HOW IT STARTED
Hi! It's so nice to virtually meet you! I'm guessing you are coming to the About Us section to learn more about...us!
Before 'officially' becoming an Entrepreneur, my favorite thing to do was stalk "About Us" pages. I love hearing the behind-the-scenes stories that lead to someone's dream being born! I never really expected to have my own "About Us" page, but since I finally get one, I'm going to make it a good one!!
So let's start again. Hi! My name is Chaya Rockford. For the past few years, I've been racking my brain trying to find my dream. I even had one of those 'bathtub/shower' white boards just in case an idea came to me in there! In the end, the idea didn't just pop into my head one day. It was there all along, I just didn't realize it. I just had to take ownership of my passion.
THE SHORT VERSION
I lived in NY a block away from my big sister and her 5 children. We've lived near each other for the past 7 years. But, in 2015, she moved to Florida. As a goodbye gift for her youngest (3-year-old), I decided to make a doll for her. By hand. And so I did. And then I made 3 more for her brothers and 1 more for her sister, each dressed differently. Then, one of the dolls went missing!!!!!! My heart literally almost broke. That's when I realized how attached I was to these dolls. My niece was so sad, too! So we searched high and low and finally found it. I added a loop to the doll after that and made a necklace, so she could wear her doll and never lose it again! [It was like the best day ever].
I want to share that special connection with you and your child-sized friends! I want other children to be able to have a beautiful little doll that they can play with, sleep with, imagine with, feel safe with, and just plain love! I want to share that comfort that Lilly's doll gives her...and me...with you! (Skip to the VOILLA section if are on a time constraint)
THE LONG VERSION
I know, you're like, "hmm, the short version was pretty long". Yeah, well, this is going to be longer.
Me & my Camera had just finished a photoshoot of my niece Lilly (mentioned in the short version) for Project6NY. As we were leaving the location, my niece spotted a bunny rabbit prop. It belonged to the store we were shooting in and cost $200. I wasn't about to "pay" my 3-year-old niece model with a $200 bunny rabbit. I was thinking more along the lines of buying her some pink chapped stick. You know what I mean? So we left....me guiltily and her, well, kicking and screaming. End Scene.
Skip to that weekend.. My darling younger sister invited me to go bridal gown shopping with her in New York City. Now, I dislike the subway, and this excursion would require a subway, but come on, it was a big deal and...wedding gowns...I said yes! The thing is that when we got there, they wouldn't let her try anything on without an appointment!! Ok, so after calming ourselves down, I realized that there was no way I was getting back on the subway without buying something. The long subway trek could not have been for nothing! So, I decided to buy my niece a less pricier doll as a present for the photoshoot. We stopped in like four different children stores and I couldn't find a single doll!!! I was shocked. Then, finally, lo-and-behold, right in aisle four of Duane Reade, I found a cute little TY bunny plush toy. It was tiny, it would fit perfectly in her hand. I bought it! She loved it!!! Every day, I'd come over and she'd be holding it or sleeping with it. I loved how her little fingers fit perfectly around the bunny's neck. She looked like she felt safe with her bunny. My sister had an easier time shutting off the bedroom light and closing the door when my niece had her little bunny. I found myself wanting my own bunny, too!
A few months later, my big sister told me she was thinking of moving to Florida. I was really sad about that. I had seen her and her family everyday for 7 years! I couldn't imagine not being able to see them everyday. Once I made peace with the move, I decided that I needed to make the best presents ever, so that her kids would have something to remember me by...even when I wasn't Face-timing them.
Before the move, Lilly had a total of 36 dolls that took up half of her bed. Her favorite ones, I've always like to brag, are the ones that I got her. (#IhaveDollSkills) So, as a goodbye present, I decided that I would make her a doll. But I loved the idea of a doll that was small enough for a child's hand to fit around. I felt like there was an added level of comfort and security that Lilly received from her bunny since it was so small. I had absolutely no idea how to make a doll, but I was determined to figure it out. I sat down to work on it. By the time I realized that time had passed (7 hours of it), I had a head and body! I spent many, many, many more hours making the arms and legs and clothing. And the hair, well that took many, many, many more hours! My niece loved watching me make it and she would ask about it often! "Does my dolly have hair yet? She has a mouth!!" When it was ready, I was barely able to part with it, let alone her. But then her siblings said they wanted one, too. So I made a little boy for her 4-year-old brother, another boy for her 6-year-old brother, and then I made slightly bigger dolls for her 9-year-old brother (yes, he wanted one!) and her 11-year-old sister!
That first night, they all slept with their dolls. One of the dolls even survived a bathroom accident during the night! That same doll somehow even managed to make it to show-and-tell the next day! Eeeek!
I survived the move. I facetime regularly with the kids...and their dolls. <---and I'm proud of that!
One day, slightly out of the blue, I realized that I wanted a doll, I wanted a little doll to sit on my desk! I wanted a little comfort object that looked pretty! And that I could show my niece when I facetimed her! :) So I made another one!
But it wasn't enough. I still wanted to make more. I wanted to share these dolls with kids all over the world. I wanted them to be able to have a beautiful comforting doll that they could play with, sleep with, imagine with, feel safe with, and just plain love! So....
Voilla, the ME&MY was born! Oh, I forgot to mention, I use the term "ME&MY" like seven times a day, so that part was just obvious. Because anything that brings me comfort is prefaced with ME&MY. Examples: Me & My Coffee are going to sit by the pool and spend some quality time together. Me & My Camera need a bit of a battery recharge.
Experience the love and friendship of the Me & MY Lilly doll here!
TELL ME MORE!
I am in my late 20s.
I am one of seven. I currently have twenty-two nieces/nephews, with whom I'm obsessed (clearly).
I have crazy curly hair.
I was a Math Major in college. Math was totally my favorite subject. I'm also a business minor. Business is my current favorite subject!
I used to sneak my blanky to school because I didn't have a doll then.
I am a hobbyist photographer. Newborn photography is my favorite!! I also love making videos. The ones you'll find on this website were made by me, too.
I worked in school administration for 5 years and loved every minute of it! The first week of school, the preschoolers were encouraged to bring a comfort object from home. I can't wait until ME&MY dolls show up in some preschoolers hands!
After school administration, I helped my sister launch and run her clothing and children's hair accessories business. We run it together. She designs and I do the business side of things. I love it!! I've learned a lot from my sister and from running her business. I'm so lucky that I can bring that hands-on knowledge to ME&MY!
If you've made it this far down my About page, thank you!! I'm so excited to be able to share these dolls with you! I can't wait to see the love and comfort shining through customer photos! If you'd like to see those photos, too, stay tuned on Instagram at: www.instagram.com/themeandmy
If you have any comments and/or questions, I would love to hear them! You can contact me at email@example.com! Can't wait to hear from you!
Of course, I'd love for you to experience the love that is sewn right into our Lilly Doll. Click here!