|Lexie & Jenny
|by NIADA artist Heather Maciak
|Dear Lexie and Jenny aficionados,
One of my dreams, ever since I started creating dolls, was to make dolls that were the quality of my
originals, but affordable to all collectors. In 2006, I made a leap of faith and became a one-woman
Lexie and Jenny were the result.
Over the past three years, my whole life has revolved around Lexie and Jenny. I don’t think I really
imagined what it would be like to unbox, dress, rebox, pack and ship 2,000 dolls, and for her help, I owe
many thanks to Teri Ontkean, who thought it was fun to sit for ten hours, pulling on panties and doing up
tiny buttons. She was always cheerful
and upbeat, was much better at tying bows than I was, and best of all, she worked for dolls.
Teri has the largest collection of Lexie and Jenny dolls in captivity!
When I wasn’t packing and shipping dolls, I was on the computer or behind the camera, promoting and
marketing them, and when I wasn’t doing that, I was travelling~ it seemed that the girls and I were always
going to various conventions and shows. My life became a neverending treadmill.
As for Lexie and Jenny, they’ve reached out to collectors everywhere, & they’ve positively come to life
during their time in the doll world. They traveled in padded cuddles (a gift from Nancy Barbata of Doll
Fancier), & you never know where they were going to turn up next. On one trip, Lexie met & hung out with
a handsome guard at the Royal Palace in Copenhagen. The girls got to pat a real Puffin at an information
booth in Iceland. They went to New York City, where they got to see the Statue of Liberty and they
paid a visit to FAO Schwarz. They visited a farm, where they gathered eggs & checked out the cows, and
where Lexie had an unfortunate incident with a curious kitten! Lexie & Jenny even came with me to
explore Vancouver Island, & when we were ready to move, they helped me pack.
During their short sojourn, Jenny & Lexie have appeared in many guises. Jenny became a Painted Bride
with Lexie as her Bridesmaid, and a second, shorn Lexie dressed up as Alexander, the impromptu Groom!
Lexie and Jenny were schoolgirls in Buffalo, and visited the seashore at an Albany event. Jenny became a
German Little Red Riding Hood for a Cape Cod event, and later, Lexie donned a red wool felt cape as
Brave Little Red, the North American counterpart. Lexie became Anne of Green Gables, while Jenny
played the part of Alice in Wonderland, twice! They have appeared in sunsuits and corduroy, in ruffles
and pinafores, in dressy coats and bonnets. They even have their own Yahoo group, and I will always be
grateful to Pam and Norvell for their neverending enthusiasm,
hard work and support, and to the loyal members of that group.
Throughout this process, I have had the time of my life, and I’ve realized my dream of creating dolls that
are fine quality while still being affordable. The only problem is, Revenue Canada still thinks of me as a
hobbyist. When I embarked on this odyssey, I laid the logistics out on paper, and it looked as though it
would be a profitable venture, but no matter how carefully I’ve planned, I’ve never been able to figure
out how to make money doing this, and I refuse to lower my standards. One of the things I hadn’t
counted on was the fluctuation of world markets, and my narrow little profit margin has been constantly
buffeted by the rise and fall of the Canadian & US dollars & the Euro. As my long-suffering and ever-
supportive husband has gently reminded me, when something becomes full-time,
it should probably make some money.
Nevertheless, this has been a wonderful experience for me in so many ways. I can’t write about Lexie and
Jenny without mentioning Leannie, the company in China who took my original sculpts and created from
them two little dolls that were beyond my wildest dreams for quality, and Boneka, Rosemarie Ionker’s
cottage industry that creates the most exquisite costuming in the doll world. Last but far from least has
been my contact with collectors & retailers, and many of you have become friends. I will never forget your
warmth and enthusiasm, your love and support~ thank-you for always being there for me. Lexie and Jenny
will always be a highlight of my dollmaking career, and if I had it to do over, I would be there in a
I know that many of you have been hoping that I would create friends for Lexie and Jenny, and that was
certainly my long-term plan. However, with our move to Vancouver Island and the purchase of a house
that has needed major renovations, I have had to rethink my priorities, and I’ve regretfully decided that I
can’t afford the risks of continuing with my manufacturing. I am going back to my originals,
and I am looking forward to again creating children in small editions.
I apologize to those of you who feel blindsided by this letter. Many of you have talked to me or received
e-mails from me in the past few days and weeks, and are probably wondering why I haven’t said anything. I
hope that you will understand the need for an open letter, and that you will support me in my foray back
into the simpler life
of creating original dolls in my studio.
Although the last box has been opened, the last of the dolls have been dressed, and the last of my little
angels are set to wing their way to their new homes, I don’t intend to turn my back on Lexie and Jenny. In
fact, I plan to be more actively involved with the Yahoo group than I’ve been able to be in the past year. I’
m already designing some exciting new patterns for the girls, and Pam, Norvell & I have some great ideas for
challenges, with special prizes to offer to the winners. I hope that Lexie and Jenny will continue to bring
joy to you all for a long time to come!
With warm wishes to all of you, Heather
|2007 & 2008
|Welcome to Lexie and Jenny's Home page!
Lexie & Jenny ceased production in 2010.
Below is the letter written to collectors at that time.
However, you can still see images of the 2007 & 2008 editions,
as well as special editions, costuming, patterns
and all other things jennyandlexie.
Just click on the links to the left!