A modern take on a childhood classic, these dolls are imagined, crafted and sold by a mother-daughter team right here in St. Augustine.
A long history of sewing has brought together the family trio that makes up Babbie and Babe. What started out as a heart felt, handmade gift for a new baby in the family has evolved into a new business. Nora Fretto and her two daughters, Meghan Lemine and Amy Armstrong wanted a feminine business name that was as nostalgic as their ragdolls. Babbie and Babe were the names of two of Nora’s great aunts; two simplistic women with a penchant for collecting and enjoying special little treasures.
The three women all started sewing at a young age. With Amy and Meghan’s grandmother’s collection of fabric and each of their creative talents, these women are enjoying fashioning their modern ragdolls. Amy and Nora craft the dolls here in St. Augustine and Meghan handles their marketing strategy, social media, and Etsy site from out of town.
Each of the one of a kind Babbie and Babe dolls starts from a standard unisex pattern. Nora expertly sews on French knots as eyes, and then the hair and mouth are felted on. The dolls are filled with 100% natural corn fiber, the clothing is made from recycled fabric from their inherited collection, and the hair on some of the dolls is made with natural alpaca or sheep’s wool.
Once each doll is created, Meghan is usually tasked with inventing the character and story to go along with each doll. Some of the dolls are named after someone they know, as a sort of tribute to the friend or family member the doll is inspired by. Babbie and Babe also offer custom dolls; they want children to relate to them, as well as serve an educational value on other cultures.
Babbie and Babe dolls are currently sold on Etsy and will soon be entering retail boutiques in St. Augustine.