Makers Corner: Alisha Lestrade

As a self taught sewer Alisha made her first dolls for her niece’s because they wanted dolls that looked like them, with skin colour and hairstyles like theirs, but couldn’t find anything similar in shops or online.

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She wanted to give making dolls a chance so headed to her favourite local market, Camden Lock, fitting in perfectly with its diverse and multicultural offering. Alisha opened Sugacandipop as a pop up shop in the Dingwalls Gallery area, next door to the Lower Market Hall in August 2012.

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Alisha made her dolls onsite and sold them 7 days a week and, with a lot of  help from her sister and a good friend, the shop soon became part of the tight community of market traders.

Initially only booked for a 2 weekk run, the Sugacandipop Pop-up Shop was so well received that it stayed open until December 2013.

It only closed when Alisha was due to have a baby starting a family of her own.

Her professional background is in childcare and playwork, specialising in crafts and she has worked with children for 15 years.

She has relaunched her diverse doll making business under a new name Thimble & Doll ready for Christmas 2017. The dolls are still designed, drawn, cut and stitched by hand by the lady herself.

 In 2012 she started with 5 skin tones but has now doubled this to 10! You can buy a selection of pre made dolls from Alisha’s online shop or make a bespoke order for you own doll. There are currently 4 styles of doll available and different sizes to choose from, with lots of customising options for that really personal touch.

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 “Diversity is a core value of my business and is important because representation matters. We don’t all look the same, we come in all different colours, so dolls should too!” – Alisha, Founder

Find Alisha and her amazing dolls on 4 May at The Beehive Pub (http://beehiven17.com/), Stoneleigh Road, N17 9BQ at our May Makers Market.

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