It’s an interesting question, and one we had to think about for awhile to answer: Why Do You Do What You Do? Here’s how we finally answered it:
Why do Adrienne and I run The Pattycake Doll Company?
Let’s start with how we got started. Believe you me, when we were children and someone asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We never said: “Be the country’s largest online specialty doll store owners.”
So we have to admit that how we got here was as much of a surprise to us as to anyone else. But to make a long story short, we tried something else, (gift baskets for parents of new babies) failed miserably, (never sold a one), and before we shut down the store, tried selling some of the stuff ‘inside’ the gift baskets separately. Surprisingly, an Asian rag doll named ‘Ling’ by the Russ Berrie company, sold out almost immediately.
We made a few ‘customer service’ follow up phone calls and asked: “Why’d you buy the doll?” (This was back in the very early days of the internet, and not so strange as it would be today, when you get emails after you buy.)
We got the same answer several times: “We just got back from China with a little adopted girl, and couldn’t find any Asian dolls in the stores, so we came online and found Ling.”
Aha! Here was a need!
So instead of continuing along with what we wanted to do – sell Baby Baskets – we decided to do what ‘they’ wanted us to do – sell multi-cultural and ethnic dolls for children. And then a few years later, we discovered that there was a pretty big demand for boy dolls so we added them too.
So that’s how we got started. And we found that we loved it!
The other part of the question of “Why do you do what you do?” is probably: “So why are you still doing it?”
There are three parts to that answer:
First: We had a family to support, we loved our work, so yes, part of it was to make a living so we could support our children.
Second: We love what we do because we understand that we’ve helped create happiness and joy for thousands and thousands of people!
When a child unwraps a doll, and sees its face for the very first time, the sheer joy and pleasure that child feels was – just a little bit- caused by us. And the smile on the face of the Mom, or Dad, or Grandma, or Auntie when they see their child’s joy; well… we’ll take a little credit for that as well. We’re in the happiness business.
And finally, Third: We donate 10% of all of our company’s profits to charities that help children. So in addition to the thousands of families that have purchased and gifted our dolls, there are hundreds of children who needed help who got help from our tithe. So the bigger we build our business, and the more doll happiness we can create, the more charity we can give to children who need it.
That’s why we do what we do.