I'm Carolina Santello, mother, artist, graphic designer and entrepreneur, and have been a custom doll artist since 2013. I started out of curiosity after buying my first Blythe doll and discovering all the wonderful artists working on these exquisite and curious dollies.
My first attempt was met with moderate success, but I enjoyed the process so much, I just kept on trying and trying and learning. After a year of intense iteration to develop my style and technique, and a lot of encouragement from my audience on Instagram and other social media, I've decided to open up shop and see if other people would like to have my art.
To my surprise, the first doll I ever put up for sale sold in less than 30 minutes, and I have been truly blessed to always find people who understand and appreciate my creativity and support me by buying my dolls.
I've had the privilege to make the lives of hundreds of customers happier through my dolls, something which humbles me every day, and gives me stop to be thankful. My girls have traveled to the four corners of the world, from the USA and Canada to South America, from Spain to Austria, from Singapore to Japan and even to Australia.
I have created over 140 dollies, and each one of them is truly unique. While my skill and technique have developed quite far in the 6 years I've been making them, even if I try I can't make 2 look the exact same.
I believe dolls should look like dolls, not real people. I love vintage porcelain dolls and vintage dollies in general, and I try to express my vision for the perfect doll in each one I create. My style is romantic and whimsical, with every doll born to be a princess or a magical being.
On a couple of occasions, I've had the honor of showcasing my work at doll collector conventions, the most recent ones being BlytheCon Malaga 2017 and Evento Blythe Madrid also in 2017. I've made many friends along the years in these and many other events and places around these incredible dollies. They help us create bonds that last a lifetime.
For me, creating them is therapeutic. Not only are the dollies the main outlet for my imagination and creativity, but they are also a great way to relieve me of the stresses of a busy life. It's a dear piece of "me time" where I get to truly enjoy myself bringing to reality the perfect little girls in my head.
My studio is my safe haven, where I go to create, play and have fun with my doll collection. The support of all of you is what makes it possible for me to not only give back to the dolly community, supporting other artists that make furniture, clothes, dollhouses and handmade dolls; but also to dedicate this space to sharing my art and collection with the world.
Located in rural East Flanders in Belgium, I live with my husband, my son, my dog and my 3 cats in a beautiful house next to a windmill and a church. The scenery couldn't be more inspiring, and the slower village life really helps channel my creative juices.
I must confess, I have an addiction. Buying dolls is my vice and it ain't stopping. I lost count at 100, and wouldn't dare to count again. Most of my collection is fashion dolls but I don't discriminate. My passion for them did not fade with childhood, I've always loved dolls and always will.
I've bought almost every single stock Neo Blythe Doll released after I started customizing, and it breaks my heart to see people customize them and take them away from potential future collectors like me. There, I said it. I think we're really lucky to see this doll re released after almost 40 years without any action.
But my love doesn't stop at Blythe, oh no. I absolutely adore the Licca dolls from Japan and collect what little I can get my hands on here in Europe of them. I also enjoy collecting the Azone 1:6 scale girls, their outfits are stunning and so well made, and the dolls are very cute.
I would love to start collecting the Barbie Silkstone dolls, but that's an even deeper hole that I'm not sure I'd manage to get out of without crumbling under the weight of the many beautiful dolls they have released over the years. Luckily most of them aren't available where I live.
Supporting other artists is a priority for me, and alongside a handful of custom Blythe dolls, I also have boutique fashion dolls from artist I admire in Asia, like Jerry Berry, Kuku klara, ChicaBi, and Blue Fairy. These are my absolute favorite part of my collection, along with...
The wardrobe. If buying dolls is a problem, buying clothes for them is an even bigger addiction. I probably have bought enough dolly clothes over the years to fill a whole real sized large suitcase. My hubby has created lovely closets for my dolly clothes, but I have too many of them and ended up needing even more storage, so we added kitchen cabinets to the studio. Now they're overflowing to suitcases. HELP!
I love collecting play scale furniture as well, much of which you can see in the photo shoots I make for my own dolls. It's a shame there isn't more out there in 1:6 scale and all classic dollhouse furniture is made in 1:12 scale. Or maybe it's a blessing. Where would I put all of it?
I share what I can from my collection on Instagram so you can enjoy it along with me! If you see something you'd like to know more about just send me a DM or use the contact form on the website!