Meet a young dollmaker who beats the odds | Fusion - WeRIndia

Meet a young dollmaker who beats the odds

Meet a young dollmaker who beats the odds

Many people were confined to homes during COVID-19 lockdowns. However, for Radhika JA, a resident of Coimbatore, staying at home for long durations has been a way of life since childhood when she was diagnosed with a rare bone disease.

Despite her limited mobility, Radhika found solace in her creativity. Her creativity began with greeting cards. She eventually developed a passion for crafting African-style dolls using upcycled newspapers.

As her skill grew, so did the demand for her dolls. Her skill attracted the attention of friends, family, and even strangers.

Radhika reflects on her journey, stating that crafting these dolls and engaging in various crafts helped combat her feelings of loneliness. It provided her with a sense of freedom and allowed her to immerse herself in a world she had created.

Over the past few years, Radhika has transformed her passion and hobby into a business. She sold over 800 dolls. Her remarkable accomplishments were recently recognized with the Kovai Wonder Woman Award, acknowledging her as an innovative thinker and skilled artisan.

With a collection of around 300 doll catalogues, Radhika primarily promotes her creations on Instagram. Prospective buyers express their interest and make inquiries via WhatsApp. It serves as the main point of contact with customers.

The dolls range in price from ₹150 to ₹700. Radhika receives orders from individuals as well as bulk orders from organizations.

The lockdown imposed logistical challenges, and business was temporarily paused for a few months.

However, even during that time, Radhika continued to receive customer interest. She managed to create 80 dolls, which were delivered once the lockdown eased.

While African-style dolls remain Radhika’s speciality, she also ventured into making dolls inspired by renowned film stars and scientists during the lockdown. She considers these endeavours to be ongoing works in progress.

Radhika’s journey has been filled with challenges and medical setbacks since she suffered her first fracture at the age of five.

Multiple surgeries and ongoing pain led to her diagnosis of a rare bone disease similar to brittle bone disease in 2010.

Throughout her school years, she faced additional fractures. She had to take breaks due to intense pain and the strain on her spinal cord caused by sitting for extended periods.

These experiences prevented her from attending school regularly and participating in various activities during her teenage years.

Image Credit: JA Radhika Facebook page

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