Helen Greenstein has made felt editions of more than 120 MOO crew – and we are in love with each and every one of them. We met her to find out more about her inimitable skill, and to find out where 3 of the felt portraits are now
Visit us at our London HQ, and one of the first things you’ll see is a wall of tiny portraits – photos of felt portrait dolls. These are commissioned as a special thank you from one of our favourite customers and long-time collaborators, Helen Greenstein.
Helen, who works in Atlanta, Georgia, has made over 120 dolls in the image of MOO employees – it’s a gift we give people on their 2nd anniversary with the company. And she’s celebrating some of them herself over on Instagram at the moment under the tag #100DaysofDolls.
Each doll takes Helen around 20 hours to make – we take a photo of the relevant MOOster and send over to her. And, best of all, the more details the better. Helen’s made everything from tiny coke cans, football shirts, intricate tartans, jewellery and a guitar. As she says, “I’m all about the accessories.
But where are these dolls now? To celebrate 3 years of their production, we tracked down 3 of her alumni to find out where they are now… and what they’ve been up to since they shipped over from Atlanta.
Blanca and her doll portrait live and work side-by-side every day. And sometimes that means travelling side by side too. Blanca says: “She’s been everywhere with me – at home, in the office, and even back to Spain with me to see my mum. When I went back to Spain I made sure I was wearing the same outfit. It wasn’t hard – I’ve worn a biker jacket since I was 16. It’s my trademark!”
Blanca-the-doll added: “I’m a very efficient traveller. I pack a tight suitcase, and since I slot straight in the baggage scanner, I’m often through security a lot faster than she is. Gives me time to relax with a gin and tonic before wheels-up.”
Phil had no problem choosing what his portrait doll should wear. “It had to be a dinosaur, as I had just started my own Dinosaur T-Shirt business (because I love dinosaurs),” he explained. “It’s called TEE-REX.”
Little Phil lives at home – he doesn’t get chance to come into the office that often. “It sounds a little self obsessive but my doll sits on my mantle piece inside a glass bell jar, to protect it,” Phil added.
Little Phil couldn’t be reached for comment.
Matt’s all about design, colour and noise – of the best possible kind. His doll portrait is as elegantly dressed as he always is, complete with his very own tiny drum machine. Matt says: “I didn’t have to think too long about what I wanted my doll to wear – but I did have to think super hard about his accessory.”
“As well as being one of MOO’s creative leads, I’m a musician – so I could have picked anything from a Wacom tablet to a grand piano. That might have been a bit of a mean ask of Helen, mind.”
Mini-Matt said: “I’ve finally managed to get a bit of space to call my own so I could set this studio up. I tried to get room to compose on Matt’s desk but he wasn’t having it. Creative differences, you might say. I’m currently working on getting some bookings in. I’ve got a mate who swears he can introduce me to Todd Terje. Have you checked out my Soundcloud?”