Not every girl is into dolls and really, that’s fine. But for those who are, dolls are important because unlike other toys, a doll is something a girl can relate to and see herself in. That's why it's nice when a doll resembles the kid carrying it around. And that’s why not all dolls should have the same skin color. Not all dolls should come with blonde hair and blue eyes. Thankfully, things have changed over the years and these days, dolls come in all shapes and sizes, but there was still something missing from one girl's dolls that could help her relate to her toy.
This is Charlie Crenshaw. Two-year-old Charlie has a capillary hemangioma, which is why she has a birthmark on her face. Charlie is like any other girl who loves to play with dolls, but this girl had never had a doll that looked just like her.
That’s until her mother, Katie, did some research to find someone who could create a doll that looked just like her daughter. Thanks to the online world and some great keywords, Charlie’s mother found someone who could make a doll for her daughter. The best part of it was that she didn’t have to pay a huge sum of money for the custom design.
Katie, a blogger and mother of three, shared her purchase on Instagram and Facebook to show off the doll and her daughter being ecstatic about her new toy. “You guys. Charlie has a baby doll that looks JUST like her thanks to Little Plain Jane!!!”
Little Plain Jane is the online Etsy shop where Katie purchased Charlie’s special doll. Kayla Baker, the woman behind the dolls, knows first-hand what it’s like to have a kid who is different. This is the main reason she started working on these custom dolls.
On her Etsy page, Kayla wrote about her 3-year-old daughter, who is autistic. “I have a sweet 3-year-old daughter with Autism, who is non-verbal, still in diapers, and doesn't have a way to really functionally communicate yet,” Kayla wrote. “So my mama-heart knows what its like when your little one isn't ‘normal’ or looks ‘different’ than the other children around you, or to get those stares in the check-out line at Target. And let's be honest, these dolls are just as much for us mamas as they are for our littles!”
Kayla added how grateful she was to be able to make these dolls for these kids and create dolls that “match the needs of” these individual children. She also thanked the parents who chose her to create these custom dolls. “I love getting to meet each of you and seeing photos of your beautiful babies!”
Charlie’s mother is also grateful for Kayla’s work. This blogger couldn’t resist praising the great job Kayla had done. “The time and care that this shop took to make the birthmark identical to Charlie’s leaves me speechless,” Kate wrote. “Charlie hasn't put the doll down since I gave it to her and named her (all by herself): Princess Cheek.”
“This is the most wonderful gift we could have received this Christmas. This little girl has never been happier,” Kate added. And with good reason, too, because now young Charlie can relate to her doll as much as any other girl can.
Charlie’s hemangioma is a result of a “vascular tumor that develops early in pregnancy.” This birthmark is not life-threatening. The tumor can result in complications only if it’s near an eyelid or an airway.
Since the birthmark is on the Charlie's cheek, doctors do monitor it to prevent it from ever causing an obstruction to her vision. Currently, Charlie is taking medication to stop the tumor from growing. It’s also likely that the hemangioma will disappear with time, as most do.
For Katie, whether the hemangioma disappears or not is not the most important thing. “It’s a part of her unique beauty,” Katie wrote. “It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn’t have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are.”
Katie even wrote an inspiring essay on her blog about her daughter’s birthmark. “We don’t need to talk about it every time you look at her,” Katie wrote. “We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it’s part of who she is. It doesn’t need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned.”
It looks like Charlie already had all she needed to feel loved and supported for who she is. But this little girl got even luckier with her new doll. Princess Cheek may not seem like much, but it’s Charlie’s way of seeing someone else who looks like her. And it's beautiful.
Are you intrigued by the Little Plain Jane dolls now? I am! These dolls don’t cost that much — $50 for a custom doll, which, when you think about it, is a very reasonable price. You can browse through Kayla’s page here.