THE RAPLAPLAS WERE INVENTED IN 2005 IN MONTREAL
Here is their designer, Erica, a girl with no heels but full of needles.
In her early days - in the '70s if you can imagine - she draws, catches tadpoles, passionately plays legos, jumps in cow dung and tames rabbits, or bakes caramel hazelnuts on a corner of the stove.
Now that she's grown up, she makes rag dolls for kids. And she draws, catches tadpoles, etc.
THE STORYOF RAPLAPLA
Trained in fashion design in Montreal, Erica worked for a few years as a seamstress for the theater, then as a sewing teacher. Looking for a good pretext to launch a line of fabric toys, she also had two children. Lili, the oldest of her daughters, teaches her the hard way how to survive with a child severely dependent on a soft animal (a mammoth, in this case). This teaching will be decisive for what follows.
And in 2005, finally! Thanks to the loss of her job, all the favorable conditions are met for the birth of Eglantine, the very first raplapla.
The big sister of rapalapla is actually very small.
Fé, Erica's other daughter, immediately grabs Eglantine and refuses to let go for several years, growling and biting anyone who wants to approach the doll. Because of her little daughter's ferocity, Erica is forced to reproduce the doll for other children who wanted it: this is how the raplapla company was born!
THE BRICK & MORTAR SHOP
The store, circa 2010.
In 2009, the dolls found their home: in the heart of the Mile-End, they moved into a magnificent boutique full of character. There is even a gas fireplace -always on during winter. The team sets up their workshop there and opens a shop area, where raplaplas are next to a whole bunch of essential items such as fabric guns and temporary fox tattoos.
Over the years, with more raplapla births, Erica decides to find a way to start sleeping at night again.
She is now assisted by Dominique, Lili and Marie-Hélène, Denise, Annie and Fé in the workshop to bring the dolls into the world. Thanks to our fabulous team, without you
Erica couldn't live in Honolulu in a straw hut and drink cocktails all day Erica would never have time to come up with new ideas!
Since 2014, the Hospital for fabric companions, of which Dominique is the chief surgeon, has 9 beds to offer for sick, damaged or very old cuddly toys.
Erica also founded the confectionery Dinette Nationale — manufacture of sweet things, with her great friend Catherine. And she created the marché nënë with Isabelle Aubut et Sandy Dumais, a Montreal event dedicated to children and families, which she now organizes on her own.
PS: It goes without saying that Mamouthine and Eglantine still hold a special place in Erica's home.