The Making of | A Glrl for All Time®
The idea for A Girl for All Time® came to me in Feb. 2009 when discussing with friends the seeming lack of intelligent, age appropriate toys on offer for girls. Concerns about the ever-growing trend in age-compression (where younger and younger girls reach for older and older toys), combined with recent media coverage about unsuitable toys and clothing marketed at this age group, inspired me to try and create an age appropriate toy that allowed girls to celebrate their childhood in an intelligent and feminine way.
The traditional world of dolls and doll collecting was something I had enjoyed greatly when younger, but I struggled to find anything for my then-9 year old daughter that was trendy, "grown up" or keepsake. With a double Major in history and a fascination with family-trees, dolls that could incorporate historical fiction while telling the story of a single family throughout history seemed the perfect answer. While researching Tudor daily life, the idea of a girl named Matilda, who was sent to the court of Henry VIII as a spy, started to develop....
After 6 months of working on Matilda and her descendants, I pitched the project to Sandra, whose work as director on the film 'Ballet Shoes' I had loved. I knew she would be the perfect person to help me develop the character's voices, so I shamelessly hounded her until she agreed to look at my initial idea. Luckily, Sandra fell in love with the concept and we began to craft A Girl for All Time® - the look, the world - commencing with Matilda, Your Tudor Girl™. Katya, recruited from the world of film and fashion and a childhood doll collector herself, designed Matilda's costumes which are magical and reflect our vision.
We found a wonderfully talented artist in Louise who inspired a unique and characterful face for our doll that was very different from anything else available. The creative and artistic genius of Pete has helped bring the world of Matilda into everyday life for girls to enjoy through the beautifully crafted and original Keepsake Books.
The manufacturing side of the story was less straightforward. I had tried for months to negotiate with different suppliers, had rejected far too many prototypes that did not meet my standards, and had endured endless long-haul trips with few positive results. After 18 months, I had to seriously consider whether or not I should pull away from the project once and for all. Thankfully a stroke of luck came when I finally found a manufacturer whose reputation and standards were impeccable. I flew out to see them and had one of the best sculpt houses and manufacturing factories signed up within a month. They were able to produce a flawless rendition of exactly what we had imagined and their execution of costumes and accessories has been superb.
It has been a fantastic journey so far. For all of us, Matilda and her descendants are not just dolls and books, but a whole world of intelligent and original play …
We all hope that you enjoy exploring the world of A Girl for All Time® as much as we have had creating it.