Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amish Dolls Made in China?

Amish doll made in Emma's shop
Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. Very busy getting a new novel written and out to my publisher. Most of the time I’m inspired to write, but this time, I want to get up on my soap box and yell from a bullhorn.
A conversation on Amish Literature Fans on Facebook was very disturbing. One member said she bought an Amish doll and was surprised when she took it home to find that it had a label on it, “Made in China”. Well, I was shocked, but then other members got their dolls out and found the same thing. MADE IN CHINA!
I was upset enough to do further research. Many shops in Amish tourist areas aren’t buying authentic Amish dolls from the locals, but from, well, China. Please feel free to leave a comment disagreeing with me, but I feel this is deceitful. I mean, you go off to an Amish settlement and buy a doll and I would think an Amish person made it. You are in Amish country, not the mall.
I know many shops carry local Amish crafts, so you can’t lump them all together. But I got to thinking.  What if everyone asked where the Amish doll was made before purchasing  it? This would help the Amish tremendously. Many Amish women make dolls in their homes and sell them in little craft shops, usually in a separate building by their house. If you go to an Amish settlement, why not follow the white hand painted signs to a craft or quilt shop. Not only will you get to meet some nice Amish folks, but you’ll know where it came from. The qualities of the dolls are also much better.
My Amish friend Emma has a quilt shop. She has customers from around the globe. People want to meet a real Amish person and buy something they’ve made. Can we be like that in America? When we shop for Amish dolls, can we ask if it’s made in the USA, by an Amish person?


  1. CLAP CLAP CLAP Karen!! Stand tall and proud on your soap box!

    I was in a little shop last week in Ohio and every item I picked up was made, where do you think?........
    You guessed it, in CHINA!!! We (Canadians and Americans) are honestly GIVING our industry away. It is so very sad!

  2. Thanks for sharing Allyson. This has shocked me to no end! I thought I sounded harsh...righteous indignation? GRR

  3. I'm glad you wrote this post and you didn't sound harsh at all, Karen :) I think it's very sad. If I ever go to an Amish community I want to purchase something they made. I guess most people don't look at the tag, just assuming it's made by the Amish. I guess that they are sold by Englishers trying to capitalize on the Amish phenomenon. bad, bad, bad!

  4. I totally agree with you on this. If I wanted it from CHINA, I would go online or to the local flea market. If I go to Amish country... I want to buy stuff made IN THAT COMMMUNITY!

    BAD, bad, bad... shame on those stores that are being deceitful.

  5. ANNE & PWNMOM thanks for your comments. Maybe my anger didn't come through in the post, but I am shocked and upset about this. Many Amish can't compete with English stores in town. I heard Amish rockers were being made in China too, but have to dig more info on that. I hope folks will go to Amish country and go to the little Amish shops and buy AMISH!!!!!

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  7. "This country will never get off its knees financially if we keep allowing this type of thing to happen." Sue, you nailed it. Exactly! Thanks my friend ;)

  8. Today discovered Amish dolls and so surprised!!!
    Check our my blog on Russian traditional dolls and you will understand.

    Incredible that similar traditions appears on opposite sides of the globe :)

  9. I am sorry to say that Americans have done it to ourselves.
    I have had a small gift shop in Dayton ,Va for over 22 yrs. We would hit the back roads of Amish Country in PA and Ohio to bring Amish or American made crafts to va. Back then things were booming in our shop but the items were not easy to come by and not marked up very much but WE had the older Americans STILL fuss about the price so us gift shops had to go where we can get the affordable items.....We still have very few American made products AND it is NOT easy!! I have LOST SOOO many GOOD LINES OF MINE IN THIS RECESSION.BUT now I am looking for AMERICAN MADE AMISH DOLLS TO retail.. May some help..? Thanks for your Kind attention