Or Lucy, your tea party friend, and Sparkles, your magical unicorn? They’d go everywhere with you: school, the park, or on vacation.
It didn’t matter where you went or what you did, as long as you spent time together going on adventures and having fun.
Then you grew up. Adulting became complicated.
Maybe you don’t host tea parties anymore, but plushies won’t mind if you’re binge-watching Supernatural for the umpteenth time. Nor will they eat all your snacks or drink all your beer.
Got a worry you want to get off your chest? They’ll listen patiently, unlike a real cat who doesn’t want any of it. And they won’t talk back.
Need a hug? They’ll help you feel safe.
And yes, even adults like you can benefit from a soft and cuddly friend. Soft toys, dolls, and plushies offer a sense of security during times of change that’ll help you feel less anxious.
Touching a cat or a soft toy can help reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. If you ever thought of getting a pet but were afraid of not having enough time for it, adopting a cloth toy can bring you the same benefits.
In a world that is highly connected, we feel lonelier than ever. It’s not surprising that 40% of adults still sleep with or hold on to stuffed animals as a source of happiness and comfort.
I’m Anja, a former Graphic Designer turned Doll Maker.
In fact, I barely used a toy sewing machine my mom gave me for Christmas, much to her and my Omi’s disappointment. I remember it had a few patterns for doll clothes, but I disliked the brown fabric it came with. Maybe if it had been blue, I might have started sewing earlier.
Patience wasn’t one of my virtues. I attempted knitting and embroidery in my early teens but gave up after my first project. Getting the knitting needle through stitches that were getting tighter and tighter with each row was horrible on my hands. I attempted to crochet a blanket in school but handed it over to my mom to finish it in time to get graded.
It still baffles my mom that I now spend most of my time sewing because I couldn’t care less about craft supplies during the first three decades of my life.
At first, it was only intended for some basic clothing repairs. Once I managed to sew a straight line, I started making all the pillows and blankets for my cats. Little did I know that I would take on one challenge after another: a party dress, a bag, my first soft toy.
None of these were perfect. I messed up many yards of fabric, and I even got a needle stuck in my thumb (whatever you do, TURN OFF your sewing machine when changing anything in it!). With time and practice, I got better. And my hands have remained safe so far.
I began sewing them while going through dark personal times as a way to leave a happy mark in a bruised world.
Each doll is lovingly handmade by me. I hope each stitch, each tiny detail brings you joy in tough times.
Morgan was pretty beaten up by life with a blind eye and a scar on his right side when he appeared behind my house. He was hungry, too
With six cats living at home at that time, I was reluctant to feed him, but Morgan was a friendly cat, and, as it usually happens with all felines, he won me over. I kept feeding him for three months until it was time to lure him into the house.
I took Morgan to the vet to neuter him, he also had to have his right eye removed because it was a risk to his health. He spent a week there until I could finally take him home.
Morgan became my closest friend at a time when I was mentally broken. In a way, we were both damaged goods supporting each other in our recovery.
Every time I crossed his path, he would come running to me and ask for a hug. I guess that was his way of thanking me for giving him a forever home.
To this day, Morgan always makes sure to thank me for saving his life. He rarely leaves my side. He goes where I go, he sleeps where I sleep.
He’s my best furry friend, the cat I spoil the most (don’t tell the others), the one who made me see that scars deserve love, too.