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Gautier artist turns sketches of dolls into cottage industry

Micah Nelson at work making dolls she calls her “creatures.” For every doll sold, she sends one overseas for a child in a safe house. The bottom right photo shows Micah with some of the dolls she creates and sells.

Micah Nelson at work making dolls she calls her “creatures.” For every doll sold, she sends one overseas for a child in a safe house. The bottom right photo shows Micah with some of the dolls she creates and sells.

By Tammy Leytham 

 

GAUTIER — Micah Nelson came from a line of “awesome seamstresses,” but didn’t take advantage of learning the craft when she had the chance. She wishes now she had.

Sewing skills would come in handy in her cottage industry of making and selling dolls, Magnolia Fox Studios.

“I learn as I go,” she said.

“When I see what I have on my sketch pad, it sometimes takes me a little time to get where I want.”

But not to worry. She calls her mother and grandmother on FaceTime for help as needed.

A 2011 Mississippi State University graduate, Nelson studied art with an emphasis in photography.

After college, a mission trip to the Philippines gave her a direction for her talent. “I was so impacted by the trip to the Philippines, I wanted to do something. I just didn’t know what.”

Nelson started sketching what she called creatures. Last year, she started playing around with the sketches to make them into something 3D.

“What better way to do that than dolls … something for children to play with,” Nelson said.

magnolia fox studio-sewing_rgbThe dolls have a simple form. They are faceless, made with colorful materials and scarfs that give them “personality.”

In August, she launched her website, magnoliafoxstudio.com, as a place to sell the dolls.

“Since then I’ve been creating different dolls,” Nelson said. “Each takes on a personality of its own, so people can relate to them. It makes it fun.”

There’s Nina, from the heart of the Delta, who loves a full house and lived through the time of the beehive hairstyle. And Dee Dee, described as a hippie at heart who is a fan of Elvis.

But that’s what comes from Nelson’s daydreaming. The beauty of these dolls is their adaptability. “It gives children a chance to use their imagination,” she said.

For each doll sold, another is donated to Rapha House, a Christian organization that provides homes overseas for children who have been victims of human trafficking. The homes are places for safety and healing, and the organization participates in rescuing children, as well as attending to their physical, mental and emotional needs.

She sent her first shipment of dolls to Cambodia in October.

magolia fox studio-finished_rgbNelson continues to work in various media, including her photography. She does paintings of her “creatures,” and other mixed media as well.

And soon she plans to add books that go along with each doll. She’s lined up a writer for the story, and she’ll do the illustrations.

“I want to see where the creatures take me,” she said.

Nelson and her husband, Andrew, live in Gautier. She can be reached at 228-218-2745 or mrsmagnoliafox@gmail.com. She can be followed on Instagram: @magnoliafoxstudio.

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