author: Jennifer Giesbrecht
What an amazing opportunity to sit down, have a cup of coffee and write a wee little article for you to enjoy (at least I hope you do). I guess I get to be one of the exceptions on the Adoption Magazine, I was asked to write up about my new little business venture and how I came upon doing it!
My husband and I adopted our son Job from Ethiopia in October, 2011. At the beginning of our wait, I was introduced to another lady that was also waiting for a daughter from Ethiopia. She brought her home shortly after we met, and I started looking for little gifts here and there for this beautiful little girl. I went to the big box toy store to look for a Black Doll in our smaller city. Looking at the HUNDREDS of pink and purple boxes down the BIG long aisle, I realized how sad that really is; I couldn’t for the life of me find a Black Doll. I asked one of the associates if they had one. She took me back down the same aisle I was in and grabbed the box and said ‘this is the only one we have’. I debated in my head of whether I should start to laugh or educate this girl on what black people look like. The box I was holding was a slightly darker shade of cream. I left empty handed!
One day I came across a pattern at my local quilt shop for an ADORABLE doll! ‘Ruby Lou Doll’ Designed by sewmuchado.blogspot.com. I realized that I could make my OWN black doll! I made up two dolls and gifted them for two little friends. I took a picture of the dolls and posted it on Facebook. A couple of other friends expressed their interest if I were to sell the dolls. So I acquired a limited license to sell these adorable dolls and just opened an Etsy shop to sell them to you all!!! I made up 5 dolls right away and have 20 other dolls in the works!! I named the shop ‘Konjo Handmade’ by Jennifer Giesbrecht. The word ‘Konjo’ in Amharic (one of the main languages spoken in Ethiopia) means ‘Beautiful’. I truly love all the dolls I make so much; I think they are so beautiful and I’m so happy to know I’m helping find joy within little girls out there knowing there is a doll that looks like them! My mind is swirling with the possibilities of making other nationalities of dolls cuz I know other adoptive Mommas will be interested for their children for sure! BUT before I start making all those, I know of a special little 2-year-old that would LOVE a little Black boy doll –so that’s next on my list to create!