Spielwarenmesse: How an ex-banker wants to let girls be children for longer

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How an ex-banker wants to let girls be children for longer

from Harald Hemmerlein

After her first daughter was born, Theresia Le Battistini resigned from her position in a bank and founded Finfin AG in Switzerland. The ex-banker launched her own doll collection under the I’M A GIRLY brand and exhibited at the Spielwarenmesse® in Nuremberg for the first time last year.

The products are developed together with a “Kids4Kids” team made up of girls aged 9 to 13. The fashion doll is intended to bridge the gap between childhood and adolescence. I’M A GIRLY wants to empower young girls and inspire children to express their creative and individual ideas and expand their imagination.

We spoke with the founder and company boss about her motivation and background.

Spielwarenmesse®: How does a bank employee come up with the idea of getting into the doll business?

Theresia La Battistini presents her new dolls’ collection
Theresia La Battistini presents her new dolls’ collection.

Theresia Le Battistini: I absolutely loved playing with dolls as a child. I would spend hours doing their hair and styling their outfits. When I became the mother of a daughter myself a few years back, I was surprised to find that today’s dolls look just the same as when I was a child. I began to research, held discussions with toy retailers and visited the Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg. This confirmed my suspicions that there was no variety and, especially, nothing aimed at older children. I wanted to change this and that’s where the I’M A GIRLY journey began.

Many industry experts consider the doll market saturated. Dolls in all price ranges can be found virtually everywhere – from petrol stations to luxury gift boutiques. Why are you still so confident that you have discovered a niche with your creations?

T. L. B.: With our dolls, we are offering a traditional product with a stylish twist. Something that simply did not exist on the market prior to this. We have the best development and design experts: girls and boys aged 9 to 13, who make up our Kids4Kids team. Besides the dolls, they also design the new fashion collections launched each season. We now have more than 150 accessories and will add two new dolls from late October 2018.

Where are the products produced?

T. L. B.: The dolls are designed in Switzerland and manufactured in China.

Apart from the prospect of commercial success, what are your other motivations?

I’m a Girly Collecting Cards
I’m a Girly Collecting Cards promote role-play with the fashion dolls.

T. L. B.: I think it’s a shame that many children leave behind childish things at eight, nine or ten years of age already and have hardly any time to play anymore. Many of the mothers I know drive their daughters and sons from one appointment to the next. There is hardly any time left for them to be kids. So, I hope that my dolls can help children stay children for longer and tempt them to play properly again or develop a feeling for what they like to play.

You presented your products at the Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg for the first time in 2017. What was the response from retailers?

T. L. B.: Very good. Our dolls were very well received. For this Christmas period, we will launch our products in Germany and the UK. Next year, we will expand into the US and France. With this in mind, we plan to add a new product to our existing range. This will be presented for the first time in Nuremberg in 2019.

Thank you very much for this interview.

See the product group dolls, plush toys in Nuremberg from January 30 to February 3, 2019 to update your product range. Stay well-informed with the monthly visitor newsletter of Spielwarenmesse®. www.spielwarenmesse.de/en/newsletter


Author of this article:

Harald Hemmerlein

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