Rachel Smith and her sister Kathy Cadle love making babies. They love holding them and they love seeing how much their babies cheer up the people they sell them to.
Don’t worry. It’s not what it sounds like.
While they look extraordinarily lifelike, do not be mistaken: their babies are not real. Their talents in making these baby dolls is so good though, it almost caused them a lot of trouble.
Their business “Bunny Bundles: Reborns by Rachel,” utilizes Facebook as its marketplace. If you scroll through their page, you will find pictures of their dolls which look so lifelike it would be easy to mistake them as real children.
In fact, a woman who stumbled across their Facebook page saw the pictures of the babies, along with price tags, and thought the worst. She called the police to report human trafficking.
Looking at the pictures, who could blame her! Their dolls look like any other baby picture you would find on the internet.
You can imagine Kathy’s surprise when the police showed up on her doorstep. “Come around the corner and the cop’s looking at me and I go, ‘What’s happened?’” she recalled. “He goes, ‘I got a report that you were selling a baby,’ and I was like, ‘are you kidding me?’”
The police officer asked to see the baby and Kathy was more than happy to oblige, knowing it was a complete misunderstanding. As soon as he saw that it was a doll rather than a real baby, his attitude changed completely.
“He asked to see the baby, and I brought it in. He shook his head, I wasn’t expecting this at all, like, wow, hey, there’s a cop. I said, ‘Nobody is going to believe this, can you take a picture with me and I can post it?’ He said, Sure, OK,’ and that was nice,” said Kathy.
All of their babies come from a mold. They are weighted to feel like a real baby and they can take days or weeks to hand paint and put together.
An artistic background helps them create the most realistic products possible. Prices range from $200-$500 or more.
Rachel says they receive a lot of their business from nursing homes. Their dolls help to relax the residents by bringing back memories of when they were parents or grandparents.
“A lot of people who develop dementia, they end up shutting down,” said Kathy. ”They lose that sense of purpose in their life because they have a hard time functioning, and when they introduce the babies, it does something. It gives them purpose again, and they feel like they’re taking care of something, and it brings them back out of their shell.”
Since their story first appeared on the news and her picture with the police officer circulated through the internet, they have seen a spike in business. Whereas before most of their business was local, now they are getting international requests from British Columbia to Brazil!