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Posted on Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Local business Ypsi Dolls fuses toys, clothing into one for young girls

By Katrease Stafford

ypsidolls2.jpg

Ypsi Dolls T-shirts have paper dolls on them that can be dressed in different outfits.

Courtesy Rebecca Whitaker

A new online clothing retailer, Ypsi Dolls, has started in Ypsilanti.

Ypsi Dolls is a clothing line aimed at young girls, with paperdoll T-shirts equipped with a wardrobe of detachable "hook and loop" outfits. A doll is printed on the front of the shirt and with the usage of a generic Velcro-like material, its outfit can be changed.

Owner Rebecca Whitaker said she came up with the idea because she has two daughters who play dress up all of the time, which for Whitaker, resulted in a lot of extra laundry.

Whitaker, who previously was an art teacher, said she noticed not only did her children like clothing but they also liked paper dolls. Whitaker thought there would be a way to combine the two.

"I was thinking, 'how could I reduce clothing' and that kind of influenced me," Whitaker said. "The idea grew and grew... My husband said, 'I think this could be a business for you.' It combines the artistic personality of children, but maybe in a more focused way instead of just giving them markers."

ypsidolls.jpg

Whitaker created the clothing line to encourage her daughters', pictured here, creativity.

All of the products are made in the United States, Whitaker said, with the T-shirts being printed out of California. In terms of employees, right now it's just Whitaker and her husband. Whitaker contracted an artist to design the T-shirts.

Whitaker said she and her husband have attended trade shows in the Midwest as well as Dallas, Texas, where they received a lot of interest. The business still is in the process of getting off the ground and being placed into retailers, but currently the products are sold out of a boutique, Kids Klothes Line, in Perrysburg, Ohio and online at Ypsidolls.com.

The dolls come in four different ethnicities and backgrounds Whitaker said, to appeal to all children who look for toys that reflect themselves or their friends.

"People say they never see stuff like this on the market," Whitaker said. "The funny thing is a lot of girls don’t buy what they look like. I think that shows how girls love exploring and role-playing.

In total, there about 16 outfits to choose from.

"The people that get it, they get it," she said. "That’s why I’d really like to get Ypsilanti to know about it. I think girls are going to relate and I think they're going to love the idea of being able to express themselves... It's basically a toy you can wear and I think it can grow a lot more."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com.Reach her at katreasestafford@annarbor.com or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.

Comments

Ilovetoteach

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 8:13 p.m.

Great idea but $48.00 for a girl's t-shirt is a bit steep. I hope the price comes down as it gets more popular.

moveover2012

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

finally some GOOD NEWS ......

ahi

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 4:45 p.m.

Great idea. Ms Stafford has done some good reporting on Ypsilanti recently. Nice to see more than a police blotter for east of 23.

Katrease Stafford

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Thanks, ahi! There are some great things going on in Ypsilanti.

Dog Guy

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

As today is Saturday, I surmise these shirts will hit the club scene tonight.

PC Stone

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

What a great idea!

PattyinYpsi

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

The top picture may be the most charming local photo of the year! Best of luck with this business. I think you have a lot going for you!

Billy

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Make a line for boys with stuff like utility belts, capes, jet packs, etc....

oblivia

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

No capes!

LA

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

Cool idea! Good luck!

Anne Kornow

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Best of luck with this original, fun and creative idea!

aquileyendo

Sat, Jan 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

i LOVE this! if i had a daughter i would buy one right now! Next step-adult sizes ;-)