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Gretchen Wilson Designs

Handcrafted Dolls, Endless Possibilities

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Are you looking for a unique "must have" gift? At Gretchen Wilson Designs, we create handmade, one-of-a-kind dolls known as Little Souls. Our unique and often whimsical designs are handmade by our founder Gretchen Wilson and are the perfect gift for the sophisticated, design conscious adult, traditional doll collector, celebrity, or "just because" gift for yourself!

Our Little Souls have big personalities and can be personalized based on requests. Whether you want a doll of color, a Christmas-themed doll, or a doll dressed as a witch, we can create it. The design possibilities are endless. We invite you to experience our Little Souls dolls, home accessories and other unique offerings.

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Our One-of-a-Kind Dolls

At our workshop in Pennsylvania, we create Little Souls dolls by combining unexpected materials, colors, patterns, and objects. Our unusual and joyful designs are characterized by their attention to detail, with accessories often made from recycled, reclaimed, and reborn treasures.

We encourage you to see the charm in all ordinary objects and celebrate the spirit and the beauty of the disorganized and uncontrollable nature of life. Our dolls glorify the quirks and idiosyncrasies of children and aim to bring out the child within.

A Little Souls doll is the perfect special occasion gift for you, a loved one, or your home! Even the person who has everything won’t be able to resist these distinctive collectibles!

Our Commitment to Equality

The poet Maya Angelou said, “People are more alike than different.” Gretchen Wilson, our founder, has chosen to view people in a way that focuses on their likenesses while appreciating their differences. Because of her passion for equality, she traveled to various communities and villages in Ghana, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Romania, the Caribbean, and Honduras.

During these international projects, Gretchen helped design and create marketable products. She also worked on product development with craftspeople in Armenia, India, Nepal, Peru, and Haiti. Amazed by the brilliance and resilience of the people she worked with, she always returned to the U.S. feeling stimulated, rejuvenated, and inspired.

Now, when Gretchen creates her dolls, the specialized dyeing techniques, handmade felts, and glass beads she learned about in other cultures are now an integral part of her design process. The crafts she discovered abroad inspired her to add unexpected touches to each of her designs.

To this day, our business continues our founder’s vision. We are dedicated to welcoming and promoting equality in our craft. To represent the rich cultural diversity of our world, our handmade, soft-bodied textile design dolls are available in light, mid-tone, and darker skin tones.

Our Story

Our founder Gretchen Wilson first made dolls as toys for her children. While in line at the supermarket with her children, a stranger asked her where she bought her children’s dolls.

At that moment, a seed was planted in her mind, and that seed would lead to a lifelong, passion-filled, roller-coaster business ride. She had the idea to sell her handmade creations. In 1986 Gretchen started Little Souls with her business partner and dear friend Colleen Charleston.

The popularity of her custom designs put Gretchen in the spotlight. She has appeared on the front page of the business section of The New York Times, and she had a feature article written about her in People magazine. Nicknamed the “Dollymama,” Gretchen has made television appearances on CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show.