Manufacturing Meetings, A Million Questions and Beachtime!


After researching dozens and dozens of product design and development firms we settled on an awesome company in southern california.

We have been working with this prototype development team for close to 8 months.  We sent over our idea and asked if they could create a first prototype for Joyful Jenny™.  They loved the concept and were very excited to begin working on the project ::HOWEVER:: as with all things, in order to move forward you need the life blood moving.  When I say life blood, I mean the cold hard cash that keeps new ideas growing and staying healthy.  It took 6 months to raise that capitol.  Continue reading

Posted in Behind the Scenes, DIY, Doll Inspiration, Weekly Update | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What Are “Soft Skills” and Why Are They Important?

Maple Box Dolls
Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.¹
Life skills have been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. They represent the psycho-social skills that determine valued behaviour and include reflective skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, to personal skills such as self-awareness, and to interpersonal skills.
Practicing life skills leads to qualities such as:
  • Self-esteem
  • Sociability
  • Tolerance to action
  • Competencies to take action and generate change
  • Capabilities to have the freedom to decide what to do and who to be.
Life skills are thus distinctly different from physical or perceptual motor skills, such as practical or health skills, as well as from livelihood skills, such as crafts, money management and entrepreneurial skills . Health and livelihood education however, can be designed to be complementary to life skills education, and vice versa.²

Continue reading

Posted in Doll Inspiration, Life Skills,, Weekly Update | Leave a comment

Meet The Dolls ~ Almost!

Maple Box DollsWe have had so many inquiries as to who these dolls are, what their stories are, where they are from, what they will look like and OH MY GOODNESS I want SO much to release every last one of them so everyone can see just how magical they are

Introduce for example:

“Loving Skylar™” a curly brown haired, green eyed beauty who is learning  the importance of love when she meets a little girl who does not look like her.  Skylar’s mom shows her all the ways they are the same and the importance of loving a person despite your differences.

OR Continue reading

Posted in Doll Inspiration, Weekly Update | Tagged | 2 Comments

Protected: Joyful JennyTM Full Story – No Artwork

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in Doll Inspiration, Uncategorized, Weekly Update | Tagged ,

How One Woman is Creating All of The Artwork For Our Stories and Dolls

Joyful Jenny Book Sketches

Working with Katie Scheid  is an incredible blessing.

Before I delve deeper into how she is creating incredible rich artwork for all of the story books, let me introduce her and her work.

Continue reading

Posted in Doll Inspiration, Weekly Update | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Maple Box Dolls – Weekly Update: Watercolor, Lawyers & Pivots

It’s only Tuesday and it has already been a very full week stuffed with design meetings, scheduling patent/copyright lawyers, meeting at the business incubator and more.

(Connie (from the UCF business incubator) and I talking packaging – don’t mind our little footless dolly prototype ::smile::)

11742772_10154129285687627_8706799008958864816_n 11752424_10154129285637627_939095165572318705_n

A big part of my job is keeping our business plan completely up to date with every pivot we make.

For example

Continue reading

Posted in Boot Strap, Doll Inspiration, Weekly Update | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The wild ride of breaking into the toy industry

It is no small feat to create a business from scratch.  It is a beautiful insane process full of so many options and choices and pitfalls and failures but also triumphs too! Being surrounded by so many people who are willing to offer their help and expertise along this journey is invaluable.  They provide insight into hard problems and help find solutions.

Problems like:

  • How on earth do I manufacture a doll – let alone an entire series of them (thank the good Lord for Alibaba – google it)
  • How do I find an artist to create all of the custom artwork for the books, the recipes, the dolls etc…

(in my case, you find a a greeting card (yes a greeting card) that you fall in love with while getting coffee at barnes and noble (see pic below) and then you launch a massive world wide web search hunt to track down the artist that created the artwork for the card  and then hound her until she emails you back ::smile::

Katie Schied

P.S. love you Katie – you are amazing and I am insanely grateful for you!

P.S.S. do not bother to email her,  she is going to be busy for the next 5 years

  • Where do I find the mula to bring this dream to reality (because WOW is it expensive! Whew… we are talking $24,000 to tool the dolls alone!)

…yea – I know what the word “tool” means

…and yes my husband faints every time I tell him with the budget is for this little project

  • What on earth is 3d printing and why is it relevant to creating the dolls?

Continue reading

Posted in Boot Strap, DIY, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment