Our latest featured maker, Rosanna Bernstein, was inspired by her own journey through cancer to design and give away dolls for children undergoing treatment themselves. Her Etsy store, featuring Spoonflower-designed blankets, children’s clothing and dolls fuels her generous outreach: All Bee Brave Buddies dolls are sent free to any family who requests them. In fact, many in the Spoonflower community have donated fabric of their own to be used! Get to know Rosanna below.
Where do you live? “I live in Surfside, Florida, a small community on the Atlantic ocean, a mile north of Miami Beach.”
My day starts with: “A cup of steaming hot herbal tea and then off to my studio, a few steps away. For the past several years, it has been home to Baby Bonbons, my children’s clothing and accessory shop on Etsy. I generally spend the morning on the computer working with my shop and my nonprofit, updating web pages, organizing sponsors and fundraising benefits to fund the three Bee Brave Buddies dolls I have designed to give children battling cancer around the US, packing boxes to ship both our clothing and the dolls. I designed the dolls and started giving them to children 18 months ago with the proceeds from my Baby Bonbons shop.
We invite others to join our team to make sure we can make a big difference in the lives of kiddies with cancer and also send us any extra fabrics for our dolls. We also invite everyone who would love to feel the love of these children receiving the dolls, to volunteer and become a doll ambassador.”
My go-to outfit is: “Black slacks and pretty printed tops.”
I fell in love with making things when: “As a girl, I adored drawing and stitching fanciful outfits for my dolls. I learned to love and appreciate beautiful pieces of lace and linen. I loved to play make-believe and my dolls were my favorite toys. When I first studied clothing design, the feel of the fabric and design of the garment became my passion. Several years ago I was introduced to digital art. I combined my love for fabric and my whimsical digital art drawings to design all our original baby blankets and now my original three Bee Brave Buddies dolls: Buddy Brave, a super hero doll for boys with magical powers, his twin sister, Bestie Brave, a super hero doll for girls, who is a true new best friend, and Catie Cuddles, a doll dressed in fancy lace who loves to cuddle and snuggle. I hope to use this same art process to design a line of Bee Brave Buddies Adventure books and other gifts (blankets, pillows) for children in treatment for cancer.”
When I’m in my studio: “I feel like I am making a profound difference, especially now that I have formed my nonprofit Bee Brave Buddies. We ship the dolls I have designed for children battling cancer around the world free of charge. Anyone with a child battling cancer can request a doll on our web page, and we also partner with many children’s hospitals across the country. The children have fallen in love with the dolls, and we see the biggest smiles on their faces every time they receive one. We feel our dolls are important to the healing process and wellbeing of these kiddies. I love to enter my studio, see all of the sweet doll faces peeking out at me from big containers and know that so many children will be receiving their hugs and love very soon.”
Who or what influences or inspires your work and why? “I love to dabble in watercolors and I am inspired by the impressionistic period. I wish I had a little more time to work on my digital art.”
My favorite Spoonflower designers include: “Scrummy, Virginia O, Joan McLemore are just few and oh sooooo many more! Every time I look, I am intrigued by the amazing creative talents on Spoonflower. They inspire me!”
I’m most proud of my projects featuring: “My Bee Brave Buddies dolls for children fighting childhood cancer. I am very fortunate and happy to share my story and to be able to give back at this time. I was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in 1998. I was in treatment for three years and was becoming sicker, until I was accepted into a trial for a new medication. Within several months I went into remission. Although I still take a chemotherapy pill each evening, I have been so fortunate to be healthy and in remission to this day. I was so grateful, I knew I wanted to somehow give back. My Bee Brave Buddies were born!”
I’d love to see or create a design of: “A collection of women’s tropical evening fashion with large impressionistic floral prints and sweeping skirts. I would love to design the patterns and then paint the design in specific areas on each garment, and print the designs as one-of-a-kind exclusive fashion for a runway show.”
Before starting a small business, I was told: “To keep daily records.”
My favorite Spoonflower textile to work with is: “Satin, because babies and children love the soothing feel of this fabric.”
Consider us inspired! Rosanna’s passion for encouraging children going through the most challenging times is evident in her selfless giving. From her cheerful cuddly lion blanket to her elegant impressionistic toddler dress, Rosanna’s Baby Bonbons Etsy store appeals to youngsters with imagination. Want to join her efforts? Find out how to become a doll ambassador with Bee Brave buddies.