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Local Grandmother Turns Paper Dolls into Business

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – As she watched her granddaughter Delaney grow to early childhood, North Salem’s Peg Towers recalled her own idyllic childhood in Wellsville, N.Y., 90 miles from Buffalo.

“My sister, Kathy, and I loved paper dolls,” Towers said. “She even made her own paper dolls. It’s such a wonderful example of creative play. They talk to each other. They argue. They go out together. My father played paper dolls with me. His voice would get really high.”

Towers said that when Delaney was five she wanted to introduce her to paper dolls.

“So I took her picture and sent it to Kathy in Colorado. She made a cardboard cutout, I bought scrapbook paper and we ended up making two dolls, Delaney and Delancy,” Towers said.

Delaney’s mother, Meredith Towers, thought the idea was great.

“Peg was sharing her love of paper dolls with my daughter,” Meredith Towers said. “In an endless world of video games and apps it was a way to open up Delaney’s imagination in a creative way.”

The sisters enjoyed it so much that Towers said they could make a business out of it. Soon a third sister, Fran Halamandaris in Maine, was recruited along with Meredith and My Imagination at Play was born.

The group set up a website to promote their first product, My Paperdoll Me, a custom-made paper doll based on a photo of a child sent in by a customer. All orders are taken online, and each one includes two paper dolls with eight outfits. Monthly newsletters offer a new outfit ready to be downloaded and colored.

The four partners soon found their own imaginations expanding. They added a second tier of products, My Gameboard Family, which are tiny tokens featuring a child, a pet dog, a friend or family member, to be used in board games such as Monopoly.

Their third product is called My Pocket Picture Wall. Pictures of family, friends or pets are printed on a letter size piece of fabric that can be tucked into a child’s pocket to remind the child of his or her loved ones.

Two new products are also in the works: My Mini Magnet Me, a version of the paper dolls with a magnetic backing, and My Magnetic Hat Rack Me, a refrigerator magnet with changeable hats.

"All products are unique. And we’ve tried to keep everything as affordable as possible,” Meredith Towers said. “We’re always very pleased when people buy our products. We get so excited. We know we’re not the only ones who think this is fun.”

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