Slow sales, what might help

I have been reading a lot of post lately, frustrated doll artists who are struggling with sales. Many are newish to this, some have been around awhile.

I have not been doing this very long but I have been making art in general a long time. I don’t like the marketing and sales component, I hate putting a number on my work that sets a value, it feels…yucky but the reality is money is liquid creativity and in order to keep creating you have to generate a little money or win the lottery.

I wrote this in another thread and thought I would share it in hopes that it might be helpful to someone else. I am not an expert, like everyone else I ride out the slow times and celebrate when things pick up.
I hear a lot of people feeling frustrated about this.

I do well on both Etsy and

I make babies for the pleasure of it, my style is slowly developing and I suspect it will keep evolving, I think that is fun.

Slow times happen but if things are slow for and you find yourself blaming the market, you might want to pause and consider that you might need to tweak your game a little.

Buyers are picky because they can be, there are so many babies to choose from.

-Is your photography clean, well lit, free of personal items in the background? Are you providing photos of top of head, left and right side, feet, full body?

-Are you styling your baby in a way that will be appealing not just to you but across the board. Sometimes keeping babies styled simply if you haven’t established a style is the best way to go.

-Have you compared your baby to other babies that are the same kit and artists who are at the same skill level as you? How are they selling, what are their prices like, are you competitive or at the same price point?

-Are you being honest with yourself about your skill level? What are the areas you need improving, what can you do to get to a place where you feel really confident? What are your strengths and how can you show those off with photography and description?

-What sets your baby apart from everyone else baby? Do you have a personal style? Is there something about your babies that stands out like great hair painting, superb rooting, do you have a painting technique that gives your babies a unique look?

Research some prototype artists and look at their work, what makes them unique?

Remember it is ok to be inspired but you need to find your own mojo.


Ladonna Briggs: she is know for making beautiful vintage babies, she shops for unique vintage clothing and accessories. She has a background in restoration so she paints in a way that reminds you of old composition dolls. She has a unique hair painting style.

Bean Shanine: She does alternative art babies, she paints with thick bold color, her babies have crazy hair and unusual eyes, they are all dressed in fun mismatched outfits, they are fun and wild, and no one else uses the color she uses the way she does, she has the eye and the heart of an artists, she makes babies that please her and she finds people that connect with that.

Cierra Watson: She specializes in AA babies, she styles her babies simply so that the doll is the focus of your attention, her skin tones are flawless and glow, no one does AA skin like she does, she has worked really hard to perfect it. She also roots beautifully. She prices her babies fairly, she is humble and kind.

These are just three examples. You would know their babies by looking at them and you would never say, “she paints like…”

To find your style and set yourself apart write down what your dream baby looks like? Do you like ethnic skin tones, fair babies? do you like big kissy lips, dolly faces, big toddlers? What kind of dolls did you love as a child? What kind of dolls do you tend to be drawn to? What colors appeal to you most? If you didn’t have to worry about selling a baby ever and money wasn’t an issue what kind of babies would you make?

Take time away from trying to be a reborn “artist” take time away from creating a “nursery” and just be alone with a kit, some paint, music you like and just paint a baby you love, see what happens.

This should be fun, and be self expression, we are not a factory or a sweat shop, we are people making things with our hands and hearts, that is what makes these babies so special.

We should have a thread here where people can get some feedback and feel safe to ask for that. In order to do that the people who offer feedback will have to have the language to do that, be honest, kind, helpful, and not judgmental.

Remember that this is not a competition, we are all on the same team, when one of us wins we all win, we need to lift each other up and we need to keep this fun, dolls
are historically play things, and no matter how old you are you have to keep playing, be playful.

I have been listening and reading and a couple artists seem to feel that taking other artists down will build them up somehow, that never works, good expands, what you put out will find its way back to you so let’s be kind and honest.

Thank you for indulging me, I never outgrew being the bossy know-it-all big sister.


I :heart: your perspective and your words of wisdom. Thank you for encouraging others.


I found this so refreshing to my inner artist. I find myself getting so caught up in trying to prove to my hubby this can pay for itself, that I am not wasting money, justifying why I bought another kit etc. Not that he is harsh or a bad guy by any means, he is just a businessman, been self driven his whole life business wise. I need to work on getting out of that business headspace it really does hinder my self expression! Thank you for helping me assess my situation!


Gina, you seem like such a wise knowledgeable “lightworker” so kind with your advice and suggestions. I have been reading the Forum with great interest for about six months. I started painting reborns in January with some trepidation and fear, but lots of persistence and desire. You ladies seem like such a great group of artists. I believe artists are very deep, intuitive and spiritual beings and I know for myself I’ve had some demons that I have had to heal and for the most part I’ve come to a good emotional place in my life. For me creativity can be a place of peace. But not always an easy smooth transition. I have laughed at some of the comments made here by many. I just wanted you folks to hear from me and let you Gina and many others how much I appreciate you all. I just posted three of my dolls on I am very hard on my work and my prices are low, but as my confidence grows I hope my prices will be too. I want to be fair with my prices because I am new at this and with everyone that reads my message I want you to know how much you have contributed to my learning this new art form. Penelope’s Reborn Dolls.


Thank you for all these tips and reminders. This month I have thought a lot about what is going to set me apart. I am fairly new, so I am eager to try everything, yet at some point, I know I will have to sit down and think about what makes me a distinct artist. Many discussions inside my head are happening right now, and I think I’m slowly coming up on something unique that also makes me happy. You kind of sealed the deal for me to officially declare my style after 10 babies. Yes, all my babies are good and fine, but there is one who makes me dream of my future nursery. I hope everyone can relate to that and grab on! It’s an awesome ride!


Welcome to the forum, Penelope!

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Gina…great words of advice!! You always, always, always say things so beautifully and string your words together so that they are a joy to read…supportive, instructive, and entertaining!!!

I love painting…for me…yes…I love seeing a baby sell…but the absolute most fun part to me is in the creating!!!


Thank you, you are another lady who’s advice I admire.


Oh, thank you Penelope! It’s a high praise for a new RA like me. You’ve made my day :blush:

Thank you so much and welcome to the wonderful (expensive) world of baby hoarding!

Not sure about “lightwkrker” but thank you that is a beautiful compliment.

Dolly ladies can be very generous and interesting, we have ladies here from all different backgrounds and from all different interesting places.

Good luck with your babies on Reborns, Dave runs a superb selling platform, easy to use, dolls at every price range and skill level and the membership is fair, he is also a great guy.

I started the same way, kept my prices low and the crept up as my skills improved as did my confidence. I think I am overly critical of my work like most people, but I am confident that I have made much improvement.

Can’t wait to check out your babies.

You woman have been a wealth of information from the very beginning, you are always so generous with what you know, what you find, and I know no one else who can pull together information as fast as you can.

I appreciate you more than you know.


I think art can be a business but business is totally an art of its own.

In my experience creatives tend to love the making of art more than the making of money.

I think reburying can be profitable but it has to be a perfect storm; awesome creative skills, good business sense, great marketing, patience, the ability to multi task, be organized, be opening to learning, grow, and be disciplined…oh and have some healthy capital, this isn’t cheap.

I think most people want to break even so they can keep doing what they love, then there are those who think they can get rich quick (not gonna happen) and then the lovely scammers who make a few bucks and a lot of enemies.

This is fun, its like a little pretend world, a break from reality…who doesn’t love babies (especially ones that don’t keep you up all night, or need braces and college tuition).

Express yourself, have fun, be happy and the money that should show up, will.

(that is me being pretending to be a reborn guru, I am really more like rumplestiltskin)


Amen sister!

Well said, however I hate marketing and selling part :grimacing:

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yes mam, it is a pain in the booty, if I won the lottery I would just make babies and give them away.


That is so true! @jlesser is lightning fast on the info! It is almost as though she has it in her head and just recalls at a seconds notice! :slight_smile: I, too, appreciate your wisdom and generosity in sharing it with us.


Very inspirational!

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