One day while I was browsing the web, I came across images of Barbie dolls that appeared to have natural hair! I shook my head in disbelief, and determined to find out more about the doll artist behind these beautiful Barbie dolls. I must say the "little girl in me" was thrilled when I came across Tabloach Productions, the company headed by doll artist, Ms. Loanne Hizo Ostlie. The gallery of her creations was endless and beautifully diverse. I am so honored that she has taken the time to share with us more about her creations and life as a doll artist.
Meet Ms. Loanne Hiz Ostlie
What is the name of your business and what are its origins?
The name of my business is Tabloach Productions. It is derived from the combination of my family's first names. (Tab)batha (my daughter), (loa)nne (me), and (ch)uck (my husband).
How did you become interested in the doll industry?
When EBay first got introduced, I thought it would be fun to browse through the Barbie section to see if I can find my past dolls. I stumbled across an auction for a customized Barbie doll. All she had done to her was a permed hairstyle, a simple designed homemade dress and some makeup. What made me double-take at this particular auction was that it was going for $400! I thought to myself, "I can do that!" And from then on, I started customizing dolls.
How did you develop your skills as a doll artist?
I googled to find more tips and techniques for this new kind of hobby. I found several groups that dedicated themselves to customizing fashion dolls. From there, I gathered all the information I could, including books that were available at the time to help me with my new venture. It took lots of practice, mistakes, and a lot of ruined dolls but I stuck with it because it gave me pleasure.
What are some of your favorite aspects of working in this type of industry?
Meeting new people from all over the world. I now have clients from the UK, France, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, Germany, etc. It's wonderful to find new doll friends. Even if it is just through the internet!
Where do you get the inspiration for your diverse doll designs?
Because I mainly concentrate customizing the little Kelly dolls, I try to get inspiration from real children.
What motivated you to create African American dolls that are wearing natural hairstyles (ie. dreadlocks, etc.)?
I noticed that there were no dolls that had this type of hairstyle so I took it upon to find any kind of sythetic fiber that will work realistically and in scale with the doll. I also love doing the short curly re-roots as well as I never see them on current dolls today.
Where can we go to purchase your creations?
Mainly on Ebay. You can do a search on Ebay under the seller name: tabloach_productions. I also have a "First-to-Know" email mailing list where I post when I have new dolls up for sale. The link to subscribe can be found on my website at http://www.tabloach.com
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I've been married for 15 years and we have a loving funny daughter who is 13.
Go check out some more of her fabulous creations at www.tabloach.com !