Friday, April 25, 2014

Recent projects

I'm not a very good blogger, am I? Sorry!

Life's been busy, but I want to try updating this blog more. Last year I was forturante to receive some great commission requests. The first was from Land of Nod. We worked together on four custom drawings for their wall art program. Here is the end result -

Excited to say that I have some more Land of Nod products coming soon!

The second commission was from American Greetings for their card program at Target(!). I worked on these way back in April of 2013. It was SO hard to wait to share with anyone. They are in Target stores now in the Mother's Day section.

I have some more projects in the works that I can't wait to share! Here is a sneak peek at a collaboration with Sugar Paper that I'm working on now. 



Monday, September 16, 2013

Sophie & Lili for North American Bear Company

After about a year of development, Sophie & Lili for North American Bear Co. dolls are finally here! I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

See all the styles here or here! Mini dolls will be available in a few weeks.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh Baby!

Introducing hand knit baby dolls. Hand knit in Bolivia by skilled artisans. Ready to ship soon! Pre-order here -

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sophie & Lili for North American Bear Company!

As some of you know, in 2009 I started making my handmade dolls after a 2 year break from my small clothing company of the same name Sophie & Lili. Since April 2009 I have made about 4000 dolls after hours and weekends. Designing these dolls is something I am truly passionate about, but making them all myself was not something I really planned for. It has really become too much with a FT job & two young daughters. So...last year I started to think about licensing my designs. I researched a few companies and focused on one which really impressed me - North American Bear Company. North American Bear Co. is a soft toy company based in Chicago & NYC. They deal mostly with specialty boutiques vs. mass market big box stores. They are also one of the only existing soft toy design studios left in the city! When I visited their studio in NYC a few months ago I was smitten with the quality of their designs and how closely knit their company is. It felt like a perfect fit.

After a few months of discussions & brainstorming...I am proud to announce that Sophie & Lili will be partnering with North American Bear Co. this year! This co-branded licensing agreement includes 6 new 12" dolls, 6 new 6" mini dolls (on a little clip to hang onto backbacks etc), a tote to carry your doll in & 6 cute "goody bags" (coin purses). 19 pieces to start!

They have a huge library of toys. Here are some of my favorites (the topsy turvy dolls are so fun!):

We are quickly trying to get samples made for the upcoming New York International Gift Fair. I will be at the show Sunday (1/27) & Monday (1/28) to kick off the launch! Booth #1830.

With all this comes a few changes for Sophie & Lili online & wholesale sales. I will continue to sell my hand knit dolls, hair accessories, DIY kits, drawings and custom (one-of-a-kind) dolls. I will not be selling my "regular" dolls after January. When these new (licensed) items are available, I will be offering them on my site too.

Please let me know if you have any questions ( or leave a comment here.

I hope you are as excited as I am. Thank you all for helping me make Sophie & Lili a success! I am so grateful for all your orders, ideas, kind comments & encouragement.

Jennifer Vallez

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hand knit with love.

Please welcome our new hand knot dolls to the Sophie & Lili family! These 3 doll styles (blonde, brunette & black hair) are hand knit by talented Bolivian artisans. 100% baby alpaca with pima cotton details.

Available here


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Illustrations for Oh Joy!

Every Thursday you can find my illustrations on Oh Joy! in her  "How I'd Wear..." series. Here are a few past outfits:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Illustrator for hire?

I have been drawing since the first time I knew what a crayon could do. It was my first true passion. If given the choice of going outside to play or stay in and draw, I would choose the latter. I filled countless sketchbooks (which I still have in the basement). Looking at them now makes me cringe and laugh at the same time...but I am happy I saved them. My oldest daughter looked at them recently and it inspired her to start saving her art in books too.

I've had a few freelance projects here & there. Two of the more exciting ones were a character sketch for a lingerie company that was featured in a Victoria's Secret catalogue & an instructional package insert for L'Oreal (not sure if that ever got printed). I was always unsure how to price my art, not to mention a little insecure about it, so I didn't pursue more work. Looking back, I am disappointed in myself for not doing MORE.

(character design for Polkadot USA) 
(L'Oreal package insert) 

I guess it is never too I started to draw again. Not just doodling at my Monday morning meetings and then throwing them in the trash. Real sketchbook drawings (fashion sketches) like I used to do. Thanks to Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram, I got to do a little crowd control. Turns out that there are a bunch of nice people out there that wanted to BUY my art (thank you!). I now have a range of younger looking drawings for my teeny S&L customers and then some more grown up looking watercolors for the MOMS of my teeny S&L customers. The response has has given me the confidence to want to try different things. I would love to do cards, paper dolls, a children's book, etc. (I just need to find the time).

(some personal doodles from a Levi's contest)

Next week you will be seeing more of my watercolors on a popular blog & I couldn't be more excited! This is my first real illustration job in about 8 years. I think it will be a weekly feature. This is a super fun project for a woman with amazing taste & style. And it has been killing me to keep it mum. :)

You will see Tuesday!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Watercolor Love

Until a few weekends ago, I hadn't picked up a paintbrush since college. My kids asked me to sit with them while they painted & I decided I'd paint a little too. I love the softness of the colors & the happy little accidents that happen with watercolor. I put a few photos of my sketches on instagram and the response has been so encouraging that I have been adding/selling new watercolors a few times a week in my shop. 

Thank you for all the kind words, purchases and the encouragement. I would love to take a refresher course if I had the time.

Visit my shop to see more.

I am also playing around with this site - you can buy iPhone skins, cases, framed prints etc!