Sunday, July 3, 2022

Interview with Waly Hurlimann, Founder at Cryoow! dolls

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Waly Hurlimann with his family

Do you want to get inspired by a wonderful person who cares about everyone around him and about our children around the world?
So meet Waly!

1- Tell us a bit about yourself and your position at Cryoow! dolls
I am originally from Zürich, Switzerland, but I live already 14 years in Bali/Indonesia. I am happily married to my Balinese wife Ni Ketut since 13 years and we have two wonderful children Nora (10) and Adrian (8). Nora invented the Cryoow! dolls and I started to think about how we could share the hilarious experience we witnessed when the first Cryoow! doll was finished with other parents.

2- How would you describe Cryoow! dolls in under 60 words?
Cryoow! dolls are dolls we create according to drawings sent to us by artists –big or small. Our goal is to bring the drawings to life; something you can play with, hug and love. A doll that you designed yourself, hence the name Cryoow! = CRreate YOur OWn!

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3- Why dolls, how did this all start and tell us more about Nora?

We run a tailoring business where we produce custom made dog clothes for dog boutiques around the world. Nora went one day to a seamstress and asked her to make her a doll according to a drawing she made. Nora said it was not possible to really play with the character she draws. With a doll that would be amazing.

4- How did you learn to do dolls and how does your studio look like?
Working conditions are not good for women in Indonesia. We wanted to change that. All our employees receive a salary that is 20% above the minimum wage, they receive a 13rd-month salary, paid maternity leave for 3 months and they are insured against accidents and sicknesses. Every seamstress we employ learns to sew Cryoow! dolls on the job with full salary from the first day. We started with one young lady that developed the artistry of tailoring the dolls for about 6 months.
Today she is the head seamstress of the team and teaches the other ladies how to create a Cryoow! doll. Our spacious workshop is in an old Javanese house in our tropical garden, and the seamstresses organize the workplace on their own from how they use the tables, manage the fabrics and do the quality control.

5- What’s the hardest part about the process of making dolls and what do you love most about it?According to Putri -our head seamstress- there is nothing “hard” about sewing a Cryoow! doll: “You just have to do it!” she tells me with a big smile every time I ask her. It is just amazing to see how the creative drawings of the kids come to life in the hands of these ladies! And I am always blown away with how much humor and laughing they work and they go home every evening with a big smile on their faces.

6- How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
I know of no one that creates dolls so accurate from a drawing like we do it. It is part of our philosophy to respect the drawings –and with it the creativity of the children- no matter how long it takes to sew a doll. The seamstresses decide themselves how long they work on one doll to make sure it is perfect. We want to give the children –our customers and artists- the best experience possible and in the same time we want to show our respect for the work of our seamstresses so they know they are needed here and do a great job!

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7- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
Many people may think that we are just producing dolls. But this is only one small part of the job!
We are producing dreams that I think are much more “real” than many dreams you see in fancy Hollywood films. We respect and support the workforce and creativity of our employees. And we conserve the imagination and original ideas of children that take the time to make something on their own for the times to come.

8- Do you think running an online Doll’s store is easier than having a real shop?
The Cryoow! doll idea is a child of the internet time. Nobody would go to a brick and mortar shop just to bring a drawing and pick up the finished doll 2 weeks later. Especially not, when the shop is in Bali! On our homepage, you can send us your drawing easily from the comfort of your home and you will receive it at home as well.

9- What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in kids related products e-business?
We have to take our children more serious! When I look at the possibilities the children have today to choose something to play with; they seem to be endless. But in reality these “playthings” are all fabricated by professionals and cast in plastic, the children have no possibility to let their own creativity flow. The kids just have to follow the tsunami of ideas that business people throw at them in order to optimize the profit of international companies. Try to come up with something that let the children play more with their own ideas! Many children are waiting for that.

10- A last Word?
I just like to thank our seamstresses Putri, Ade, Lina and Dewi for their efforts they put in the Cryoow! dolls every day. Without you it would not be possible that children around the world can play with a doll they create themselves.


You can also visit Cryoow! dolls at Facebook and Twitter to learn more and to get inspired!

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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