Neighborhood mother Joy Nguyen was like any other loving, nurturing mother who develops a strong bond with her child. But as her first son grew older, his attachment to his mother continued to grow, and Nguyen couldn’t keep up — or at least her hair couldn’t. “He developed an attachment to my hair for whatever reason,” Nguyen said. “I would have to hang my head over the side of the crib so he could sleep.” Nothing on the market could satiate her son’s appetite for hair, so Nguyen decided to take a chunk of her own hair and apply her rudimentary sewing skills to make a doll that would give her scalp a break. It quickly became obvious that the doll was a success, and Nguyen began brainstorming on how to market this to other parents. Now, with, Nguyen has sold her dolls to happy customers all over the country. Typically, she requests that customers send a chunk of their own hair to use on the doll, but otherwise she buys real hair from beauty supply stores. “It’s such a custom product, so most moms will mail me their hair or their child’s hair. Sometimes I’ll even get grandparent’s or dad’s hair.” She attaches the hair to a durable yet simple doll, whose fabric can also be chosen by the customer. The simplicity of the doll supports its intended purpose, which Nguyen describes as “a utilitarian product,” safe and soothing, not so much a toy. Nguyen is considering selling lovey babies in a local natural parenting store, but because the product is completely custom-made, she believes her website is the most effective way to market her dolls.

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