I grew up in Europe, Poland. We didn’t have dolls like American Girl or Barbie there. I had a few dolls but only one of them had eyes that closed and opened. That doll wore regional outfit similar to these ones on the right and she also had braids.
Poland was communistic country then and it was hard to get really cool clothes in shops, so in high school I started to sew, knit and crochet for myself.
I used patterns mostly from Burda magazine that was very popular in Poland then, but to get it you usually had to wait in long lines.
Fortunately, lots of books about patterns were easily accessible. Those were not books with patterns but books HOW TO MAKE PATTERNS based on your measurements. I had the whole series: How to Make Skirts, How to Make Dresses, How to Make Jackets and Coats etc. And I still have them. So very soon I started to make my own basic patterns.
After my daughter was born, I sewed clothes for her. When she was in kindergarten, she had sewn a pincushion for me that I use to this day (she has her own baby daughter now).
My daughter had many dolls but she never played with them. She preferred lego blocks. But I kept all those dolls and now I am very glad that I did it. They are so different from dolls we have now!
As for my specialty, I am a civil engineer graduated from Technical University of Warsaw and I was working many years designing structures.
In my free time I love hiking and biking. I was used to hike or bike every weekend almost all my life.
I often thought that I would like to design fashion for dolls.
Because photography is my hobby, I took many pictures from hikes and posted them in my Picasa album for my friends to watch.
One day I had decided that maybe it’s time to set up my own website with photos of Polish landscapes. So I had purchased a book about HTML and starting learning it.
I created my first website on a free server but I never had time to manage it, so finally they had removed it from the server.
In 2011 I came to New York to live in US. Let’s say it was because of personal reasons.
I immediately fell in love with American Girl doll and started subscribing catalogues.
I got my first American Girl doll from my daughter as a gift for Mother’s Day. It was not that easy to decide which one to choose because I loved all of them, but finally I had chosen a "doll just like me" with green eyes, freckles and red hair (so she was not just like me but I loved her anyway).
But what to do in America? It’s too late to start a career as an engineer, and I am not used to spend time doing nothing. Actually, I love working.
So I started designing doll clothes. I have knowledge about how to make patterns. As an engineer, I am familiar with computer graphic programs. I have learned html, so I could write my website myself. And I love taking photos. This way all my skills have been combined.
So this is the whole story how I became a doll clothes designer. I designed structures in the past, now I design doll clothes and I am very happy with that.
But every year I spend a few months in Europe. Fortunately, I can manage my website from there.