All birthday gifts are not created equal. Let's just first put that out there. And every once in a while, you get a gift that really resonates with you. For me, it was the Maya Angelou doll that was gifted to me on my 32nd birthday. Well, sure, typically dolls may not be a standard gift to give a 32-year-old. But when you're someone who is big-time into poetry, well it just works.
My Maya Angelou doll was crafted by a women's self-help group, Prowess in Kodaikanal. And the story behind how these dolls came to be is interesting. Smriti Lamech moved to Kodaikanal to be near her kids who were going to boarding school in the town. While there, she came across Prowess, a self-help group and learned about how the pandemic had severely affected their income. Smriti decided to combine her passion for fabrics and fashion with the wish to create feminist toys that introduce the concept to kids right from a young age, which would also simultaneously generate an income for these ladies while using their existing skills in stitching. And so, Smritsonian was born. The dolls, designed by Smriti and executed by the ladies of the SHG, are sold via Instagram.
Currently, they are producing 4 unique icons: Kalpana Chawla, Maya Angelou, Frida Kahlo and Savitribai Phule. The dolls are designed to be sturdy enough to play with while also doubling up as a collectible piece (as in my case). Each comes with a set of accessories, a note telling you about the icon and are stored in re-usable cloth cases.
Reach out to them via the Enquire button to know prices and how to order. Shipping is extra.