We dreamed up “Imagine If, With Jif” to encourage kids everywhere to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas, and to help bring them to life. After receiving more than 170+ entries from super smart and passionate kids everywhere — with an exciting, diverse range of projects centered around our program’s three pillars of Kindness, Curiosity and Bravery — we are excited to announce our Grand Prize Winner: Charlotte Gould!
Jif is proud to award Charlotte an additional prize of $20,000 to continue to grow Stitches by Charlotte.
Charlotte was born with a cleft palate, and has a faint pink scar on her upper lip as a result of several corrective surgeries. Two years ago, she discovered a talent for sewing, and devoted herself to making rag dolls, selling them, and donating proceeds to cleft lip and palate charities.
She founded Stitches by Charlotte, her line of personalized dolls for children with medical procedure scars, and recently expanded her collection to include a special line created especially for pediatric hospitals across the country.
When Charlotte was six years old, she received a sewing machine as a gift, and promptly got busy sewing. Turns out Charlotte was a natural! She made her very first doll to look like herself, pink scar and all. Everywhere she went, people complimented her doll, and when they found out Charlotte had sewed the doll herself, she began getting requests from parents and kids with cleft palate scars from all over the country. That’s how Stitches By Charlotte was born.
Charlotte has continued to make dolls in all styles for boys and girls everywhere who may not feel as confident about their scars as Charlotte is. Last year, after completing her 100th doll, Charlotte decided to expand her line to include a line of special “surgery companion” dolls for kids who could use a huggable friend to help get them through what can sometimes be a pretty scary experience. These dolls include kid-friendly instructions and the tools needed to add personalized “stitches” in each child’s likeness; surgeons, nurses and family can help each pint-sized patient create a doll that looks like them, stitches, scars and all.
Charlotte’s crowdfunding campaign raised a whopping $23,295. More than 200 people from across the country pledged their support to Stitches By Charlotte, and received a range of wonderful thank you gifts, from Stitches by Charlotte dolls and adorable enamel pins made in her likeness to a Stuff and Stitch doll-making party hosted by Charlotte herself. We can’t wait to see what Charlotte does next!
Charlotte’s successful crowdsourcing campaign coupled with her $30,000 total prize winnings from Jif means she can invest in bringing Stitches By Charlotte dolls to many more boys and girls across the U.S. Charlotte plans on using some of her prize money to hone her sewing skills and add additional sewing and embroidery machines to her home studio.
Another priority? Continuing her philanthropic support of cleft lip and palate charities. And in 2018, Stitches By Charlotte hopes to debut a brand-new website, and continue its outreach to hospitals, care centers and other organizations that help children.