As a child, I used to build worlds for my Barbies. I’d spend endless hours with my sister, Faith, crafting intricate realms, stitching tiny garments from vibrant fabrics, and fashioning furniture from corks, toothpicks, and bottle caps! Early experiences like these introduced me to the magic of design and inspired me to become a designer and artist. So you can imagine how excited I was when @BarbieStyle reached out about what sounded like a dream collab: Jungalow designing a room in Barbie’s dreamhouse !!!
We had our first call with the Mattel team (the kindest, most creative bunch!) on a Friday and the following Monday we were at their offices perusing their vintage Barbie furniture archives, shopping for our dreamhouse! I even got to bring Ida! It was incredible. The artistry and attention to detail that goes into building (or in some cases sourcing) all things Barbie is really inspiring.
We got to pick out different doll heads, body types, and CLOTHES – oh the clothes!
How fun is this wardrobe selection?! We couldn’t stop oohing and awwing when we were making our selects. Too fun!
Aimee from team Jungalow (left) found some Barbie pants we need in our size! And Jungalow’s very own Piper (right) having fun playing Barbie’s stylist for a day!
After that, we headed back to the Jungalow studio and I started concepting. I gathered inspiration images and rendered a room that I could see Barbie and her friends having a party in. The amazing Mattel team brought my concept to life (the photo at the very top of this blog post is NOT photoshopped! It was actually built to Barbie scale–the fabric and textiles were actually made with our prints, and they even created teeny tiny versions of my books! ahhh!) and now I just want to chill with Barbie there all day long!
My hope was to create a space where Barbie could embrace her individuality and be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of textures, hues, and plant life. We recovered the vintage furniture, and upcycled and reinvented them, just as Faith and I did as kids. But, this dreamhouse isn’t just a play space; it’s an invitation for Barbie, her friends, and for all of us to nurture our own creativity, celebrate our own uniqueness, and revel in the magic and the fun of unbridled self-expression.
Come on in, let’s play, create, and celebrate our inner wild child in this jungalicious Barbie dreamhouse!