What's new in various product categories; monthly
"Reborning" – A New Form of
Realism beyond what many thought possible.
by Staff Report (August 18, 2008)
What's new in the craft world? Actually, something that's old.
Remember when the Cabbage Patch doll set off a huge
dollmaking trend, then faded? Like so many other trends, dollmaking
goes in cycles. And like the legendary Phoenix, the new rises up out
of the ashes of the old.
How old is this baby? Yes, it's a newborn, but it was brought
into the world through the art of "reborning." It's not
porcelain; it's made on a 3D canvas of vinyl in the shape of a
newborn baby. With special brushes, paints, and a myriad of other
tools and supplies, a "reborn artist" has given birth to
this incredibly life-like creation.
How life-like is it? Recently, on a hot sunny day in Australia,
police and fire department officials' broke into the back seat of a
car to save ... a baby doll. (Visit www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24019578-1248,00.html.)
This event has been repeated with stories from Europe, South
America, Africa, Canada, and the U.S. Why? A growing number of
crafters are entering the market, then taking their reborn babies
here and there and occasionally forgetting them in the car
Reborning began in the U.S. about six years ago when a crafter
tried to improve a toy doll she had purchased. The results were
impressive and the doll sold for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Word
spread and over the next four years others entered the field with
even better results.
By 2004 the Secrist Doll Company recognized the trend and
developed a line of blank vinyl doll kits that were more life like.
Crafters bought the kits, then asked for help in making the dolls
In response, Secrist developed a line of training DVDs and
supplies. That was like pouring gasoline on a fire – sales
exploded. Soon requests for supplies came from around the world and
the company had to establish warehouses in each continent to meet
the demand. Now reborn artists number in the thousands.
In response to the trend, a European TV network produced an
hour-long documentary, My Fake Baby. The result was an
explosion in the demand for these life-like newborns and a demand
for more artists to make them. The surge was so great that many
reborn suppliers were completely wiped out of their inventory. It
took the company three months to catch up.
Secrist reports that the wave hasn't subsided; growth this year
has been better than ever. Surveys of reborn artists revealed the
majority had seen or purchased a Secrist DVD about the art on eBay,
liked what they had learned, and ordered supplies. The DVD was
initially created to teach reborning, but it became a global ad for
the art form. (Secrist now offers a DVD in Spanish and Portuguese.)
Reborning has given birth to a new wave of professional crafters.
Secrist reports that a good reborn artist can expect to sell
life-like babies on eBay for $250 to $500; some have gone for as
much as $1,000 or more. Crafters can make $2,000 a month or more
through this art form. With eBay as their sales venue, crafters are
no longer limited to craft and doll shows, but now can play on a
Because growth in this industry depends on making the art form
available to a broader audience through products geared for the
beginner, Secrist continues to produce more DVDs to unlock the
secrets of making life-like reborn dolls. This effort also includes
special paints and brushes designed to make reborning easier than
To increase the visibility of the industry, there are
competitions in the U.S. and Europe. Secrist sponsors "Reborn
Baby of the Year," the category's version of Time's
"Man of the Year." The most life-like entry is featured on
the cover of Secrist's annual magazine, the logic being that the
first thing that attracts consumers to reborning is seeing a picture
of a cute baby that turns out to be a doll. The journey begins when
they read about how this baby was made.
There are numerous products available to help the reborner make
that special baby, thus inspiring the consumer to return to the
store for more supplies and new tools. Secrist even offers a drop
ship program to help keep inventory costs down for the retailer.
This art form is not about dolls but about a women's love for the
child. Those who buy the finished babies do not consider themselves
collectors. Instead, they are reliving a moment in time and through
the reborn artist that time is now.
To learn more, visit www.secristdolls.com.