For the Kiddos : Hazel Village

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 I saw this on Dailycandy and had to share.  We are doing lots of playing at the beach.  I know some little girlies who would love this….



hazel village!

Venturing to Jane Van Cleef’s Brooklyn doll-making studio is an urban treasure hunt of sorts: Ride the train to an industrial no man’s land, walk past a neglected canal, and stand curiously outside a rambling warehouse. Don’t bother knocking on the soundproof iron door.

When Van Cleef’s bespectacled head appears, summoned by text, the 28-year-old leads the way to her private world. Imagination-piqueing boxes (think labels like “fox ears” and “rabbit noses”) line the single-room space. Bits and bobs soon to become Hazel Village dolls lie in inviting heaps across giant workshop tables.

hazel village!

Van Cleef, resourceful millennial that she is, has been handcrafting one-of-a-kind dolls since 2010. They’ve popped up at many of our favorite boutique children’s shops and are a go-to gift from cool aunts-in-the-know. But as Hazel Village gets bigger, she’s also launched a smaller, bespoke service.

Whether made from a sentimental piece of fabric or inspired by your child’simaginary friend, the custom process is fully collaborative. Van Cleef chats about your wishes, then puts together a sketch and inspiration board. The resulting all-organic critter, with hand-embroidered monogram, couldn’t be more special.

Projects to date have included a liger, a family pet in an imperial 1800s-style uniform, and a summer camp mascot (pictured). But Van Cleef is open to any creature-conjuring challenge. The only limit is your creativity — though the whimsical workshop’s got plenty to spare.

Available by email order (,  $148 and up. To see styles, go

hazel village!

Photos: Courtesy of Hazel Village


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