Nini Snowflake Maiden and her brother - new dolls by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope you are all well!

A quick update to say that I have been very busy working on my two dolls the 'Snowflake Maiden' and her brother the 'Snow Prince'. I hope to have the flame-haired girl completed in the next few weeks, having spent a lot of enjoyable time knitting hats, mittens, tubular scarves, socks and jumpers! I'm currently adding finishing touches to her blouse and pinafore and then will move on to her coat, boots, underwear and wig. They are both based on drawings I made from a gorgeous photograph of two very special Russian children, taken in the 1970s. I'm loving creating 1970's-inspired patterns, complete with large collars I remember so well!

I've added some new photographs to the gallery and hope you enjoy the progress of these two new dolls. I will send out an email offering them for sale to everyone on the Nini Doll mailing list. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to be added to the list and be amongst the first to be offered a newly completed Nini Doll.

With very best wishes and thanks for your interest as always in my work.


A very happy 2018 to one and all! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I'd like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year. I'm hoping and aiming for some exciting developments with my doll-making this year and will be sure to keep you posted!

I've added a couple of new sketches to my sketch gallery page, including 'The Boy Who Jumped', the first sketch for a book idea that is finally coming to fruition.

My next few dolls are in production and I'll be adding progress photographs to the website and other media pages very soon.

Best wishes to you all!

Jonny X

Debut Day for Nini Doll xxiii 'School's Out' by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

It's a chilly day here in London, but it's the start of a long-awaited few days off work for me and I'm enjoying that crisp wintery air and flush to my cheeks!

My twenty-third doll has been completed for a few days now, but I wanted to wait until I could focus properly on introducing her. This little girl has an innocence and sometimes a shyness that I've so enjoyed having around. It has taken a few days to come to a point where I can let her go.

'School's Out' was inspired by the kind suggestion of a generous-spirited follower of my doll making. Photographs of 1950's African-American girls skipping their way home from school in the Harlem district sparked my imagination and my Nini is the outcome of this germ of an idea. She's a conscientious girl who also loves to chatter and play with her friends. She's a little shy with new people and is slowly having to learn a few street-wise ways, but her eyes and expression are still filled with innocence.

If you would like to join the mailing list and have the first opportunity to buy one of my dolls, please do not hesitate to contact me via my email or via the Nini Doll Facebook page. 

There is something a little special about this girl and I am sure she will find the perfect home.

With very best wishes and thank you for your kind interest,



In Search of a New Home by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

On this beautiful golden autumn morning in London I am sitting with my latest Nini doll 'The Acrobat's Assistant'. The soft early morning sunshine is catching his eyes and the warm yellow antique silk of his jacket. He is looking for a new home, but in the meantime is assisting me with the creation of my next doll, the 1950's Harlem girl 'School's Out'.

If you're not already on my Nini Doll mailing list and would like to be amongst the first to be offered the opportunity to buy a newly completed Nini, please do not hesitate to send me an email to I'd be delighted to hear from you. My dolls are available on lay-away if required and I'm very happy to discuss payment options and offers.

I have uploaded many new photographs to the gallery pages. I hope that you enjoy them.

I hope you are all well and I send my thanks and best wishes to you.

Jonny x

Nini Doll Acrobat's Assistant 1m.JPG

'Acrobat's Assistant' is almost complete! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

Life has a funny way of throwing up unexpected surprises, doesn't it? My time has had to be diverted a little of late from Nini, more than I'd like, but needs must. Thankfully I'm now back on track and my 'Acrobat's Assistant' Chinese boy is in the very final stages. His costume has brought along various challenges, particularly with the fragility of the antique silk, but I've been determined to use it as it is exquisite!

I've added many photographs to his gallery page and am aiming to make his hat and wig later today / next week. I can't wait for him to make his debut and I hope you like him.

My next Nini Doll is already in production and fabrics have been selected for her outfit. She's a 1950s girl from downtown New York who makes the very best of her life, enjoys her school and will be dressed as if she is just on her way home from the end of term.

Thank you all so very much for checking in in my doll making. I'm fighting hard to keep my Nini creativity on track and fulfilling my dreams.

Best wishes,

Jonny x

Nini Doll Acrobat's Assistant 1v.JPG

'Seaside Breeze' makes her debut! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I'm delighted to say that today is the day for my latest Nini to make her debut. An email will be sent out to all those who have kindly asked to be on the mailing list and they will have the first opportunity to buy her. Please do not hesitate to contact me at to find out more.

I've uploaded lots of pictures of the completed girl as well as some new ones of my Chinese boy 'The Acrobat's Assistant'. He'll be finished in the next week or so and will also be offered first to those on the mailing list.

Many thanks for all your generous interest and support. I can't tell you how much it means to me.

Best wishes,

Jonny x

A busy summer with Nini by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope this finds you well.

I'm busily working away on several Nini Dolls at the moment, allowing myself to think about one doll, the fabrics, the designs, the character,  as I work on another. 'The Acrobat's Assistant' has been a while in coming, but he is now moving along a-pace. "Seaside Breeze' is similarly arriving to near completion, and I am pleased with how their costumes and personalities are taking shape. A little further in the background, and soon to be coming to the fore is 'School's Out', a 1950's girl from the New York Bronx...

I'm also pleased to announce that I am planning a slightly smaller doll, that I look to make alongside my 20" Nini Dolls. As you may know, the original Nini was inspired by my niece and the first of my dolls was given to her as a Christmas present. My slightly smaller doll will be inspired by my nephew. As with Nini the head sculpt will be versatile enough to use for both boy and girl character dolls. The new doll will have the name 'Doudou', the name that my two year old nephew calls out to me. I have investigated the word 'doudou' which in French means a beloved soft toy, and also 'sweetheart' or 'darling'. The words fits beautifully.

I look forward to unveiling 'Doudou' in the coming months. They will play alongside Nini and be a whole new part of my doll making adventure.

With very best wishes,


Chilly Day and new dolls in production! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

It has been a little while since my last post here, but I've been updating photos as much as possible and posting a lot on the Facebook page. I'm delighted to say that my boy 'Chilly Day' has arrived to his new home and will be revealed on the charming blog later this week. Once he has made his full debut I will add my photos of the completed doll to his gallery page. I was very pleased with his outcome and thank you for all the kind messages I received through Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.

I have now made a good start on my next two dolls and will be posting photos of their progress very soon. 'The Acrobat's Assistant!' is my first boy from Asia and based on traditional Chinese costume. 'Seaside Breeze' is based upon the many drawings of 'seaside girls' I created during a recent trip to the coast. I hope you enjoy their progress.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,


It's debut-day for Nini Doll xix 'A Gift for Snow'! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I hope you are all well. I'm enjoying the first moments of spring in London and a touch of sunshine.

I'm delighted to announce the debut day of my nineteenth Nini Doll, 'A Gift for Snow'. She's my first vibrant read-head and I've created her with young Scottish lasses and old MGM films in mind. She has been a wonderful challenge and a joy to create. Her outfit has been created to keep her warm on the coldest of snowy days as she travels to her neighbours delivering gifts. She's a warm-hearted, sometimes shy girl, unspoilt by her affluent background.

I have emailed everyone on the Nini mailing list to offer her first. If you'd like to join the list please drop me an email to

I hope you enjoy her.

Very best wishes,


Nini Dolls for 2017 are in production! by Jonathan Hayes

Dear Nini Friends,

I'm delighted to say that my Nini doll making has hit the ground running this January! I'm currently working on three new dolls: 

'Jump Rope' - a fresh innocent girl in blue inspired by my early prototype doll Ciara

'A Gift For Snow' - a beautiful young girl wearing a fine red tartan dress, a deep blue winter coat with black astrakhan trim

'The Acrobat's Assistant' - a handsome Chinese boy wearing a traditional Chinese-style outfit

I'll be adding photographs to the website of their progress as they come together as well as updating the Nini Doll page on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest. I'll announce their completion initially to those who have kindly joined the email list.

I am looking at taking on a few commissions this year. Please do not hesitate to contact me via if you have any particular requests and enquiries.

Very best wishes,