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Studio Tour: Jess Brown, Doll-maker


Jess Brown started creating her one-of-a-kind rag dolls with her own children in mind: “I wanted to give them something totally handmade with a bit of sophistication and style.” Fifteen years later, she’s gained a cult following, creating up to 100 dolls a week. And one of her biggest fans happens to be Jenna, who became so obsessed that she asked to collaborate on a collection just for crewcuts. We stopped by Jess’s studio in Northern California to see how she brings her dolls to life…

“My studio is in the parlor and sunporch of our Victorian farmhouse—I love how the light pours into the room, and so does my ‘assistant,’ Rocco the puppy.”

“I try to keep the dolls I design current but not trendy. I’m
always inspired by antique dolls that have simple lines and still feel relevant.”

“I love working with really great materials—linen, organic cottons, cashmere, silk and antique fabrics. I take a lot of time with each one and treat the whole process as though I’m making them for my own children.”

“Stitching the face makes me really happy. It really is the defining part of the doll.”

AND NOW, JESS ANSWERS THE J.CREW Q’S…

HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Espresso with half-and-half and a spoon of sugar.

YOUR SPIRIT EMOJI IS… 


THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT:
Taking a step backward after a step forward is not a disaster; it’s more of a cha-cha. 

ON A RAINY DAY, YOU CAN BE FOUND…
Going for a walk with Rocco and enjoying the rain. California’s drought has made me crave it. 

YOUR FAVORITE COLOR IS… 
Grey! 

Photographs by Aubrie Pick.

Shop Jess Brown® for crewcuts dolls here
TAGS: studio tour, crewcuts
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