In 1905 Kaethe Kruse started creating soft dolls for her children after she wasn’t able to find suitable dolls for her children in stores. For her first doll she used a soft towel filled with sand and a potato as a head. Due to the materials and her lack of sewing skills, the doll didn’t last very long. However, the love her daughter had for this doll inspired Kaethe to improve her doll making skills and she went on creating dolls for all her children. In 1910 the first department store in Berlin, Germany, heard about Kaethe’s dolls and invited her to exhibit her charming dolls. Even though they weren’t something completely new, the handmade nature, the love that Kaethe poured into each and every one of her dolls and the fact that they looked like children and not adults made them special. Kaethe Kruse’s international breakthrough came when New York’s famous toy store FAO Schwarz ordered 150 dolls. Kaethe had to hire a painter for the doll’s faces, a seamstress to help her sew and shortly after opened her first factory. Over the years Kaethe Kruse created many more dolls and named some of them after her seven children.
A few years before Kaethe Kruse died in 1968, her daughter Hanne Kruse-Adler and her husband took over the company. Under their leadership new doll ranges were developed and the company flourished until they sold the company in 1990. All the new owners have been creating Kaethe Kruse dolls with the same love and dedication and have continued Kaethe’s philosophy of creating only high quality and safe products that last throughout childhood while looking after the environment.
Kaethe Kruse’s soft and cuddly dolls have been a hit with many children around the world for more than 130 years. These beautifully made dolls foster imagination and creativity and support the development of speech through role play. Each doll is crafted by hand making each and every one of them one of a kind.