Cinnamon Annie with Step Stitches

Lisa Woolfork is the convener and founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black Lives Matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers on Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she became a founding member of Black Lives Matter Charlottesville. Actually, she is active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the College Fellows Program to reshape the undergraduate general education curriculum.

Stephanie Dean is a vintage-style handmade doll with a modern twist, she wears beautifully colored dresses that are fashioned to appeal to today’s modern child. She has always loved dolls, and her mother, an elementary school teacher, went to great lengths to find African American dolls for her because her mother felt it was important for Stephanie’s self-image to have a positive reflection of herself during playtime. Actually, she is the founder of Cinnamon Annie Dolls where she always seeks to make her dolls representative of her and the black race taking into account the nostalgia of the classic dolls her customers remember from their childhood as well as the modern styling that a contemporary little girl would like. Stephanie has lived in Georgia all her life, she is a keepsake doll and believes that dolls can be everything that you want them to be, the dolls can be played with, used for decoration or collected. Stephanie is married to Tony and is the mother of two young adults, Joseph and Danielle.

Insights from this Episode

  • Stephanie’s childhood and her relationship with dolls
  • Why Stephanie’s mother wanted her to have black dolls
  • Why dolls are important for a child's imagination
  • How times have changed for black representation in media
  • How Stephanie got involved in AfroBlack Women
  • How Stephanie got the opportunity to expose her dolls in the Time Square
  • How her company started to grow
  • How the last quarter of 2021 was life-changing for Stephanie
  • What would Stephanie say to a person that is looking to “get their stitch together”

Quotes from the Show: 

  • "A doll can become a friend, you know they’re always there, the doll can become anything that the child wants it to become…it can become a playmate, it can become a tool for learning" - Stephanie Dean in “Stitch Please”
  • "I think we have better success, a  more sustainable success when we work in a community than when we are individually scrabbling against each other…there is abundance, there is enough" - Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • "Get back to basics and do some things and improve productivity" - Stephanie Dean in “Stitch Please”
  • "Follow your enthusiasm…learn about it, love on it, do the best as you can because if you decide to turn this into a business you are going to have to be enthusiastic about it because it's a lot of work" - Stephanie Dean in “Stitch Please”

Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork

Stephanie Dean


Instagram: Stephanie Dean

Facebook: StepStitches 

Pinterest: Stephanie Dean

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Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.