The Maker’s List - Meet Rock and Doll

The Maker’s List - Meet Rock and Doll

You guys know I am a champion of makers and a cheerleader of artisans.

Makers and creative entrepreneurs are all around us, pushing forth the maker movement and changing the world one piece of art at a time. That is why I am so excited to introduce you to Christina and Ilya from Rock and Doll

This creative duo makes the most incredible needlepoint dolls from their studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. These bearded beauties are for tattoo-loving doll collectors and enthusiasts and really anyone who appreciates a beautiful thing made with skill and love. 

Christina began her maker journey after college as she explored ways to combine art with a job. Running with her idea to make a bearded, tattooed doll, Christina's very first Rock and Doll creation was made in 2014 from an old Ikea bed sheet. Later joined by her husband, Ilya, these creatives now ship dolls worldwide and have amassed a loyal following of fans and collectors. 

As their business grew, Christina and Ilya recognized the potential for sharing their craft through digital master classes. They have 15 e-lessons available to teach you how to make a yogi, a mermaid, a sailor, a bearded man, and many more. Check out their Instagram page to see these amazing dolls!

“We really like that today any artist can share their knowledge and experience with the whole world…”

We all know that makers have to be creative, innovative, and resourceful. Making and selling anything comes with its own set of challenges, but Christina and Ilya have found themselves in the middle of a swirling, political mess with the war in Ukraine. This unexpected and uncontrollable situation in their country has made running a business infinitely more difficult. 

But they will not be discouraged!

Their dolls can be purchased at, a Spanish-based service they found after Etsy and PayPal cut ties with Russian makers. This new platform ships their dolls all over the world, proving that overcoming challenges in business is sometimes about finding a new way to reach your customers. While more challenges are ahead for Rock and Doll as the war continues, they are motivated, passionate, and moving forward to overcome those obstacles. 

Five things you can learn from these resilient artists:

  1. A creative business can come from a single spark of an idea, based in a hobby you enjoy.

  1. Finding and using cost-effective resources that you already have, can get you started. I am a firm believer of using what you have to do what you can. 

  1. Understanding the potential in teaching what you make to customers can grow your creative business exponentially. 

  1. When faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, continue to seek out new ways to reach your customers, share your art, and expand your business

  1. Having a true passion for what you make will help you overcome challenges as you meet them. 

On a personal note, I would like to share that I believe in supporting ALL artists, no matter what political nightmare they are trapped in.

What is happening in Ukraine is atrocious, but I do not think we should boycott artisans in war-torn countries. They are not responsible for the political landscape, yet they often pay the price regardless. Let’s all be champions of creatives everywhere and do what we can to bring the world together through art.    

About The Author

Heather Bunker Branding Co helps you boot-strap your way to your own personal definition of success. She helps you work through the uncomfortable and necessary parts of business—the foundations—life, business, branding, design and marketing. If you are looking to find clarity, create systems, market your work, stand out in the crowd, develop more products that sell and work past any decision paralysis that is holding you back...she, is the business partner that will help you do it.

She offers done for you services like marketing and brand strategies all the way through to helping you get start up funds. She helps you leverage your creativity and adds in the business know-how so you can build a thriving creative business. She is the business "therapist" that you need to gain massive momentum as a professional creative—so you can bring your dreams to life. 

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