Want to share a little love? Check out our friend Olivea Borden’s – Oli-Bo-Bolly, Buy a doll, Give a doll project.

Oli-Bo-Bolly Olivia is the eldest daughter of our dear friends, The Bordens. Now 15, Olivea as been sewing since she was 8 yrs old. She is a Colorado State Champion Seamstress and had her designs modeled in the Sustainable Living Fair’s fashion show in 2012 and 2013. Most recently, Olivea won the prestigious Global Leader Young Entrepreneur Competition.

Olivea has a gentle and creative spirit and during our December visit with them we really took note of her amazing work and humanitarian heart.

In 2013 the Bordens (all 7 of them) traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer and serve alongside other ministries for six months. It was a life changing experience for the family and especially Olivea who experience the poverty of a foreign country for the first time. She made note of the children’s lack of toys and dolls. As she met and got to know the children, her desire to be able to give them each a doll grew. In Nicaragua, the average family income is $2.00 a day and the purchase of a toy is rarely a priority. And so, when Olivea returned to the states she set out to do something about it.

The timing was right, as years before Olivea started Oli-Bo-Bolly, at the age of 11. Originally a project using recycled clothing to make new and creative wear and then just before the family trip to Nicaragua, Olivea made a doll for her art class. Little did she know that her first Oli-Bo-Bolly dollie would launch her into a whole new fantastic mission. She began to explore ways to facilitate the need she saw in Nicaragua and using the TOMS shoes model she began to share an opportunity for people to give. She asks for a modest $25 and for every doll ordered and she will make a second dolly for the children in Nicaragua. Her hope is that the gift of a doll will communicate to these children that they are loved, that they have value, and that someone knows they exist.

Her current connection is the Ameya Covenant Church and hopes to return to Nicaragua in May to hand delivering the first batch of dolls. She will also host a training for the women who currently participate in the sewing class at the vocational school, as well as others in the community who already have some sewing skills, and may be interested in making dolls too. Her mom, Diane will assist her on the journey.

Olivea’s motto is “Make art, not trash.” Knowing that over 90% of all clothing in our landfills is still wearable, she is committed to using as many recycled textiles as possible in the one of a kind dollies. Scientific studies have proven over time that natural textiles such as cotton, bamboo, & wool compost much quicker than synthetics like polyester, & so she will use as many natural materials as possible in the craftsmanship of the Oli-Bo-Bolly Dollies.

Olivea is currently taking orders and folks interested in participating in this fantastic project can e-mail Olivea directly at olibobolly@gmail.com 

You’ll be able to choose your clothing color template, hair color, and skin tone.

Olivea says, “the dolls themselves are the What. And I, with your help, am endeavoring to be the How.”

Please consider supporting this grass-roots global local cause.


Oyster Creek Canvas

20130923-101242.jpgWe met Greg and his two children at our performance in Bellingham, WA. They arrived while we were setting up and we had a good hour of conversation. We learned that Greg owned a sewing shop across the street. Intrigued, we asked if we could come by and have a homeschool visit in the morning. He said yes.

The next morning, we made our way to the Oyster Creek Canvas Company. A full service canvas and industrial sewing shop specializing in marine canvas. As we made our way around the shop, Greg shared about his past experience as a deep-sea diver and purchasing his first sewing machine to work on personal projects. That turned into larger projects, an industrial machine, and a building with a large scale production shop. Add his welcoming smile and genuinely warm personality and you have a recipe for success.

As we make our way around this globe, it is encouraging to hear stories like Greg’s. He’s our global/local neighbor and if you ever get to Bellingham, stop in and say “Hi” from us Hollands! And, if you have canvas needs, Oyster Creek Canvas is the best in the bay!