Giddy Up Gertrude – “Revez en Grand” doll collection

As a child and as an adult, I love and adore dolls, so I am so very excited and truly honoured to present a gorgeous new handmade doll collection by GiddyUpGertrude, which is launching this Wednesday, 3rd of December. These dolls are seriously so sweet and beautiful. You will want to collect them all!

image 2

All dolls are designed and handmade on the Australian Gold Coast, by Jaimi Lee Pennell. With a childhood love of creating and drawing, not to mention building fairy houses in her garden, it seems that Jaimi was destined to turn this passion into a creative talent as an adult.

Each doll is hand stitched and takes 4-5 hours to complete with hundreds of hand stitches going in to make each doll’s face.  All the materials are sourced from local shops or from fellow WAHM ( work at home mothers) running online shops.

GiddyUpGertrude dolls b

The first collection from GiddyUpGertrude is aptly titled “Revez en Grand” or “Dream Big” and there will be 10 -15 dolls each individually made, with their own character, name and styling.  Gorgeous names like Stella, Valerie, Suki, Mabel and Eden.  Every doll has been designed with removable clothing and there will soon be a range of Giddy Up Gertrude dresses, kimonos and gorgeous faux fur vests which will launch in the next 12 months. Oh my, I cannot wait to see the sweetest of doll’s clothing for these divine dolls!

Not only has Jaimi turned her hand to dolls but she has also made 2 limited edition stunning pink flamingos for Wednesday and some seriously cute Watermelon bags. This gorgeous mama is beyond talented!

I wanted to find out more about the inspiration, design and background of this new fabulous mumpreneur enterprise and I took the opportunity to ask Jaimi a few questions about “GiddyUpGertrude”:

Meet the Maker: Jaimi Lee Pennell

Jaimi - GiddyUpGertrude

Your dolls are truly stunning fashionista style pieces, what inspired your first doll collection, “Revez en Grand”, what is your background and how long has GiddyUpGertrude been in the making?

As a mother of 2 boys I don’t get to indulge in the gorgeous little girls fashion available at present, so this doll range has allowed me to get my fix of sequins, divinely soft tulles & all things pretty & pastel.

I taught myself how to sew almost 3 years ago, it was a way for me to cope and manage my Post Natal Depression. From this, my ability & confidence grew & creating really became a passion. Like a lot of people I started to make dolls using some great simple doll patterns that are easily available. However as my confidence grew I found myself really wanting to create a doll that reflected my soul & creativity, and the concept of GiddyUpGertrude was born. It has been a long road to create a pattern that I am 100% happy with, about 40 hrs of pattern testing in total, but I am so proud of how this first collection has come together.

GiddyUpGertrude dolls a

Given that you have children of your own, are they the first testers of your dolls? 

Haha, yes my toddler is known as the “destructor” tester! It is his job to make sure my dolls can stand up to the over affectionate cuddles & oddles of kisses they will receive in their life time.

As a child yourself, growing up, what was your favourite doll to play with and do you think it has helped to inspire you to create GiddyUpGertrude?

As a child my favourite doll was an old handmade ragdoll made by my great grandma’s sister. I loved her until her felt face had almost worn off & I actually rescued her from the bin a few times, as my mum thought she needed to be thrown away. Needless to say my love of dolls started very early, & has continued through to adulthood.

image 4

As your collection is aptly named “Dream Big” which is one of my favourite sayings, what made you take the HUGE plunge and finally realise your dream of making dolls and creating such beauty? To be 100% honest, like many young families our budget is tight & the thought of leaving my two beautiful boys to go back out into the work force broke my heart. Which is why I am fully committed to making GiddyUpGertrude a successful brand.

The response so far on Instagram for your dolls has been so exciting, there is a real buzz and anticipation for the release of your collection. I can and will predict that it will sell out within minutes, where do you see the future of GiddyUpGertrude?

I am so amazed at the response my dolls have had so far. After starting a little under a month ago, I never dreamed of them getting so much attention and praise! Its pretty overwhelming.

My dream for GiddyUpGertrude is to walk into fabulous boutiques and see my dolls proudly displayed. That would be an amazing accomplishment.

Finally, I am sure there is a little story behind the brilliant name, do tell, what is the story behind Giddy Up Gertrude?

Well, remember my favourite rag doll I spoke about? She was made by my great grandma’s sister, Gertrude. So I thought it was only fitting that the woman that ignited my love of handmade dolls, to get a special mention.

GiddyUpGertrude dolls c

What a beautiful story filled with courage and bravery, overcoming post natal depression to create this beyond perfect doll collection by the sweetest of doll makers,  Jaimi, all whilst having a new born baby strapped to her and her toddler using her photography props as car jumps! I can see that this first collection of dolls, is but the start of amazing things to come for GiddyUpGertrude.

RRP: GiddyUpGertrude dolls will be A$120.00 and will be released for sale at 11am QLD time on Wednesday 3rd December.

image 3

Disclosure: I have not received any gift or payment for this feature.

What is this blog about?

I realised that  as I rebuild my site, I need to provide some explanation to you, my readers, as to why I started to write this blog and why I decided to come back for round no 2!

My main aim on this site is to provide you with some of the most awesome toy finds, brilliant gift inspirations and stunning fashion labels that are on the market today. I may also occasionally write about mama things, life in general, travel and more.

Some are well established and with good reason, others are new, upcoming and seriously exciting and you need to know about them!

Others still are handmade and I think at the moment, it is this area that is the most impressive to me. I am in awe at the creativity, detail, passion and dedication people are putting in to their products. They are mainly mothers usually stay at home who are rediscovering their inner talents and creating some seriously incredible products.

Most of all I adore giving gifts. I love seeing the faces of my children, friend’s children and family light up when they open up a present. I am known by my friends for always remembering birthdays, even when I lived overseas. I just like giving and hence I LOVE finding the BEST gifts that are suited to the individual.

However, I also like to know a little about the gift before buying especially if it is expensive, so this is why I started this site. I want to provide meaningful reviews to help you decide on a gorgeous and unique gift for your little one.

The fact that I have started this blog again from scratch, just shows how much I love and adore what I do. It gives me an outlet as well as letting me take care of my kids. I can’t believe that I have lost the last 9 months and actually even more, as I started the blog in September last year with my first post. So I have lost a year of my life all zip, gone, whoosh in a spam bomb attack! But I love what I do, I want to keep doing it and it is something that for the first time in my life, makes me happy. I am finally after 34 years following my original dream of becoming a writer and realising that the inner voice inside has finally been awakened and has a platform.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, I would say that it takes up a lot of time. I never realised or appreciated how much time blogging takes up when I first started out. I thought it would be oh so easy! My nights from 8pm- 11pm or later are spent on this blog, researching, reviewing, writing, editing and posting content pretty much 5-6 nights a week. I also spend my son’s nap time blogging and 2 days as of October, are now dedicated to blogging whilst my youngest goes to day care. I want to make this blog a reality, a life changing experience, a career that I love and want to continue with for a long time.

If you want to start a blog, I would say write about something you love as you will have to write about it and spend time away from your bed, your hubby, your family and it takes dedication if you really want to make it something. But if you love something enough, you will be happy to do this! Dream Big is my motto! And if you are reading this, then it can be yours too.