Wisconsin doll-maker aims to fill diversity gap in retail

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NEW BERLIN, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin woman has been making custom dolls to celebrate the diversity of children who aren't well-represented in toy stores.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that former pediatric oncology social worker Amy Jandrisevits started her business, A Doll Like Me, four years ago after she was contacted by an acquaintance whose daughter had her leg amputated. The New Berlin mother was asked if she could make a doll that matched the girl's appearance.

The demand for Jandrisevits' custom dolls immediately skyrocketed. She had 200 doll orders within two months of operating.

Jandrisevits says you almost never see representations of children of color or children with disabilities on a store shelf. She says it's important for children to have something to relate to because they often internalize the standard of what they think they should look like.