12/07/2007 04:29 PM EST
A yearís worth of shopping columns: a guide to great local shopping
Sew Able Dolls:
Dolls for special-needs kids
When Susan Svendsen got the idea to make dolls aimed at kids who might be missing a limb or their hair because of chemotherapy, she filled a void. In her Web-based business, she designs and sells the dolls ($99), which are 18 inches tall, the same size as the popular American Girl dolls. But with a Sew Able Doll, kids who have a prosthesis or use a wheelchair can have a doll that looks like them.
Svendsenís father Don, a retired engineer, oversees the quality and safety of the dollsí physical therapy accessories such as the wheelchair ($58), arm braces (two for $28), walker ($28), trampoline ($34), parallel bars ($55), crutches ($24) and gym mat, exercise ball and pump ($15). The clothing, accessories and physical therapy-gym equipment fit American Girl dolls, and American Girl products fit Svendsenís special-needs dolls. Just like the American Girl dolls, each has a name, such as Abby, Brooke, Leah and Hannah. Sew Able also offers boy dolls that have disabilities or are bald. The dolls ó male or female ó have blue or brown eyes, and blond, brown or red hair.