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….
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.
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.
Photos: Courtesy of Hazel Village