The Trinket Box ~ Dolls & fashions by Kim Arnold
Kim has been designing doll fashions for many types of dolls over the years, but BJDs are now the focus of her creativity. For the first time, not only is she making beautiful doll clothing, she has also been creating her own dolls. Her 3rd doll, Olivia, will be released soon.
Q: When did you first become interested in BJDs?
A: Sewing outfits for dolls has always been a huge passion for me, starting many years ago with porcelain dolls. I used to teach porcelain doll making, and many of my clients did not know how to sew. I was asked over and over again to make doll clothing for my clients, so this is really how it all got started and that was way back in the 80’s. Then I sort of got busy with my children and set it all aside for a few years, till I discovered the reborn babies and decided to start designing little dress sets for them. I did that for a few years until I caught wind of the Himstedt dolls and I am pretty sure that was in 1995 when Annette came out with her children from around the world. I did not change over to BJD’s till Annette closed her factory up, but I do have to say that ball jointed dolls did always intrigued me, I just did not know too much about them till I decided to design outfits for them. It was a whole new world to me going from a huge 32 inch doll body to a small 18 inch resin body; a little shock to the system, but as it goes in life we always get used to change.
A: Yes, and I can assure you that this is what I love to do. I will always be designing outfits for other artist BJD’s and my own dolls. This is a huge part of who I am as an artist, and my customers love to have the their dolls dressed from head to toe.
Q: Do you take custom clothing orders?
A: I do take custom orders on occasion. Only because I am so busy now-a-days that time is limited to special requests, and I am no longer designing custom mohair wigs like I used to.
Q: Are your outfits all unique or do you make limited editions?
A: Funny you should ask, up until now all my designs are unique in their own way. I do duplicate designs but always change them up, making them different from each other. Now that I am sculpting my own dolls, I am venturing more and more into using my ideas to design limited edition shoes & boots, with the first pair of Trinket Box Boots due to come available to my customers in mid April. I am also working on my first limited edition dress set. I just finished picking out all the fabrics and trims. I am hoping to release the first limited edition of 30 sets sometime this summer. I have so many ideas for the future and look forward to bringing them to life.
Q: Do you only sell your dolls and clothing through your website, or do you also have retailers that carry your product?
A: I have a fairly large customer base, so mainly I sell to just the people who know me and through my web site and my Facebook page. I have had two doll retailers sell my items in the past, and I am always open to them selling my dolls and clothing in the future.
Q: What doll sizes do you sew For?
Q: What dolls have you collected for yourself, and are they used mostly as models?
A: I am so picky when it comes to collecting dolls. As far as BJDs, for me it’s always been a Kaye Wiggs doll, She has been my inspiration to love a ball jointed doll, and Nyssa was my very first BJD. I also love the Dollstown BJDs, and most recently I have acquired a Berdine Creedy Venus. I am now designing a few dress sets for Berdine and I really love her Venus. I use most of what I have in my little doll collection for modeling my designs.
Q: Can you tell me more about your first doll Cookie?
A: Cookie is actually my second BJD to be released in a limited edition of 35 worldwide. She was sculpted to be a quirky, comical out-of-the- ordinary little girl with so many personalities. I can design anything from a vintage dress set to her becoming a funny raggedy doll, and each time she has her own personality. That is so much fun! I ended up sending Cecile Boiron (Heliantas) 10 of my Cookie heads for her to work her magic with her amazing face-ups, and WOW did I ever get some fantastic Cookies!
Q: So then, could you tell me about your first BJD?
A: Elf Flower, she was limited to 30 dolls worldwide and is now sold out. Flower was MSD size, and she and Cookie share the same body. I enjoyed the full process of sculpting my very first BJD. It was a work and learn as you go process, and I have to say the elbow and knee joints are not my favorite thing to design, but as I continue to learn it does get easier. I also have to give Grace from Jpop Dolls credit for passing on to me all the information to get my first doll in the production stage.
Q: What doll will you be releasing next? Does she have the same body as Cookie?
A: My next doll to be released is Olivia. she is also MSD size, but she will have a completely new upper torso that is a bit slimmer than Flower and Cookie’s body. I felt that Olivia needed a more slimmed down little girl body, as I envision her as a sweet innocent little girl wearing vintage clothing.
Q: Tell me about the doll you are sculpting now, Michelle, and when she will likely be released.
A: Michelle is the first of my fresh and exciting idea of the “Trinket Box Kids”, a completely new adventure in designing a BJD that is going to be 20 inches tall and a bit more on the chunky side. For those who do not sew, this new size will be good for them because I have designed Michelle to be able to wear most of the American Girl clothing and also be able to use the American Girl furniture and accessories. My future plans are to design outfits and shoes for this new line of “Trinket Box Kids”. They are fully functional as any ball jointed doll would be, with changing eyes and wigs. I am hoping to have samples by the end of the summer 2014 as I would like to have them on display at Dollism 2014 in Buffalo, New York. Michelle is #1 in the series, and I am hoping to sculpt new heads over the next few months.
Photos above (from top): Kaye Wiggs doll in Vintage Bo Peep, Cookie, Elf Flower
Shoes (coming soon):