Mary Ciske of Dolls by Mary creates these wonderful classic Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, as well as traditional styles and custom orders. Her handcrafted dolls are available in two sizes – 15″ and 20″, and they are very reasonably priced at between $15 and $30. They’re available with different embroidered faces, skin and hair colors, and all of the dolls’ clothing is also handmade of crisp cotton fabric. My favorite thing is that they all have the traditional heart embroidered on their chests, just like the pair my mother made for me as a child.
Mary learned to sew from her mother when she was about 7 years old and she enjoys using those skills to make some extra cash. She takes orders for dolls on her Dolls by Mary website and she travels to nearby craft shows to display the dolls that creates at home in “a terrific sewing room.” The independence to make what she wants and work when she wants to are the best part of self employment for Mary, but she tells us her least favorite part is the unpredictable income. She wants to “keep the business small enough that I can handle it alone but large enough to make a little bit of extra $$” and says she’ll “continue making the dolls as long as doing so makes me happy and brings me some income.”