Hi! I’m Jen -- mom of three young kids, biglaw attorney taking a break to spend more time with my family, and an artist (my true passion). I love broadway, the color blue, and as you will soon see, anything floral. I paint custom heirloom peg dolls to foster open-ended imaginative play and celebrate life's special moments.

I unexpectedly started this business in December 2018 after painting peg dolls for my own children (and for myself), and the funny thing is that while I have extensive experience painting, I had never even heard of a peg doll two years ago. However, life sometimes takes unexpected and amazing paths.

I first learned about peg dolls in my efforts, after reading the book Simplicity Parenting (by Kim John Payne), to simplify our lives and focus on high-quality open ended toys to foster imaginative play. As part of this journey I tried to eliminate the mountains of bulky or junky plastic toys that were constantly dumped out and rarely played with, and sought to replace them with fewer carefully selected natural and more open-ended toys. We started with the Grimms large stacked pyramid blocks (raved about in the Minimalist Mom facebook group), and while pricey they are incredible — beautiful colors, the perfect size, and they even clean up in a fun way. The group also raved about peg dolls (and Grimms made a set of those too) but I was skeptical that my kids, who still had traditional toys and had been raised in a traditional household, would play with these simpler dolls. I also preferred that my children have more diverse playthings.

After mulling it over, I decided to experiment with painting my own peg dolls that would satisfy my vision — a more whimsical design and diversity. To my surprise, my four year old son proceeded to play with them for FOUR HOURS! They were families, teachers and children, firefighters, superheroes and villains, etc. I was astounded! My children played in a completely different way (and for much longer) than they did with the plastic and closed-ended character toys in our basement that were dumped and abandoned, only to be cleaned up once again. I also loved the creativity and imagination they promoted. I was finally convinced.

At the same time, I had realized that with a new baby and two other young children at home, I rarely found time for myself, and made a conscious effort to start incorporating something for me — aka art — back into my life. Growing up I had always been “the artist” and it’s something I always loved and was talented at, although with a demanding job and young kids, it often ended up at the bottom of my priority list.

One afternoon I took a break from the "to do list" and painted a few leftover peg dolls to look like me wearing my daughter in some of our favorite baby carriers and another set to look like my family. I shared photos on my Facebook page and to my surprise there was a huge response from others wanting me to paint their families. I decided to seize the opportunity and see where things would go... and 18 months later here we are! I am so happy to be painting regularly again and I love connecting with people and creating beautiful toys and keepsakes.

Over time I have expanded my offerings to include a variety of detailed custom options that celebrate life’s special moments —- for example, custom bridal sets, baby wearing dolls, breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding dolls, parents and grandparents, graduation dolls, a variety of holiday designs, and more. I also frequently paint angel babies for bereaved parents (I include them free upon request with any custom family orders, donate a few each month in honor of my own losses, and also offer them for purchase).

I am so happy to be painting regularly again and creating the kind of toys and keepsakes I cherish and value for my own family. 

xoxo Jen