One of my favorite American Girl doll “customer letters…”

Back in 2009 I didn’t have nearly as many dolls as I do now and Kirsten was the doll that brought in the most money for me. It was fun sewing for her making all kinds of dirndl’s using practically every print in my stash. The more combinations I made for her, the more popular my dresses became. One day I got a very special letter in the mail from a “Kirsten customer.” My heart just melted as I read it and I thought I’d share the letter with you…and then a picture she sent along…

“Dear Jeanne,
So, you’re probably wondering what kind of a crazy person spends that kind of money on a doll’s dress. (I’m wondering that myself.)

Some history: when the American Girls first came out in the 80’s and I saw the catalog, I fell in love with the Kirsten doll. I said, “If I were a little girl, that’s the doll I would buy.” Of course, I’m a grown-up, so buying the doll seemed out of the question. The years went by and my granddaughters, Hannah and Doris, came of American Girl age. I took them each in turn to New York City to buy the doll of their choice and even gave Hannah a day at the American Girl cafe and show as a Christmas present. I would always stop by the Kirsten case and tell the girls how much I loved the Kirsten doll. Of course, they much preferred Emily and the modern dolls to the old-fashioned pioneer girl.

Lo and behold, last Christmas, my husband surprised me with the Kirsten doll. I had no idea about it and was bowled over with happiness. Now when Hannah and Doris would come over, we would play with their dolls and my Kirsten. In fact, one day in October of this year when I was having Doris for an overnight, she brought in the mail. There was a letter from American Girl which I told her to open and read. It was then that I found out that Kirsten was to be “archived” – what a great euphemism. I was shocked because I hadn’t bought much for the doll and figured I had years to buy the dresses and so on. (In passing, I should mention that my two girls made signs saying “Save Kirsten,” that we carried around the store when we made our annual pilgrimage to the NYC store. In fact, at one point, while I was shopping with the girls, my husband was sitting on a bench with my Kirsten doll sitting next to him holding one of the signs and got into quite a few conversations with other Kirsten lovers about the “archiving” of the doll.)

After that day, I bought what outfits I could before everyone else bought 3 or 4 of every Kirsten dress to sell on Ebay. I also began to look for other doll clothes makers, and that’s how I came to your outfit. I loved the cap most of all and the apron made from the vintage handkerchief. The fact that I also had recently bought a small tree with Swedish style straw ornaments on it – well, your doll outfit with the ornaments seemed perfect. In addition, it was just such a joyful piece -the colors were so appealing.

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But, here’s the exciting part for you to know. I bid on the doll outfit early when it was about $35.00. Then I did nothing. The final night that your outfit was available, I was just like you. I was watching the price go up and up – and not bidding. I kept asking my husband, “Do you believe the price is this much -Oh no, now it’s that much. I don’t think I can even bid on it. What do you think? Do you think I should bid?” Now, I certainly didn’t need his permission to bid on it, but even I thought the price was very high – I had anticipated maybe $150 at the most – but I did love it. Finally, he said, “You only live once,” and I thought, “Why not? You’re right, let me put in a bid.” So I did – in the last 20 seconds. My heart was beating as yours was, I’m sure.

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Anyway, I love the outfit. Kirsten wore the outfit for Christmas and posed right next to the tree with the straw ornaments all through the holidays. One morning, I came down to find that my husband had found a tiny Nativity set and had set it up under the tree for me. He also managed to get me the Kirsten trunk on Ebay to keep her things in – they had quickly sold out of the store and online – so that was another surprise this Christmas.

I want you to know that the dress will have a good home and will certainly be worn by the doll every Christmas – and passed down to the little granddaughters later on – when they’re old enough to hear and understand the story of how much their crazy Grandma paid for Kirsten’s special Christmas dress.

The dress has brought me joy. I hope the fact that there were lots of people loving and bidding on the dress before me makes you feel even more special about your creations.

Sincerely… ________”

Isn’t that just the sweetest letter? That’s what motivates me to sew for these dolls!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Comments

  1. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Jeanne, that is a lovely letter from your client. Of course, she loved the dress. It is darling and perfectly suited to Kristen. I hope now she has a full chest of Kristen clothing to treasure forever. Doll people just have very special hearts.
    Sew on !!!

    • Hi Jeannie,
      I often wonder about my customers too, when they win a special dress from me. I hope she is still using it. I emailed her and told her I was going to feature her letter in my blog post today but she may have changed email addresses, as I haven’t heard back from her.
      You’re right, Doll people DO have very special hearts.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Customers such as this one make what we do even more special, don’t they? Every time I hear from an appreciative customer it just warms my heart and fills me with joy.

    This is such a wonderful doll story too. I love hearing about how dolls can still bring us such happiness no matter how old we get.

    I still feel that a new doll is the ultimate gift…followed by fabric, yarn, lace, tiny dolly props, etc. etc.

    • HI Cindy,
      So glad you enjoyed the story as I did. I’m sure all of us who sew get letters like this that make us so glad we were blessed with the gift of sewing, or knitting or whatever it is that we do.
      And I’m totally with you… a new doll is the ultimate gift!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. That is the best letter and I can imagine how thrilled you were to get it. I feel that way about the Little Darlings too. I was just going to get “one” so the clothes I make would fit
    correctly…well 3 dolls later….
    Have a great day!!

    • HI Kathie,
      Thanks for your comments… yes, I was thrilled to get that letter and I’ve got many more too. I know what you mean about “collecting” the Little Darlings… they are worse than potato chips!!! I have 3 and one on order…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Linda Doyle says:

    What a sweet letter and story about Kirsten! I always enjoy hearing about how doll collectors become interested in collecting, and how each story has such a personal meaning to it. I’m sure you were touched by the wonderful letter! Yes, I often wonder just who these “lucky” people are that can afford to get some of those “pricey” outfits. Looks like a lot of them are just ordinary people who enjoy their hobby! Maybe one day I will be one of them!

    • Hi Linda,
      It is VERY nice to hear from your customers and see what they are doing with what they bought from you. I get emails all the time and pictures sent to me. It’s very fun and so rewarding!
      Well, I certainly hope some day, when just the “right” outfit comes along you have “your” moment and get it!
      Thank you Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. What a nice letter. I’m sure it warmed your heart, as it did mine.
    Judi

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