dog is allergic to grass. She was making little t-shirts for her to wear outside to cover her belly so the grass didn't make her skin break out and people started asking her to make them for their dogs too. And I know another girl who makes lovely blankets for dogs out of two layers of cute patterned fleece with a pretty hand-crocheted border around them. She gets $25 a piece for them!
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Careful with using dryer sheets... its amazing how many people are sensitive to scents.
    I'd be more inclined to get a large plastic storage container - the ones that "seal" - to store your stuff in - and then, into that, stick one of those fridge-fresheners, or a box of baking soda. Those absorb scents without adding other scents.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH I absolutely LOVE it!
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thanks buddy :)

    Do you think asking 15.00 would be too much? There are 4 pieces to the set; a top, panties, hat, and the booties.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH heck no and I might say 20 but two for 35 or something like that.
  15. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think you could easily get at least $20-$25 for them. Doll clothes that you buy in the stores are usually very expensive and nowhere near as nice as yours!
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    20.00, huh? What's bad is I know I'd pay that much. lol Ok, guess I'll adjust the price a tad. I want to be careful not to go too high. I want to make a profit for sure, but want them to be affordable too.

    The original appeal of the American Girl dolls were that they were high quality with the same high quality accessories. The woman who came up with the idea wanted heirloom dolls that could be played with and enjoyed and passed down. A shame she sold out to one of the toy companies. The quality went noticeably down right after and I haven't bought a thing from them since. (both mother in law and I spent a small fortune on the stuff over the years for both easy child and Nichole) And now they don't even have half the stuff they used to have, none of the cute sets Nichole has for her bitty baby doll. I know we paid 20-30.00 per outfit back in the 90's when we were buying them. Didn't bat an eye.

    My girls so very much enjoyed that. They still have their dolls and their sets, both originals, all original sets to go with them. The doll in the picture is the original bitty baby. Aubrey plays with the 2nd edition that mother in law bought for Nichole because she thought perhaps she'd like a doll that looked more like her.......only Nichole wasn't giving up her "Ashley" baby for no new doll. lol So it got tucked away and last year Aubrey got to have her.

    I'd like Aubrey to have the same experience. She's still too young to play with some of the sets that were bought for Nichole's doll (they were pretty elaborate) and due to them now out of circulation and originals.....well, want to make sure she can care for them properly first......So this way she has her own originals for her doll too, that maybe someday she can pass down along with Nichole's doll stuff. Nichole still has some of the doll clothes I made for hers as well.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Look, you can always put them on "sale" but as you said, for the outfits, they are truly expensive and anyone buying these has the money. NOW, many have knock offs now thru the big box stores and so when you sell them saying they fit any doll such as whatever (good idea as was suggested to see if you can state the actual name) so it opens it up to those who sell the ones that look like those.

    I loved the babies when they came out, all the girls had them. I will post them on my FB when you get pics together, I bet lots of friends would do that for you.
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just thinking how cute it would be to make a sweater in s, m, l for the KIDS to wear to match the sweaters... OMGOSH do you know how many people would snatch up your clothes??? That is what the american girl store does and I am shocked that those expensive clothes sell... and you can only wear them once in a while... if you do a sweater.... just to coordinate, then that would be much more practical... you could do headbands too.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yeah we couldnt do the AG doll for Keyana this year so we did Madame Alexander. I had no idea she would be cheaper! We got her the doll and the horse for less than one AG doll. We will need some clothes though!
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    buddy, I might be able to do that. Crocheted sweaters (in my opinion) are much easier to do, and alter for a doll, than a knitted one.......but I'm not great at knitting so that could be why I feel that way. lol I've been toying with doing a set like that for Aubrey for her birthday......actually was thinking matching ponchos as it would be too warm for sweaters in May, and Aubrey wants a poncho. Hat and scarf sets would be cute for next winter too.

    I was thinking of creating a fb group page for the selling as another way to take in orders. And someone said something about our community having fb pages for such and yeah we're up to like 5 of them and I already belong to them all watching for steals lol Have my eye on a gorgeous cedar chest no one else seems interested in but me, and waiting for the price (already affordable) to go down. Travis is a premium seller on ebay (or whatever they call it) and he said he'd post them for me too.

    Now as to this custom order deal, do people mind waiting for stuff to be made? Cuz if by chance it really takes off.........like I said, I'm one person. I can only do so much so fast. I've found patterns to make actual bitty baby type shoes, sandals ect and I'm pretty sure Nichole would have fun making those for me. They're made out of foam and felt ect and sewn together. Would like her to practice up on her crochet skills so she can help me with orders too.....but that will take time and practice, and learning to read my patterns. (which I can write without abbreviations for her if I have to)

    I know there is a lady online who sews cloth clothes that are adorable as all get out, but I noticed she's been doing it a while and she seems to make the season ahead, when they're sold out, they're out until the next season comes in. So far I've not been able to time it right to get an order in. :(

    Janet I never heard of Madame Alexander until you talked about her here. I saw some of the dolls in the store and thought how pretty they are, and you're right, much cheaper than american girl. I can't speak for the dolls quality but I know the accessories are not the same at all. The last thing mother in law bought for Nichole was a crib offered shortly after the major toy company took over.......it broke within 3 months and she was careful with it. (she was like 9 at the time for Pete's sake) It was really expensive, and I was so ticked off. She'd had the original wicker baby basket since the age of 5 and it looked brand new. ugh I'm glad Keyana was wise enough to leave her with Daddy. She's a smart cookie. :)