www.inthedollworld.com Join Tammy and Georgette as they talk with Cleveland Wycoff aka Cj Starz as he shares how he got started designing dolls, his love for this medium and how he is creating a new line of dolls with his newest company Studio XOXO!
Studio XOXO!’s Mission Statement: Studio XOXO!’s mission is to produce beautiful, high quality, ethnically diverse fashion dolls influenced by real people. Studio XOXO!’s vision is to create alternative choices for doll consumers who seek real world relatability and urban style authenticity.
Studio XOXO! has recently formed our Young Adult Collector Label aimed and addressing the ever-changing world of millennial Tweens/Teens while creating products that will capture their attention.
Cleveland has also established several doll groups: Founding member of the Black and Beautiful Doll Club and Social Life Dollwear group on Faceboook
Thank you so much for listening to In The Doll World, if you enjoyed the show, please click on the "reviews" tab or send us a voicemail and let us know.
We look forward to bringing you more amazing doll creators and creatives within the Doll Community. Until next time, add a little joy into your world by collecting a doll, sharing a doll or giving a doll a home.
in the dog world would like to welcome our gas. Cleveland Cleave Like Off, also known as C J stars in 2016 Cleveland Creative Social Life Dahlia, a line of dog clothing for 16 inch fashion dolls and was met with such success that he was featured in the Heart Doll final issue of December 2016 which then he followed up his success with Social Life Doll. In November 2018 his limited edition resin pieces were praised by collectors and hailed as a breath of fresh air in black dog collecting. In late 2019 he introduced Studio XO XO, and they will be featuring the first introduction into the 12 inch doll market with shade downtown line of products. Cleave has devoted his life to black dark collecting. For over 20 years, he has established the following doll collecting groups, founding member of the black and beautiful Don Club as well, a Social Life Dollar, a group on Facebook. Let's welcome Cleveland to the show and let's get this show started. Hello, everybody and welcome to In the Dog World Show, spotlighting the Passion and the people of the Donald community with your host me. Jet Taylor, former vice president and co found a big beautiful dolls and Tammy Fisher on Earth. Curiosity. Each dolls and collectibles join us as we talked to a feature Fascinating Dolls and Donald orders from avid collectors to re painters, re designers, lagers, authors, filmmakers and all the people in between. If they share their journeys, give us glimpses into their processes and what propels their passion and drive that helped to keep the doll world moving and shaking. Here are your host, your jet and Tammy.
Thank you, everyone for joining us today, and I'm super excited to be able to introduce you to someone who I'm excited about meeting and knowing more about today we're going to be interviewing Cleave Wykoff. He is also known as C J Stars online, and he has recently produced a beautiful line of full fit. Good. I'm trying to figure beautiful dolls. We see so many thin, you know, the thin framed all these air thoughts that are built like women. So I'm excited to talk to cleave about his doll so we'll start there. So, cleave, won't you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a doll maker.
No, thank you so much for having me today. Um, I'm really excited about this. Um, yeah, my dolls have had quite a maturity. Let me tell you that much. Um, you know, I kinda came from ah, home where, you know, young from a young age, I was able to be creative, but I didn't always have a lot of access to dolls, but dolls were always really near and dear to my heart and my mom, uh, you know, she kind of sneak some things in by my dad's back in, you know, and let me be a little bit more creative and expressive. So at a younger age, you know, I did have, you know, passion for dolls. And as I got older, it became, you know, something that I took on as being a collector. You know, um, like many people out there, you know, getting into the craze of collecting all these different amazing dolls. And when I started collecting dolls, Um, probably about 20 years ago. Um, you know, we didn't see as much diversity as we're seeing now. You know, Mattel was doing a lot of, you know, really good.
You know, African
American versions of Barbie and whatnot. But, you know, I was coming out at a time where I wanted to see more diversity. So, you know, I became a collector of what I could get my hands on, and then collecting became a little bit of dull activism where I started, you know, really getting in contact with a lot of these different companies and requesting more black dolls on request being, you know, allow the different features that we weren't seeing at that time. And it got to a point where I felt like I was becoming a stalker. You know what
you know, telling them how to run their business and, you know, and then it's a light bulb went off at a certain point, um, where, you know, Like I said, I progressed from being, you know, a collector and a fan to activists. And then it's just a light bulb, just kind of went on the city. You know what? Maybe I
start kind of tryingto take some of this on myself, and I started kind of beginning my journey. A cz, a designer and as a creator of dolls, and it definitely wasn't easy. You know, there were problems. There probably be a lot of other creators that
are out there. But,
you know, I really I kind of had to take a step back one day and look at some of, you know, the comments that, uh, you know, I made, you know, in terms of certain exchanges, heated exchanges back and forth are certain, you know, message boards for adult collectors. And, you know, many of us were very passionate about, um, you know what we wanted to see from certain companies. And, um, you know, some people may have misinterpreted some of my passion for being angry or fired up, but, you know, I guess you know, there was a certain level of fire for me because, you know, it's a passion for me. It's, you know, the doll making, and especially in the area of diversity of black dolls and black mixed dolls that, you know, that's my, um that's my heart, you know. So I really wanted to see more of that from certain makers, and, you know, like I said, I had to take a step back and saying, you know, wait a minute, you know, instead of, you know, being the person that's being so fired up about, you know, other companies taking on this challenge. I just put my money where my mouth waas and decided to kind of get into the game myself. And, um, you know, it started for me. Ah, probably a good 5 to 6 years ago is where I really started wanting to step into the arena slowly on gathering. Certainly, resource is to make it all happen because there's really no shortcut. Like I said before, you know, to really pull all this stuff together, So it takes a lot of time. You know, it takes a lot of time to find the right resource is and and vetting, You know, your factories and, um, sculpting work in all of these different things that go into creating dolls. But, you know, I started slowly, you know, with clothes, doll clothes. And, um, and I designed a line of 16 inch doll clothes, which was socialite doll where and that was my first arena into professional manufacturing of doll goods. And that was a really exciting time for me, and that was to ride around 2016. And, um, no, the line was doing well, but I knew that I wanted to do dolls. I really wanted to, um, feel the diversity gaps in different areas of dolls. Not just your traditional 12 inch, you know, vinyl Barbie style dolls. I want it. Also reach the collect high end collector market of residence where I felt that black dolls in particular in the 16 inch area. There weren't a lot of dolls that I felt Where, um is, uh, authentic is, I'd like in terms of representing, um, a beautiful black woman. So I wanted to take on that challenge for the resin market for my first doll. And that's where I transitioned socialite doll wear into the social life. Dole, Um, that was presented for order, um, last November, and, um and I've just been working on a few different things since then. But, um, in a nutshell, that's kind of my journey. Um, how it kind of started getting into this initially, you know what it was for me was one in Seymour diversity and just taking on the charge of making it happen. But it definitely came with a lot of behind the scenes sacrifices and stumbles and falls and bumps and bruises, different things that, you know, I learned along the way. But, um, you know, I made this my mission on, um I'm totally committed to it. And I'm really excited to be able Thio present some things from the market really soon. So, um yeah, that's cool. Need for in the mess.
That school. Another thing that you brought up was this is your mission. Your goal. And from reading your bio, I see that this is just the tip of the iceberg you're talking about doing lots of other things. Animation. And how are you in a Are you in a position now where you can talk about the future? Or that's something you are still working on? And you don't? I don't know how much of that you want to talk about?
Sure. No. I mean, I could tell, you know, little little tidbits. Studio XO, XO. Yes, you're right. You know, the dolls that you know I've done so far as well. As you know, a couple of the things that are gonna be day viewing really soon really are the tip of iceberg. They're just a small introduction to what I want. Studio XO XO to be, um, it's not just about making the Beatles for the sake of making pretty dolls, because, I mean, let's be honest, there's there's a lot of beautiful dolls out here. You know,
but for me, it's it's It's about creating, um, opportunities and spaces that we just haven't seen before with, um, other makers. And for me, that is a representation of urban lifestyle in the way of the dolls as well as, um, some animation pieces that are being worked on to kind of create stories behind some of the characters that I'm going to be introducing people, too. And I'm kind of creating a world that the collectors can take part in. Um, you know, seeing a small little webisodes and that sort of day, um, it's gonna be pretty exciting. There's some story really strong story based things that are coming down the pipeline. And yeah, I will introduce opportunities for, um, music and other short content in animation and things to come out of those particular properties. But I'll be introducing everybody to that, um, closer to 2021. But Yeah, but yet there's gonna be some really cool things that are being worked on right now, and I'll be available to kind of throw them out there and introduce everybody's slowly, but surely for the year.
We'll reach out to you later on to and get an update on what's going on. So
let me ask us So So basically what I hear from you, really is that you're just taking your taking the dogs that you're creating and you're kind of merging them into into the entertainment world as apart as part of creating storylines and having people to be able to get a feel for their characters and also to kind of listen to their story and see where they're going, what they're doing. So it kind of merging. You're not just a doll world, but the entertainment world as well.
Exactly. And I'm doing this for a from a standpoint again, from, you know, the more of adult collector stand
going. I'm so
you know, this would be something for the younger audiences there. He is going to be a proper property for, you know, the more Tween market, you know, the fans that loved things like brats and my scene. There's something really, really cool that's coming. And I'm actually doing that, um, co designing that all with with my niece,
only. So she is, you know, super influential in this particular line up. But, uh, yeah, there's gonna be these things that are gonna be coming fun for us adult collectors to congregate, You know, the inside track on some of these interesting characters that will be coming out with some of these properties that are gonna be happening. So, you know, I do wanna have yes, absolutely emerging of entertainment. Um, and, you know, and also, you know, the opportunity to be able to do collector dolls of some of our Urbani cards that, you know, that will be really, really cool. I have a couple of things there works right now that are really gonna e fun. I
get to be
really fun. Uh, so it's gonna be a different kind of. It's going to be a different kind of doll company in general, you know? And again, you know, I want a center of this all around, you know, urban hip hop. Um, you know, celebrating, um, the culture in a way that's authentic in true. I think that, you know, I really want to handle this with care. It's not a it's not a corporate agenda for me that will be around for a season or two. And then, you know, it's on to something else. You
creating a lifestyle, Um, and brands that really reflect, um, culture. And, you know, it's a culture that I'm a part of, that I'm really proud to be able to present this work. Um, to those that, um, that I've been, you know, speaking with the years bed. Now, I wish there was a doll that had this which there was a doll that can It was fuller figured, curvy. And, you know, I had a bigger, bigger, you know, but junk in the chart. You know,
that they wanted, you know, and I've been right along there with them, and, you know, this is a chance for me to be ableto presented in a way that's authentic. And it's done with respect. Um, and it's it's all done with love.
Yeah, that's Rahmat. Think that's important, right? To do it with respect and love, I definitely think that's important when you're showcasing, you know, dolls that look like you know, your community looked like the devil that, you know, you know, that's really very important. So the other thing I definitely liked about what you're doing in that space is that you're creating opportunities for so many people to be involved in it. It's not just you creating a doll, you know, you're you're bringing me other people, other artists and, you know, just like with your with your knees and just other opportunities from music And, you know, animation and other giving opportunities, you know, to other people to have jobs and to create and to be on that Oh
my gosh, you're definitely seeing my vision, Yes, but that is exactly what I want And, you
and in the big reason why it's so important to me is because there's a lot of talent that is out there, you know, I see it every day, you know, on Instagram. You know, I see amazing visionaries that air taking dolls and they're twisting them around and they're making their own spin on things, and it's like, you know, these air artists and creators in the making, you know, and and and don't always have the resource is to be able to step into their dream position, you know, making, you know, doll garments and, you know, patter making or whatever the case may be. Well, with studio XO, XO, a big part of what we want to do is, you know, partnering with, um, community organizations that are really harvesting things and the arts and the communities where, um, especially use of color or having access to some of these resources. And you know, that's a big part of what we want to be able to do is partner with some of them and also be able to create some things that are specialized around, um, harvesting creativity around the dollar. Some
Yeah. So there's gonna be a lot of different things that we want to do that's gonna create different opportunities for artists to have. Resource is tools and ah, place that they can go in harvest, you know, meet other. No people around them that maybe, you know, interested in the doll arts as well. And they
have a space where they can come together and harvest some of that you know, creativity and skill building. And, you know, I just don't think there's enough of that out. And that's a big part of what you know. We want to be ableto create in those spaces as well as you know, some other big plans that we have
create growth, especially in the Vegas area, which is the home state of studio exile. Like so right now, you know, we're small and, you know, in growing, but, you know, definitely gonna be creating some opportunities here, um, people to just, you know, be a part of this as well. So I'm really excited about that.
You know? You know Cleveland of the thing when you were talking, one of the things that came up in my mind about you presenting these opportunities to all of these amazing, you know, young or old, you know, creative people in this doll in a doll world was that gives him opportunity to have somebody there who has been through the process, you know, and opportunity to see how a doll is made. Howard dollars created because I know when I was doing big, beautiful dollars back, you know, 25 years ago. It's been a long time since I did that. But, you know, our thing was that there was nobody to really reach out to you to have that connection. You know me and say this is probably it we actually did get to meet. Percy knew some from technical ways, and he was just so instrumental tow us because he sat down with us and showed us This is what you need to dio. But that was, you know, that was one person out of We don't know how many people I looked up, you know, just trying to get that information. So for you to be there, to be able to be a good, you know, foundation, you know, to help other people who are coming along, you want to understand the process of what you went through, how it's created, all the things that are involved in it was just like you said before. It is not like, you know, it's not for the faint of heart. It's a lot of work. And
you you've been through it, You understand?
Yeah, Well, it's not just like, out of, you know, I got a phase, You know, I got an idea. So I think you to be able to do this and put it on the scale where you're offering an opportunity for people who are artists and creators tohave a place, you know, I mean, in space to go to and say this is what I need, How does this work? But it just looked like I think that it's so phenomenal. I mean, just the person who's been through that that process, you know, it is an under great, A great space. It'll be a great space for them to do that. I love it.
Thank you. Thank you. And, you know, and I really wanted to be, you know, something Where, um I believe in the reaching back method. You know what I mean, Lance, you know, sometimes we gotta, you know, we go out in the world and we learn certain things. You got to come back to the village and teach. Everybody
you know, I really had that strong sense of that instilled in me through my mother, you know, and, um and I strongly believe in that. You know, as I go through this journey and, you know, learn to kind of perfected a hall where I'm in a position where I could kind of reach back and kind of let people know, enlisted. This is what we don't want to do the Oh, no, because there's, you know, you know, there's a lot of different pick pulls into this business, and I
mean, you know,
there's certain projects of mine, you know, there's three of them that are kind of circulating right now, you know, due to various different factory issue's, a lot of them are kind of merging and coming out at the time where they were supposed to be out last year.
You know, you
know, different things like that. You know, the things that you learn as you go along the way, like, okay, that could have been avoided had X y and Z been done. You know, things like that where I can actually help people understand what to do, right? And And I really also want to be in a position if I grow this company where, um, I can actually work with people who have strong, really strong, you know, doll
ideas. You know that.
Yeah, They're re painters. There, there, there. They've got their own labels of clothes going on. But they want to, you know, have a doll that represents their fashion label that they've got, You know, they
to ex elect so and, you know, work through through us to kind of make that all happen, you know, because not everybody is meant to take on, um, sitting at the head of the table in terms
process dealing with factories and
making men is hoping And yes,
yeah, there's some people out there that just want to go And I want, you know, make their clothes and make beautiful dolls, but which they could do it on a mass produced level.
where that's where we would come in. So that's,
know, that's another component that I had that that's gonna be worked into another old land. It's just really being able to, you know, not just create my vision and share that with the world, but also have an opportunity for artists that are in a position where they would love to be able to, you know, get their vision to the world and the masses. But just like I said, just can't take it all on on their own.
So exciting, so exciting, So powerful. Really?
Yeah, it is very powerful. I'm wondering. Are you thinking about doing things like doing some production like actual doll production here? Or is that something that would continue to stay in some place like China?
That is a strong desire of mine to be
to produce here in the States, in particular things. So, you know that is giving a big reason why the reason why I relocated from California, you know, to come in Vegas just to be able to, you know, set up some things where, you know, in the long term, you know, I can have, you know, things that are actually manufactured here. Of course, we all know the price.
manufacturing here in the States is astronomical, but it iss. But here's the good thing. Technology is making things more and more attainable for people who are willing to take this on. And if you come in with the right resource is in the right plan. You know, there is a certain level of manufacturing that can be done. You know, it is it's obviously a lot more hand work, then, you know, having big, huge
factory machine work around
out. Yeah, exactly. But it's something that could actually be done in it. Something that I'm, you know, looking into him, to be ableto have manufacturing of certain levels, you know? And then there's other things that can be done to more than just the all bodies. I mean, doll clothing. You know
You know, we've gotta have something to be able to dress people you know are dolphin. So, you know, that certainly is something that could be done, you know, stateside, with the right room gonna work force and, um, you know, and set up. You know, of course, it is a little bit more expensive from a labor standpoint, but, um, you know, I do believe that there is still, um, the spirit here in America that believes in, you know, creating opportunities
here stateside, and then we
can, and that really is something that is important to me. Um, you know, I do want to be able to have more of mine manufacturing processes, handle stateside. So it certainly is something that's really, you know, is at the forefront of You know what I want to create here? Um, stateside. So, yeah, absolutely.
That's important. That's that's something that we at least I have seen a lot of requests for when Motel was talking about doing the Gabby Douglas stall.
Debbie being Garrett Garrett nine. Did a, um, a petition. And it was very interesting to see how many people responded, saying, Why are you asking somebody else to do that? Why aren't you doing it? And part of it is people just don't understand. And that's something if you, if you would like to talk about that, would be a great thing to talk about the cost of producing dolls. We spoke with Joseph Joseph decorous, and he's in China now. And he's been in China for Oh, God, I think it's It's got to be close to two years just having his doll produced. You know, he's in Australia and he basically lives in the factory, and people don't understand that.
Yeah, and I and I see what he's going through.
you know, and I just every time I see one of his post, I'm just, like, so motivational to me because I know his heart is really in. What it is that he's doing? Yeah, and, you know, they're always there's a level of blood, sweat and tears that you're gonna go through. Um, if you're taking this on and, you know, I definitely you know, I have my bumps and bruises and held the court. When you when you go into the issue of cost. Yeah, it's astronomical.
and, you know, for the thing for me, one of the highlights of my life, you know, and we probably a little short on time. But one of the reasons why I think that I really took this on really push hard was, you know, almost three years ago now, um, I was attacked,
come on the
street and with my ex partner, and, um, I was stabbed. I had a collapsed lung, and I almost died. It was a really
crazy thing to experience, you know, we were just leaving dinner, you know, in a you know, And you know, not a shady part of town or anything like that. It wasn't something we expected. But, you know, in those moments when you're coming through that, um, my my entire life changed. I had just stepped away from a career that I had some with the company that I was with for, you know, 12 years. And, you know, I was stepping out to do something completely different. It wasn't the dolls. Hard cores is it is now, um, But when that particular thing happened to me and I almost lost my life, it was instant where it was like, you make a decision on how you lived the rest of your life because you don't know what could happen. And, you know, and it was that moment that I made the decision that I was gonna put everything on the line to make sure that I make this vision happen And, you know, when it comes to issues of costs yet thousands of thousands and thousands of dollars on, you know, And that's just for you know, the big guys that off board, just do that, you know, it doesn't include, you know, the little guy like me who's spending extra thousands of dollars learning things the hard way because there's no you know, how to be a great doll company that you can just Google, you
know what will be will be. Don't worry, it's
going to get there, you
But, you know, it's people like, you know, like me who have to kind of take the bumps and bruises and, like I said again, be able to reach back and teach people what I learned. But, you know, essentially, yeah, I mean, I did a lot. Um, I sold my home on and designated a large part of, You know what I, um, got from my house in terms of building this company and putting money into it and focusing on in a whole time level. And that's, you know, that's when I decided to do, um everybody is different. It just depends on how committed you are. To what? You know what your mission is for me, not just to make a pretty doll For me, it is too open up people's eyes to their own potential if they try and if they're supported, and if there's a resource, is there that are attainable to them. And so I decided to take that challenge on and, you know, people don't know. You know my story behind the scenes, and this is really the first time I really had an opportunity to speak about it publicly, but that's what it was for me. And so when you get into the issue of costs, yeah, I mean, it's it's it's really expensive, but meaning, you know, it's all about how much you want it.
You're right. It's what it's what it's worth. Your mission. That's what you're saying. Exactly. Yeah, yeah,
I think it's what you know, it was working me stepping up to the plate in making it happen. And like I said, I am, I am speaking solely from a, you know, put my money where my mouth is. Perspective about everything that I say because, you know, I have put out, you know, a lot of money, you know, with sculpting and mold making add clothing and mass production of goods. And it's you know, it It's very expensive.
you know, and I think that sometimes I look back at how critical I may have been with certain doll makers about, you know, they're quality. Why did they do this? Why didn't they give us really slippers
wide in the day? You
know, you always
now you know why? Now I know for dessert. Yeah,
Yeah. Like you didn't get the zipper's because you got the saran hair that you love so
much, you know,
hair. So you know, everybody always wants the certain quality of here, and they love the Saran quality of hair. And, you know, they just don't understand how expensive that actually used to get into some of the dolls that we all know and love.
it's just the little details that when you're in that development process, you know, sometimes you have to sacrifice certain quality in your design in order to meet other demands. You know, it's a complete it's all of all of the little ingredients that go the things that we all know in love that we all consumed. You know, um, I have a greater respect for the art form since I actually took the mission on myself.
Yeah, it's It's so funny. Tammy asked you that because, you know, even till this day, people constantly asking me, you know, when am I going to do some more big, beautiful dolls? You know, can we just and I'm like, you know, it costs a lot of money. It was a lot of money 20 years ago. It's a lot more money now. And it's not like you said. It's just not something that you just say, Hey, I'm just gonna throw a couple of dollars that you really have to be committed. And you really have to have that. You know, that financial support behind you. It's not just, yeah, it's not just, Oh, I have this idea. Let me just, you know, and for me, you know, articulation is great. I would love to articulate my dolls, but that's a lot more money, you know, And to get it the way that you want it is very expensive. And so I'm glad you're sharing. That's what people do understand. That the process is is you know, it can be, you know, financially challenging for a lot of people and that the only other end the people who are purchasing these dolls, you know the cost is going to be more money. You're not gonna be able to get a doll that, you know, that has all of these things that you'd like to have it like to have in it at a at a lower price. It's just it's just unless you have a huge you know, unless you have a huge, like, you know, order. You know what I mean? Like you have to buy. Yeah. So it's not like,
I mean, if
you're one of $59 for all of these, great quality is just doesn't happen that way.
No, it it is a huge challenge. And I mean, you know, unless you have, you know, a big, huge walmart sort of a border
would've right? 50
1000 units, you know, And at that point, truthfully and honestly, it depends on what kind of creator a person is trying to be. You know? Are you trying to be a WalMart rend where everybody can run over, snap it up real quick for, you know, you know, uh, six bucks, you know, were, you know, our our you know, which doesn't no disrespect to any of those brands.
And I know
meeting that demand because there are a lot of hardworking mothers fathers out there that are paying bills and stuff, and they're still ableto, you know, pick up something that it represents diversity for their child for $10 or less. And they're I have mad respect to all of that. However, studio and excellent So what I want to do is create, um, elevation in the representation of what's out there. Um, everything can't be $10 but, you know, and you know, there's a certain quality in detail that, um I believe, um, there's a customer out there that that that is willing to pay above, you know, $10
that quality, but that but that quality may not be able to be found in the Wal Mart. So, you know, you do have to have a smaller audience. That way you can keep your quality at a certain margin, but at the same time, that means you're gonna have to, you know, it's gonna cost a little bit more. And that's the thing that people don't understand. Um, you know, uh, you know, I watch a lot of the things that go on in the doll world and one of the things that you know, I was a huge breaths collector for many years, and a lot of people who follow me online, um, on my instagram part of my journey has been letting go of a lot of amazing dolls that I've collected over the last 20 years, and the fun part about it is, you know, I've been re investing some of that into what it is that I've been doing, and that's a big part of what I'll have. An opportunity is really highlight with people later on in my journey. But, um, that was one of the things that was kind of important for me is to diversify how I do think. But anyhow, sorry was used brass collector. And so, um God, you know, I have a lot of different dolls that let go through and scram and whatnot, but was huge, um, fan of their work. And they did thes, um, brats collector dolls recently. And it was, you know, higher elevated quality for the brads, and they were $50. And a lot of people had a problem with that because they felt that, you know well, back in 2007 I had X and Y and Z dog that only cost 34 99. That was 10 years ago. You know,
I have changed a lot. And our demand for quality not lowered any, you know? I mean,
person they want all the detail in a one off this quality and they want all this stuff, but it just can't be done at 22 99 anymore. This is unfortunately, you know, that's the thing that they don't understand. And but But it takes more brands that pushed the envelope of thinking and aren't just going to sit at the you got the press point sometimes
have to come a little bit higher to understand help people understand you're getting a quality that you can't you know you just can't find, Unfortunately for the lower price points, so it's it's, you know, when it comes to the game of expensive of, you know, making the dogs versus how much we're paying for them at the cash register. I mean, a lot of it is, you know, goes there's a lot that goes into it that
consumer just doesn't necessarily understand.
Yep, totally. Yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah, and I think that's important that you spoke about that, and that's why I asked the question, because I think that people, because we see so many dolls today that are $25 or less, that when you see a doll you know, $200.200. You know, hundreds of dollars. Just like what? How you justify making a dull and charging people x 100 of dollars for a doll. And I can't go over and get this doll over here for $3. So it's important that people understand there's a whole range. It's just like food or clothes. There's a whole range when you pay, you know, hundreds of dollars for a doll. The quality of that doll should be exceptionally. Hire me many times higher than your $3 doll. So that is an important conversation to bring to the table.
I absolutely agree. And I am in, you know, and I think it just even goes a little bit deeper into people's perception of dolls. You know, um, I remember, um, you know, certain brands having black dolls, you know, 56 years ago, where, you know, people felt that there was issue a certain, you know, black characters and black in these particular black characters that were higher. And collector dolls, um, were considered, you know, low sellers. And though she doesn't sell well and you know it becomes this perception that black dolls in particular should be cheap and I have issue with that, you know? And and I felt that at that particular time, um, it was a weird thing that was going on in the market where you know, the perception, really, Waas that, you know, the black characters in particular shouldn't be at the price points of some of the other characters that they stood right next to that were released in the same year that were commanding.
You know, the
125 $150 price points and I really want the perception. And I think it's it's really been changing over the years, and we're seeing a lot of great dolls of color that that our commanding those price points. And I think it's really important to continue to offer more options for those customers that understand the value of of dolls of color and that are done of a certain level. And, you know, they understand that. No, they shouldn't just go and get that $3 doll that they could go and get you know, it. Maybe they didn't buy, you know, four or five of those $7 cheaper dolls. They could maybe reinvest that into something of a higher quality that, um that they should have the that variance, that variance that you mentioned, you know, it has to be there and, you know, and I think that, you know, for me, it's my job to, you know, to make sure that I create that experience, you know, or that customer, Um, that wants a higher quality level
you're right, Dorian. There are a lot of lower price options that are out there. But, you know, like those saying goes, you get what you pay for. And I think sometimes, you know, it's a level of perception that we have to be aware of that. You know, there's some beautiful dolls of color that really are worth the money, and it's okay to spend it, you know, on something that you can enjoy and you can love. That's unique. And it speaks to you that that, you know, $3 doll may not necessarily have that same president. So I do think it's important.
Yeah, and you have the just like you have the different prices of dollars. You have two different type collector. You know, if you're going to buy a doll for someone who like for Children, you have to decide. You know, a lot of kids go through phases where their coloring on dolls and they're cutting their hair. You don't want to pay a whole bunch of money for a doll that your kid loves to death, you know? But it's gonna have marker all over their face. I mean, that's gotta hurt your feeling if you pay some money for that. So what does A There's a time and a place for for all Those you know is don't let what they can love them all and and have, ah, they all shared different places in our house in our hearts?
Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, and and I and I really feel that, you know, there's some amazing options that are out there for young kids. Especially now, um, you know that are, you know, allow them to have, you know, a level of of creativity and express themselves and, you know, and mom and dad can feel safe. But, you know, feel okay about, you know, purchase leave. Because, you know, kids are gonna color. They're gonna do a lot of different, baked their dolls, But it's great that there's representation and different, you know, along the different spectrum of those throughout the different price points. I think it's a really great time right now for doll collectors in general, because there's so many different options out there. It's great.
Yeah, I agree with you and we're seeing them all over the world. You know that? When George at Knife in Georgia at first asked me to do the show with her, I had just started getting into the doll world and I was like, I don't know anything about dolls. I don't know anybody you know, great thing to think about. I like your idea. But I I can't do a show and just a couple of years layers like Oh, man, I know these people. We're going to South Africa's hot, you know, it's always people coming out of South Africa and just people coming from all around the world doing dolls, you know, Spain, and it's just amazing. And yeah, yeah, and in the last, like five years, the diversity. I mean, we've got the dolls of little I go. The bi racial dolls have got the dolls with the, you know, textured hair. The real dark, dark dark dolls and, ah, mixed race looking dolls. I mean, it's the red hair dolls and the freckle balls was like, Oh, man, you know, this is a did Oliver. This is a great time
is a great time, and I mean, it's definitely no shortage of diversity.
you know, that's the thing that one of the things I really want to be clear to people, the more that they become familiar with studio. Excellent. So it's not just about us. Creating diversity in dulls is also about a level of authenticity as well as inclusion in certain, um, part of our actual culture that may not necessarily just be connected with skin color. Um, you know, I really want to showcase. You know, the amazing fashion that comes out of our inner cities that, you know, gets watered down and gets put on two runways in Paris from Amman, and now it's worthy of a higher price tag. Well, let's take it back down to the roots, you know, Let's show, you know, street where and urban life and style being resignation did through these dolls that are in these beautiful hues of brown. You know. So you know, I don't want it to just be people toe make. The mistake of thinking that, you know, for us is just about, you know, um, making a bunch of Brown does, you know, because I think there's no shortage of that, you know? But what I think is was missing with, you know, with certain brands is, you know, is the voice that I can actually bring, which is just just a little different heart, little different harm sold to, you know, to the toe, add to, you know, the diversity in the skin tones and the hair textures. But, you know, the feeling that added to picking up this door and feeling like OK, yeah, that's a sister that I know or yeah, that looks like my cousin for yeah, that looks like, you know, some other person of influence that resignation certain level of, um, you know, glamour and style that could only
found in our communities. And those voices, um, sometimes that are creating the art don't necessarily isn't reflective of those communities. And, um and that's where that's where that's where we come in
to do it with a level of pride in style and just kind
have, Ah, little or and that's that's that's really you know, that's that's part of the diversity that you know that we're hoping to add, You know, to all of these other things that, you know, that you mentioned that it was all over the world, like, you're gonna get a very different flavor from some of these creators that are coming out of Spain. You know, um, which I think is awesome because it's like, you know, there's some authentic spice that they're cooking without their, you know. So
it's like when you see you know, these different dolls are coming at you like,
Wow, that is really cool. I can't see you know, some of our American makers making something that authentic and true and spicy and just, you know, has something that you know they're able to capture on. And I think it's great. It's great that we're able to have access to, you know, people internationally that are creating, um, you know, and in his terms of what's being done here in the States, I think that there's just so many different layers to dolls because dolls are reflection up should be a reflection of something. And, um and I just, you know, for me, I just wanna hone in on my urban American roots and let that shine through, you know, with what it is that I do. Um, so yeah, really amazing things are going on in the doll road. That's really, really exciting right now.
Yeah. And it's, you know, I really appreciate this conversation. Yeah, because it's important that we are talking about diversity and and entrepreneurial ship because it's we're not just talking about a doll with You were talking about how, as a person who is a member of a village goes back and takes what he has and helps to uplift his village. So this conversation is so much more than about dolls, and that's important that that's one of the things that I really hopes to bring to the conversations that we have not only thes conversations were not only about dolls and having love dolls and what's pretty in but soft, and but also about why, why they're these dolls and who's doing them. And, um, we've been talking a long time. I could talk to you today, actually, another five. I
am really, really governs later with you both because,
I feel like you both get it. You know, you you understand? You know what's going on the doll road, Like you said, You know, it's not just all about you know how you know what's pretty and oh, you know, there's there's so much more that goes on behind and other things and, you know, And when it comes from a creative perspective, Yeah, you're right. The Why you know, why am I stepping up? Why is this important? Um, and I really, really appreciate this conversation because, you know, I hope it also reaches other. You know, other creators and other people who were, you know, kind of straddling the fence and thinking about, you know, they want to make a leap into, you know, creating themselves. I believe that there's room at the table for everyone. There's there's just millions and millions of people in this world, and if we all can manage to support each other in some way, shape or form, instead of being so quick, toe tear someone's ideas down
putting their heart soul on the line. You know, and I see this every day, You know, on the Internet, you know where you know creators, you know, step out, made sample some of their work. And then somebody has something nasty t to say about this person bearing essentially their artistic soul to the world. You know, Wait a minute. Take a step back. Think about what that person's intention was when they what they want. Sharing this with you, you know, it's it's important, you know, it's really important to support others, that air thinking about stepping out, too. So, yeah, I could talk with
you. Yeah, about you way gonna definitely have another conversation with you, Cleave. I mean, there's just no, that's bad. Once everything starts blooming a little bit more for you in all those areas because you have such a vast like, you know, Timmy was saying, It's not just about a doll with you either. It's about a community. It's about, you know, creating other an environment where other people can actually participate in and and, you know, on a date, creativity to So that's what I love about this conversation with you. But one of the things that we wanted to you so welcome. One of things that we definitely wanted to do within the dawn world was to be able to share the community of people who are in that world with other people so that they can see you know, that they are creative. And that's what really goes on behind the scenes. And also, like you said often opportunity for somebody who may be thinking about doing something like this, you know, but never really, never really had opportunity to hear all these amazing people coming to the table and saying, Yes, you can be creative and it doesn't have to necessarily be just a doll. It could be, you know, repainting the face. It could be, you know, sculpting. It could be, you know, the dress design and could be pattern made all these other things that, you know, that goes on that go on in the dog world community. And that was one of the reasons why I really wanted to do this show because being a doll making myself, I met so many amazing and fascinating people in his community, and I, you know, and if you if you don't collect dollars, you don't know about. You know what I mean? Like you just it's You don't know about how creative and how how many things they have to offer to this world. And I just wanted to be able to do that with this with this show, and I want it. Thank you for you know, being like a great person to kind of say, like, this is really what in the Donald is about. It's about people like you. Yeah,
well, they will Thank you for having space to the opportunity to do it, you know, And you stepping up, you know, the both of you stepping up and creating space because, you know, it's it's great to have, um, conversations like this in the opportunity to, um yeah, get a people to think about things in another way. And, um, you know, thank you so much for having me. I This has been awesome conversation. I've had so much fun.
Thank you. Clearly. Thank you. Thank
you so much. You little Yeah. We look forward to having you back with God. I mean, I got a list of questions for you, so I know getting back with you.
Yes, Absolutely. Please. do. And we could do this anytime. Ladies and Cam Yes way will meet again.
Okay. Thank you so much. Thank you. Seriously, for being on my doll were with me and Tammy. We really appreciate it. And we look forward to speaking with you again.
Yeah. Thank you. Clue
being XO, XO from Vegas.
Okay, Angry, sweetie. Bye bye. Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to in the dog world. Me and Tammy really hope that you enjoyed the show. Please don't forget to shower podcast with other doll enthusiast. Subject yourself. And if you would like to leave a message of how you enjoy the show or you want to suggest any guests that we should interview as well as share information about what's happening in the dark community in your area, please note did you reach out to us at George et dot in the doll world at gmail dot com and or tammy dot in the dog world at gmail dot com. Also, if you want to see some of the photos, we will be posting about guests as well. If the dolls that they talk about on the show, please visit www dot in the don world dot com and until next week, add a little play into your life by collecting a doll, sharing a doll or giving a dollar home until next week. Thank you again for listening to in the dark world.