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San Antonio Business Journal - August 11, 2006

Bromley sings the praises of Baby Abuelita dolls
By Andi Rodriguez

Deborah Vallejo of Bromley Communications smiles as she discusses her latest clients.

"They're dolls." Literally.

Bromley is handling the promotional efforts of the singing Baby Abuelita dolls, which are "focused on preserving Hispanic traditions through song for future generations."

Created in 2005 by three working mothers, Baby Abuelita dolls are in the shape and mimic the voices of grandparents who sing Spanish-language lullabies.

The dolls, modeled after typical grandparents, strive to preserve old cradle songs familiar to Hispanics.

Rolled out to key Hispanic markets in the United States over the last year and a half, the dolls have taken the toy-buying public by storm.

With the popularity of Nickelodeon's bi-lingual "Dora the Explorer" character and dolls, it's obvious that the marketplace has room for more Spanish-speaking toys.

Introduced in San Antonio a few weeks ago, the dolls now have an international presence and are carried by national retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target.

"This is a fascinating story ... not your usual corporate tale," Vallejo says. "Three working mothers felt the need to preserve family heritage and they created these dolls to do that."

No months and months of corporate approval. No rounds of focus groups. The mothers exercised maternal wisdom and decided on their own what they wanted the dolls to look and sound like.

Manufacturing 3,000 dolls with an initial investment of $40,000, the creators have recovered their initial investment, and then some.

"I feel the doll has different uses," says Laura Santamaria, one of the co-creators. "Of course it's a wonderful toy, but it's also educational. And it's preserving traditional Hispanic songs and culture for every generation."

Santamaria adds: "We're thinking about a lot of possibilities right now. We've been undergoing negotiations on developing a TV series, books, apparel. The sky is the limit."