Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Ferguson.
Adrienne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus (Water on the Brain) when I was six (6) years old. I spent several months in the hospital and there were times when I had to stay in my bed because I was too sick to get up but I wanted to play with the other children so bad. I was in the hospital three (3) times as a child getting my shunt replaced and I even remember spending Halloween in there and I was so miserable.
On April 8, 2014, I had to have emergency brain surgery at Emory University Hospital and my shunt had to be replaced again. While I was at home recovering, I came up with the idea to make dolls for children who were just like me. Children who were sick, going through an illness that either no one else could understand or had to be hospitalized and at times could not play with the other children. I wanted to make dolls for every illness, for every disorder, and for all nationalities.
I cover everything from Cancer, Leukemia, Hydrocephalus, HIV, Autism, Lupus, Sickle Cell Anemia, Dwarfism, Down Syndrome, Cleft Lip, Stuttering, etc. There is nothing I cannot cover and I also have custom options where customers can submit their own sayings. Each doll has an inspirational t-shirt made especially for them and the child can have the same matching t-shirt to wear along with their new friend. If the child is in the hospital, their new friend will have on a hospital gown also.
We also have inspirational dolls… I wanted to make dolls not just for children with an illness or a disorder, but also for children that were victims of bullying, dolls for children that were teased because of the color of their skin, dolls for children that were mocked because of the texture of their hair & dolls for children that were made to feel they were less than, for whatever reason.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was a smooth but long three (3) year journey. It took me a little while to research different manufactures and research the dolls, the hair, the clothing & etc to make sure I could deliver the best quality. Once I found the perfect company for me, I had to design each doll that I wanted from scratch and that process took a little time because I wanted certain textures, colors, materials, eye color, clothing, etc…
I got very detailed, even down to the shoes and socks. I also had to have the dolls and materials tested for safety and that process took a couple of months, but I didn’t mind because I wanted them to be 100% safe. Lastly, I didn’t want to take out any loans or have investors, so while I was researching and testing the dolls; I was saving every penny, so when the dolls were all complete, I could have them shipped right away
We’d love to hear more about your business.
A Friend Like Me, LLC is a company that has dolls for children with an illness or a disorder… We also have inspirational dolls for children that are victims of bullying, dolls for children that are teased because of the color of their skin, dolls for children that are mocked because of the texture of their hair & dolls for children that are made to feel they are less than or different, for whatever reason.
Each doll has an inspirational t-shirt made especially for them and the child can have the same matching t-shirt to wear along with their new friend. If the child is in the hospital, their new friend will have on a hospital gown also.
I am most proud of being able to make children smile and to hopefully help them overcome whatever they’re going through, battling or fighting.
What sets us apart from others is we’re trying to change the world one doll at a time!!
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was a happy and loving child, even going through my illness. I loved to travel, swim, play with my dolls, ride my bike (Big Wheel), skate, play with my little brother and do little girly stuff like play in my mom’s clothes, shoes, and makeup. I also liked to get dirty and make mud pies in my backyard. Lol. I was also a daddy’s girl but was attached to my mom like glue… everywhere she went, I wanted to go. No matter where it was.
In high school my interested change a little. I still liked to swim and travel, but I joined the Flags team, the band for a short period of time, I sang in the chorus and joined senior council my last year. I think I got my entrepreneur bug early on from my parents who were entrepreneurs in the music industry because I started to sell colored contacts, haha, my junior and senior year of high school. That’s when I knew working with people and making them happy was my passion.
- Dolls start at $69.99
- Website: www.afriend-likeme.com
- Phone: 1-866.237.5881
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afriend_likeme/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/afriendlikeme2014/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/afriend_likeme
Alonzo Ferguson, Jr