(Note: Long post. Grab a cuppa java and enjoy. Or not)
It was August of 1997.
I had walked into a doll shop that opened in my small town.
My life was forever changed, in more ways than one.
My life was forever changed, in more ways than one.
It was a place you could go to be creative on so many levels.
I learned how to make a porcelain doll and I was in enjoying it!
This is Brandy and she was my very first doll.
Created her from Start to Finish.
As you work on your doll, she comes to life ever so slowly.
When she was complete I even got a few tears,
because they do come to life in a 'dolly' sort of way.
I wanted to make an indian doll and make authentic clothing.
The only thing authentic about the dress, is it is made of leather and beading.
I made the shoes of rabbit fur.
I wanted to make a very unique doll.
And she turned out the best ever!
I had her sitting in the corner of my room, and her eyes would follow you everywhere!
Her whiskers are 'real' cat whiskers.
I would find them laying on the floor, gifts left from my cats,
and would pick them up and save them.
She is the ONLY Doll I sold.
And she is the ONLY Doll I wished I still had!
Then there was a doll show in Portland.
I was encouraged to enter my creations.
Other local entrants.
My dolls in the show.
They only got second, but it was a start.
Then the media picked up on the doll shop.
(Just click on any photo and will open in a new window bigger.)
Something started to happen about September of that year.
7 of us became a sort of 'family'.
Everyone showing up to work on their children.
I was just as excited to see a new one come to life as the creator was.
Ideas started to circulate.
And someone came up with:
The story begins:
"HOW 'ARK BABIES' CAME TO BE....
It is believed that 'Ark Babies' are made by "Earth Angels" who go quietly about their daily lives and look just like everyone else. However..... they are much different inside because they are the ones who have been touched by some of life's most difficult moments.
One by one they rose up to begin anew. Knowing that though their lives were forever changed. They were to go on because there was something very special for each of them to do.
What they did not know was when they were ready, God sent special angels to wipe their tears away and that started the healing of their hearts. Gentle angel kisses on their brows brought comfort and peace. Then the angels kissed their fingertips and each of the "Earth Angels" awakened little by little and went forth on their special journeys.
Because of what they had known and felt, they were the ones chosen to create the "Ark Babies". Each was given a gift of love to touch another's life. Not by words, but by being blessed to give each "Ark Baby" their own expression which need no words.
You will know which "Ark Baby" was made especially for you. They speak no audible words but they speak with such love and reach out to you and touch your heart. They are heavenly little messengers that speak his loving care for you.
Two weary and dusty travelers met quite unexpectedly and quickly realized that they were to be his special messengers to tell everyone about the "Ark Babies".
After the great flood when it seemed almost all had been lost, a new beginning was given and so it is with the "Ark Babies". Every precious moment and memory or a new life is retained here and can't be lost, only cherished from here on.
Written by 'Earth Angel': Charlene Auger.
We put our hearts into these babies.
The owner of the doll shop worked hard at promoting these babies.
We had a booth at our local fair:
B. Goodies Doll Shoppe
Brenda: Owner of the doll shop next to the Ark Babies.
What a hit they were!
We sold so many that weekend.
It really boosted our spirits and gave us hope!
(The newspaper once again wrote a story.
And yes, that is me on the right!)
Hope because the 7 of us really believed in these babies.
They meant so much, and for different reasons.
When you held an Ark Baby, you held 'Love'.
Always a smile came to the face of the holder.
They weighted and felt just like holding a baby.
(This was a one of a kind gorilla, special order)
Each one had an expression all their own.
They all came with a tag, with a logo
"I" had designed.
Along with a brochure with the story of the Ark Baby.
And each baby came with a certificate
which had their birth date and Earth Angels creators name.
So we went into full production.
We held weekly meetings.
We contacted a lawyer and an accountant, about:
Copy right issues.
Trade Mark Issues.
The Doll Shop owner took
The 'Ark Babies' to a Trade show In Seattle.
Someone 'important' picked up on these babies.
(At least we were told they were important.)
First line of this reads:
"After a week of showing Ark Babies, I am more excited than ever regarding the future sales of your product."
They wanted us to go into full production.
So we did.
Lots of slip was ordered.
Earth Angels were pouring heads, feet and arms,
just about 24 hrs a day.
Other angels were cleaning, and painting, and sewing.
I was keeping books, and creating brochures, and tracking everything.
With all of this, came the shortage of cash.
See we were not really making money yet, and the doll shop was barely surviving.
So Earth Angels started to chip in monies.
(Slip was the major expense.)
Without slip, we could not make the 'Ark Babies'.
From each doll that was created,
that creator was to make approximately $49.00.
As the orders came in though,
Earth Angels were encouraged to turn 'their' money
back into the business.
This was suppose to be a good thing,
because these baby's were very popular,
and people were purchasing them.
Then a major company wanted to sign on and
distribute these 'Ark Babies.'
Then the meetings started to go by the way side,
because everyone was so busy creating.
Then one morning I woke up,
and was told,
there wasn't any more
The 7 of us were 'no longer'!
Yep, the owner wanted it all, and dis-banned the group!
"IF" we still wanted to be a part of it,
she would pay US $25.00 per doll!
I kept waiting to see these babies all over.
Even today if I Google search,
or any form of the name,
NOTHING comes up!
Oh, a bunch of Noah's Ark stuff does,
but none of these sweet little things.
I am not sure what ever happened,
but I know that when the '6' of us were kicked off the team,
the 'Ark Babies' became nothing.
'Someone' saw $$$$$$ and got greedy.
And my thoughts are:
These baby's started from love, and when that love turned to greed,
they did not want any part of it, and nothing went forward,
and the 'Ark Babies' went back to where they came from.
That Christmas I started to see these form of dolls all over the place.
Their heads were vinyl, not porcelain.
They were also much smaller, and were not as cute nor as special.
But someone DID take our idea!
So If you, OWN, SEE, HEAR of any of our 'Ark Babies'
know that they were created out of LOVE!
One last note:
The red bear we boxed up with the certificate, tag, and brochure with a letter, and sent it OPRAH!
She sent it back with a letter stating she can not accept "GIFT'S!"
It was NOT sent to her as a gift,
the letter explained that!
We were hoping to go on her show and debut the babies there.
But it was not to be.
She DID NOT ACCEPT GIFTS!