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Emma Andrews is bringing colourful personalities to life with Resene

10 Aug 2023

Emma Andrews, the creative mind behind the whimsical hand-painted dolls known as Folk, has captured the hearts of both children and adults with her simple yet stylish creations. With a passion for her craft and a keen eye for Resene paint colours, Emma brings these miniatures to life, offering a unique artistic experience.

Inspired by nature, illustrations in children's books and the personal styles of her customers, Emma infuses each doll with bold colours, intricate patterns, and special detailing.

Emma's journey as an artist and entrepreneur began with a desire to create meaningful homemade gifts for her loved ones. Last year, she crafted a playset for her nieces, which received an overwhelmingly positive response. This inspired Emma to explore the world of painted dolls, realising that their appeal extended beyond children to adults who relished seeing themselves in miniature form.


Creator of Folk, Emma, and her son Leo enjoying some time with the creative and colourful dolls.

The small scale of these wooden dolls allows Emma to work on her creations during her son's naps or in the evenings, turning her artistic skills into a passion project that ventures beyond her home.

Emma draws inspiration from various sources, including nature, magazines, clothing and illustrations in children’s books. For her custom Folk dolls, she is directly inspired by her customers and their unique submissions.


This mini adventurer Folk doll is painted in Resene Poppy, Resene Half Dutch White, Resene Silver Steel, Resene Black, Resene Milk Chocolate, Resene Pizza and Resene Paper Doll.

By recreating their personal style in miniature, Emma brings an added layer of connection and emotion to her creations. Her dedication to capturing the essence of the individuality of each customer shines through each doll.

A miniature policeman is painted in Resene Black, Resene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Anakiwa and Resene Elvis.

Folk dolls are meticulously crafted from turned pine, providing a sturdy canvas for Emma's artistic vision. Before painting, she lightly sketches the design on the wood, preparing it for the vibrant Resene paint colours that will breathe life into the dolls. To achieve intricate details, Emma relies on rigger brushes, which allow her to create precise lines and patterns. Each doll receives at least two coats of Resene colour before being sealed with a clear coat, ensuring their durability and readiness to embark on new adventures with their new families.


A set of Folk dolls, ready to take part in some imaginary play to guide children’s learning. These dolls are painted in (from left) Resene Paper Doll, Resene Kaitoke Green, Resene Poppy, Resene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Elvis, Resene Juicy, Resene Anakiwa and Resene Belladonna.

While Emma dedicates herself to her passion for painted dolls, she also juggles her role as a graphic designer, marketing coordinator and devoted mother to her toddler, Leo. Living in Nelson, New Zealand, Emma's days are fuelled by plenty of coffee, allowing her to fulfil her various responsibilities and pursue her artistic endeavours.

Emma's decision to use Resene stems from her husband's recommendation, as he previously worked as a decorator and swore by Resene's quality. “As an artist, they tick a lot of boxes,” Emma says. “They’re non-toxic, give great coverage and there are a huge range of colours to choose from. Working straight from a testpot is convenient, as there’s no need to use any paint palettes.


Getting some Folk ready for Father's Day gifts. Lumberjack Dad is painted in Resene Poppy, Resene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Elvis, Resene Stack. Policeman Dad is painted in Resene Black, Resene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Anakiwa and Resene ElvisDoctor Dad is painted in Resene Anakiwa, Resene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Black, Resene Silver Steel, Resene Milk Chocolate. BBQ Dad is painted in Resene Juicy, Resene Poppy, Resene Black, Resene Silver Steel, Resene Hot Curry. Wedding Dad is painted in Resene BlackResene Quarter Rakaia, Resene Poppy, Resene Paper Doll, Resene Milk Chocolate

“As for colour palette inspiration, I often look through Resene's colour range. Sometimes I’m on the look-out for a specific colour, such as a hair colour, and other times I just wait for a colour to grab me, and let a design come from that.”

Among the myriad of Resene paint colours, Emma's recent favourite is Resene Poppy, an exquisite and vibrant shade of red. “This is an absolutely stunning red,” she says. “The vibrancy is excellent, especially with a white basecoat.”

Emma Andrews has transformed her passion for creativity into a captivating business venture. As she continues to paint Folk dolls while juggling her other roles, Emma's dedication and talent shine through, bringing joy and a touch of whimsy to those who encounter her delightful creations. 

Check out more of Emma’s creations:

Published: 10 Aug 2023