Revived doll maker ready for Christmas

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Most little girls prefer that their dolls bear a strong resemblance to them. That is one reason MyTwinn, a Chatham-based company, is anticipating a banner Christmas season.

MyTwinn designs one-of-a-kind, look-alike dolls for its preschool and tween customers. The dolls, which are ordered online for $149 each, incorporate a child’s eye and hair color, face shape, hair style and distinguishing marks, such as freckles and birthmarks. The company, which has 18 employees, also sells matching outfits for the doll and its owner.

“Despite the recession, parents will still want to buy that special present for their children, and what we offer is really ‘the big present under the tree’ that children ask for and dream about,” says Craig Currie, general manager for MyTwinn and a co-founder of the American Girl doll, a competitor of MyTwinn. “So we think we’re in a position to do very well this year.”

Currie’s predictions are surprising given that, at the start of 2009, he wasn’t certain that MyTwinn would even be around for another holiday season. That’s because the Colorado-based company that owned MyTwinn — The Parent Co. — was in bankruptcy proceedings. MyTwinn, the only profitable division, was forced to lay off all of its manufacturing employees.

MyTwinn eventually was purchased by TPC Acquisitions LLC, based in Rahway, N.J. The new owner moved the company’s manufacturing operation from Blairs to a smaller facility in Chatham and hired back all laid-off workers who wanted to return.

The company, which sold 45,000 dolls in 2007, its best year, is now back up to speed, according to Currie.

MyTwinn plans to hire 50 seasonal workers this fall. It also expects to sign up several new business partners that “probably would not have been interested in working with us if we were still part of The Parent Co. because we were in competition with them on other toy and baby item lines,” Currie says. He expects the company to sell nearly 30,000 dolls this year.

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