THIS BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON
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When local artist Brooke Knight signed up to be an extra for the Hallmark Christmas movie, A Veteran’s Christmas, part of which was filmed in Huntsville, she never expected that her dolls would also make an appearance in the film.
When Knight, who handcrafts one-of-a-kind heritage dolls, discovered that Hallmark was shooting scenes for a Christmas movie in Huntsville, she and her husband Steve decided to push themselves out of their comfort zone and sign up as extras.
“I had never done anything like this before. I loved meeting locals I’d never met before and chatting with other artists,” said Knight.
When a set decorator for the film approached Knight about using her dolls for some of the scenes, she was thrilled to include them. The crew stuffed two large wooden carts they had acquired from a winery to overflowing with more than 20 of Knight’s dolls, including Father Christmas and gnomes.
“I was told by the film crew that they are going to be used in many background shots for the film and maybe even more Hallmark films in the future,” said Knight. “It was such a special experience and everyone was so happy and positive to be there. I’ve only lived in Huntsville for seven years so to me it was exciting. Every small town needs this type of breath of fresh air.”
It was after Knight’s daughter was born that she decided to pursue her passion for art and doll-making and enrol in Heritage Doll Making at Haliburton School of the Arts. When she completed her courses and was approved for her business license, Brooke’s Doll Attic was born.
After perfecting her skills in sculpting hands and faces, Knight began to craft her one-of-a-kind heritage dolls including angels, Santas, old world dolls, forest gnomes, lumberjack gnomes, and whimsical woodland gnomes.
Knight, who lived in Bradford with her family at the time, created her own studio and began teaching workshops as well as attending high-end Christmas art shows.
“I taught a lot of executive women who would push themselves away from their desk and push their limits. They were so proud of themselves after seeing what they had created!” said Knight. “These dolls have brought so much joy and happiness to people. It’s instilled confidence in people who never thought they could make a doll and that’s the greatest part for me.”
She and her family moved to Muskoka seven years ago and she brought her doll business along with her. She is a member of the Canadian Doll Artist Association and the Huntsville Art Society, and has won numerous awards for her work.
Knight currently sells her dolls at local stores including Loops and Cedar Creek in Dwight, Cranberry Cottage in Haliburton, and Urban Rustic Living in Huntsville for the Christmas season. She also sells internationally to customers in many countries around the world including the US, the Netherlands, and England.
Knight has taken a bit of a step back from teaching as she is sculpting a lot, but she has taught small doll-making classes at the Dorset community centre and continues to teach occasionally in both her studio and in people’s homes.
See Knight’s dolls in A Veteran’s Christmas when it premieres on the Hallmark channel on November 11, or on the W Network on November 12.