The Doll Maker

Cozbi Cabrera breaks the mold

Her one-of-a-kind creations are made of cloth detailed with beading, paint, and hand-rolled hems. Her ideas come “from the heart and hand, which take shape and show up as a doll.” It’s how 41-year-old Cozbi A. Cabrera describes her passion for a craft to which she’s been devoted full time for seven years. Last May, as she found business increasing, Cabrera moved her home-based business into a Brooklyn boutique that now publicly showcases her craft.

A former art director who worked on the imaging and packaging of album covers for artists at top record labels, Cabrera enjoyed sewing as a little girl. “I’ve always been drawn to things that are done very well and with integrity.” So does her clientele, which Cabrera has learned falls into two categories: the collector and the consumer. The former, according to Cabrera, “will purchase [a doll] and cherish [it].” The collector presents a different psyche. “I find the doll collector atypical,” she explains. They tend to be art collectors in addition to having insatiable appetites for new dolls. “They are also very loyal and become advocates. And with great enthusiasm, they bring their friends.”

There are no rules for becoming a doll collector. “People respond to what’s going on inside of them. It really is personal.” Cabrera recommends reading publications such as Antique Doll Collector magazine and attending craft shows, which have stringent guidelines for doll submissions. Among the more notable trade shows are The American Concern for Artistry and Craftsmanship (973-746-0091), The American Arts & Crafts Alliance Inc. (212-866-2239), and Artrider Productions Inc. (www.artrider. com). Visit Cabrera at www.cozbi.com.

ACROSS THE WEB