When my daughter was 8 years old, I would walk through a majority of toy-stores in despair, looking for toys for her that were engaging, feminine, and celebrated girls' potential. Where were the creative toys that promoted intelligent play for girls? Why did all the 'smart' toys seem to be so boy–oriented?
My name is Frances Cain and these were the questions I asked myself while searching for something unique and amazing for my daughter to play with and learn from. I found plenty of 'girls' toys - lots of pink, and plenty of plastic – but very few toys that told our girls that they were smart, strong and could achieve anything they put their minds to.
After all, our girls are so much more than play lipstick and pretend ironing boards, and their toys should be, too.
A Unique Concept
Your Modern Girl™ is a unique collection of contemporary dolls whose characters are warm, funny, diverse and smart - and refuse to fit into any stereotypes. Your Modern Girl™ range of dolls come from every walk of life and from different socio-economic, family and ethnic backgrounds ... In other words, they are just like today’s girls.
We want to create a new range of dolls that reflect the joy and freedom that come from being a young girl, with endless opportunities ahead of her, knowing that her choices are limited only by her imagination and determination.
I have loved history and historical fiction since I was little, but when I was younger I always wondered where were the stories that told us about women, their lives and their accomplishments.
The sad fact is that there is relatively little written about women or their contributions throughout history - definitely NOT the kind of history lesson I want my daughter (or son!) learning.
So when I started to craft A Girl for All Time®, I knew I wanted something that celebrated girls throughout history and reinforced strong female characters with endless potential. I could find loads of toys and books with boys as the main protagonists - I felt it was time to balance the gender bias and create a brand that focussed on girls and their accomplishments.
After all, it's an important message for both our girls - and our boys.
While researching stories for our A Girl for All Time® characters, I found studies showing that children who know about their own family history grow up mentally healthier and better able to cope with stress (with stronger emotional connections to their families) than children who don’t know their own family history.
It seems that knowing about the trials and triumphs of our ancestors actually helps us become stronger and more resilient ourselves.
So the idea of combining family trees and celebrating girls throughout history indeed seemed a perfect match.
And so I launched A Girl for All Time®, a range of thoughtfully designed dolls and books that celebrate intelligent play. Our unique collection of dolls and stories follow the fictional Marchmont family through 500 years of adventure and intrigue, from Tudor times to present day, from the court of Henry VIII to modern day London.
A Girl for All Time® already designs, produces and sells a range of award winning historical dolls and books, with numerous awards and accolades (including Playdoll of the Year ) from both the UK and the USA.
Your Modern Girl™ is the continuation of our historical range, bringing the fictional Marchmont family into present day. We are excited to bring our expertise in design and craftsmanship to the world of contemporary dolls through this new range.
Meet Your Modern Girl™
Your Modern Girl™ range of dolls will reflect the joy and freedom that come from being a young girl, the endless opportunities that are ahead of her and knowing that her choices are limited only by her imagination and determination.
Maya is the first in our new range - she is a continuation of our historical Marchmont family tree into present day and is a direct descendent of Matilda, Your Tudor Girl™, the first in our range of historical dolls.
Maya lives in London in present times as does her best friend Nisha, who is the second in our new range of dolls. Their group of diverse friends will form the core group of Your Modern Girl™ dolls, with an additional 4 friends to follow after the initial launch of the range.
We take every step of our design process very seriously. We start with a concept, a backstory and a personality and then spend an average of 12-18 months developing each new character.
Once we know the characters we want to produce, we then start drafting their story and their look.
Designing a doll
With each doll taking an average of 12-18 months, the process can seem slow, but each step must be carefully thought out. After having successfully produced 5 separate ranges in our historical line, we are confident that Your Modern Girl™ will be to the same exacting standard as our award winning historical dolls.
First, we start with the concept drawings. These are the result of long discussions about each character's personality, likes and dislikes, traits and back story.
Then we start the long process of making a prototype doll. The master moulds alone take up to 3 months to develop and perfect, and once the master mould is finished, then we can start making the production moulds. Only once the production moulds are completed, can we then finally start making our prototypes.
Next is costume design. We average 8-10 design sessions per collection, constantly striving for the perfect combination of on-trend designs true to each character, stunning fabrics, and of course originality in concept.
Bringing Your Modern Girl™ to life!
Now we need your help!
Manufacturing top quality, beautifully designed and intricate products like our dolls takes time, effort and dedication. It also takes funds. We want to make Your Modern Girl™ a reality and bring them to your homes, but we can only do it with your help!
We have a dedicated (and amazingly talented!) team hard at work, and now have gorgeous prototypes for Your Modern Girl™ dolls and costumes ready to go!
But we can't manufacture Maya or Nisha without your help. In order to bring Your Modern Girl™ range to life, we need your pledges to bring this range to market.
Please pledge to our campaign and you can bring home lots of goodies exclusive to this campaign AND you will know that you are helping us to continue to produce and promote intelligently designed toys for today's girls.
Production Time Frame:
if successful, we can put in a deposit for Your Modern Girl™ to start production as soon as the campaign ends.
It usually takes 2-3 months to finalise fabrics and materials, and then another 4-6 months to produce the dolls and packaging. Shipping is the next step and is usually between 4-7 weeks depending on the time of year and the shipping schedules. Then we will need another 4 weeks to get product through customs, delivered to our offices and warehouses, and sent out to you.
We are estimating doll delivery will be between November 2016 and March 2017, depending on how quickly we can get a deposit to the factory.
Any updates in schedules or changes to the production prototypes will be faithfully updated by our team at A Girl for All Time®.
Frances Cain: Frances is founder and big boss of A Girl for All Time®. She left her native shores of America over 20 years ago and has since lived in Italy and the Netherlands and now Britain. She has been voted Top 100 Women in the UK Toy Industry two years in a row, and is the UK Chairwoman of the Women In Toys International chapter. She is dedicated to promoting and assisting women within the toy and licensing industries.
Sandra Goldbacher: Sandra is a critically acclaimed, award-winning screen-writer and director. Twice BAFTA nominated for her period feature films ‘Me Without You’ and 'The Governess’, her films focus on stories which explore the complexity and intensity of young female friendships. One of her recent feature length films for the BBC was an adaptation of the children’s classic ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfeild, starring Emma Watson, which won best film at the Rome TV festival. Her most recent projects include 'The Hour' with Dominic West and Oona Chaplin, 'Endeavour' with Sean Evans and curently ITV's adaptation of 'Victoria' with Jenna Coleman.
Pete Salmi: Peter is a filmmaker who studied at the Royal College of Art and the University of Southern California. As well as writing for cinema and television, he has directed scores of commercials all over the world including Levis, Ford, Nokia, Martini, Carlsberg and Intel. As such he is always looking for the right balance of visuals and narrative, something he’s very excited to extend into book form.
David Cain: David "Head of Boring Stuff" Cain is responsible for all things non-creative-but-still-really-really-important (or so he says). David has a BS in accounting and information systems from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management. After over 20 years in investment banking and finance in London, David is finally able to use some of the stuff he studied and is a happier person for it.
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Please help us spread the word about our campaign to develop and promote intelligent, creative play for girls and SHARE our Kickstarter!
Special thanks to Rebecca Wolff and Dean Puckett for their help on the video, and special thanks ( and a Big Hug ! ) to the delightful Olga Watkins from Swish and Swirl for her photographic skills on many of our stills of the dolls.
Risks and challenges
Like most manufacturing projects , there are always unforeseen circumstances that can potentially delay shipping, such as weather, shipping schedules and customs. However, as a small company that already successfully produces, ships and sells a line of upmarket historical dolls, we feel confident that our past experience in this area will help us avoid any major pitfalls along the way. We will however always keep the you updated about any hiccups along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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