"Beauty through imperfection" is a wabi-sabi concept that underpins the foundation of Smart Doll. In a world where timelines on social media make us feel inadequate with the way we look (and dissatisfied with what we have,) I feel it's important that Smart Doll continues to develop products that serve as a reminder that we should live the way we are and not the way others want us to be.
I wanted to raise awareness of burn survivors who have survived a traumatic ordeal - unfortunately, some continue to be traumatized through alienation or bullying. Nobody should be made to feel that they need to change or hide aspects of how they look just because of what other humans (or social media timelines) think.
The face design of Survivor was created by the talented @chiitaake on Instagram with a few tweaks done in-house. The burn scarring is created using a technique called "vinyl marble" that produces a controlled but random pattern.
While we can continue to provide medical devices such as hearing aids, ostomy bags, and insulin pumps for free to existing or new Smart Doll owners who rely on such devices, the production effort involved in creating a Smart Doll is completely different. Given our small team of 19, we don't have the capacity to give away a Smart Doll to all burn survivors at this moment in time.
However, just as we have been donating Smart Dolls to schools that use them as part of their STEM or art classes (check the Smart Doll About page), I can donate some to hospitals that care for burn patients.
If you work at a hospital that cares for burn survivors and think that our Survivor Smart Doll could help, contact me through the Smart Doll support page with your hospital email address.
Valiant (birthmark) and Liberty (vitiligo) sell the least out of all our characters, and I guess that Survivor will be unpopular too - however, I would rather keep them available for the few who need them than to restock better-selling characters for the masses.
Smart Doll will continue to prioritize the needs of the few over the needs of the many.
"Marble" is what we are calling the new "skin tone" that represents the burn scarring effect created using a slush casting technique called Vinyl Marble.
Two vinyl colors are mixed so that they don't blend during the casting process - this involved much trial and error - one of the photos in this post shows just some of the attempts to get the look and feel that we were aiming for.
We tried doing some cocoa marbling without success, so we are going for a tea and cinnamon mix as the final marble color. We decided to use tea for the frame color that better matched the marbling effect.
Survivor was originally going to be just the head and bust marbled due to our production capacity which is maxing out. However, I felt I needed to do the rest of the body but sacrificed the head cap (which will be tea color) that is going to be covered by the wig anyway.