[What kind of people are making doll products? What kind of place?! We will answer to such questions! ]
ChicaBi has become a staple of the popular doll maker, It was just a hobby at the beginning and it grew until setting up a company.
From the Woman’s viewpoint, It has a kind of sweet and lovable world like as sugar candy, and has developed a doll that attracts with colors. Up close and personal: The ChicaBi’s past and the future!
ChicaBi’s model sculptor: Malang (Interviewer: DOLK staff)
- DOLK staff (omitted as D from the next question): When did you establish your company? With how many people did you start the administration when you established your company?
- ChicaBi : The beginning of ChicaBi was in summer of 2013.
Though I was a student at that time, my hobby grew up and I started selling my dolls by little amount.
Afterwards, for long time, I spent my school life while selling my handmade dolls.
It was the summer of 2015, which is two years after that “ChicaBi” became a proper company with the present members.
- D: Can you please tell me the name of the interviewee?
- ChicaBi: It is Malang who is in charge of model production and makeup.
- D: Thank you, Malang!
- D: Please tell me the origin of the company’s name “ChicaBi” (ChicaBonita).
Also, please tell me the reason why the company’s name changed to “ChicaBi” from “ChicaBonita”
Bonita: Cute, Beautiful
Chica Bonita means “Cute girl”, “Beautiful girl” in Spanish.
There is a faith in the doll that I want to make and show to everyone. The doll is just so lovely, cute and beautiful.
That’s why I thought that this is the best suitable name.
However, after 2015, when ChicaBi(ChicaBonita at that time) became a proper company and was about to advance overseas, a problem happened.
In Korea, there was no problem with “Chica Bonita” as the meaning of “beautiful girl”. But when we search it in the internet, a lot of nude pictures came out, and it was the problem.
It was difficult for us to decide, but we decided to change our brand name into a name that will not display such pictures as a result of image search.
At first, I was worrying about changing our brand name but I am feeling uplifted because there are many people saying that the new brand name is easy to pronounce and the nuance is cute.
- D: How many people are managing ChicaBi at the present?
- ChicaBi: Five regular members are managing Chicabi at the present.
They are in charge of prototype, makeup, costume, management of customer support center, providing after service and management of inspection assembling.
However, there is no boundary between jobs so they are helping each other.
Besides, there are some freelance workers that helping us a lot.
- D: Please tell me the flow of designing a doll and releasing it as a new item and the time it takes to produce a new item.
- ChicaBi: At first, we decide the “image” when we make a new doll.
We imagine various types of children like a child who’s always daydreaming, a mean girl, a crybaby boy and more. And we set up a relationship between each child and we decide approximate concept image.
After deciding image, we sketch the facial shape and expression and we continue the modeling process.
After the work of direct makeup on the prototype, we will look at the picture and modify some parts.
Usually, it will take several months or several years from the decision of one head production to the actual release.
There are a lot of children that are not yet selling but after the release of some children, we are planning to show everyone the story of ChicaBi kindergarten (BEBE Line) and ChicaBi elementary school (ENFANT Line).
- D: Is there anything that you care so much when producing head and body?
- ChicaBi: Yes, it is the chubby cheeks!
I think that the chubby cheeks are the must for our children.
That is why in Korea, there is a nickname called “bandeok”. (It means fluffy).
And for body, we are being conscious of making a childlike silhouette to make a doll cute like a baby even without wearing clothes.
- D: Can you please tell me the opportunity that made ChicaBi’s staffs interested in dolls.
- ChicaBi: Everyone was in love with dolls that they already forgot what made them interested.
But one thing that each of us are having in common is that our hearts are taken by a picture of the ball-jointed doll that we saw by chance.
At that time, everyone was student so we remember that we worked hard to buy an expensive doll.
Our love for doll continued until now and we are working on makeup, costume, and molding.
- D: Did ChicaBi’s staffs experience technical studying about doll production in the school?
Are there a lot of staffs who studied technically about art?
- ChicaBi: Staffs in charge have experienced of studying animation and western paintings.
The study was not related to dolls, but this experience gave a huge inspiration to the work of makeup and molding.
- D: What kind of tools will mold maker and makeup artist use during production? Please tell me if there is a difficult thing during makeup.
- ChicaBi: For molding, putty is used generally.
At first, we used LADOLL and Shiba tookloften but at present, we are using putty mainly.
For makeup, airbrush and acryl paints are used mainly and the pastels are also used sometimes.
I worked on makeup for long time and I collected a lot of color paints but I am still collecting new color paints when I go to art supplies shop.
A lot of paints have difference between seeing it by eyes and the feeling of the actual use so I am still exploring.
- D: What is the most difficult thing during producing a doll?
- ChicaBi: Molding work, sandpaper process, makeup, beauty treatment, assembly and a lot of things are not easy.
However, unexpectedly severe work is a photoshoot…!
It is always a difficult task to have a photoshoot with concept and every time there is a part that makes me regret against the result.
But still, we will not borrow the powerof specialized photographer because we believe that we can show our image that we have in our mind to the customers if the person who made the image and the concept of the child directlydoes the photoshoot.
- D: Along the dolls that you made until now, is there any dolls that you have special feeling? Also, I will appreciate if you would tell me the reason.
- ChicaBi: Canalia(or Canary) from ENFANT Line is the doll that I like the most along the dolls that I produced.
Lovely pink makeup, reality makeup with many freckles, and all of the makeup suits on her. That is why it is fun and fresh when doing makeup on her.
Unconcerned and cool, calm, eyes that are look like spaced out, daydreaming with little opened mouth, sometimes like cute baby, and she looks like a matured girl sometimes.
I put a lot of cute elements that I think to this girl.
- D: Please tell me if you have a favorite thing in Japanese culture.
- ChicaBi: I really love the aspect of Japan with a lot of cute images.
The character products and beautiful clothes that can get easily, and the accessories are so nice. I think that it is a good point that cannot be seen in the other countries.
Also, everyone is generous and respectful so visiting Japan is always fun.
- D: Please tell me if there is a future evolution or a goal that ChicaBi aims to achieve.
- ChicaBi: We are planning to introduce new children to all the lines including PETITE Line, Chibi Line, BEBE Line, ENFANT Line and HONEY Line in 2018.
Also, we are planning to expand the variety of costumes and wigs that we were introducing little by little.
We would like to continue little by little and show our development.
Also we are planning to re-maintain the home page within this year for the Japanese customers to be able to use Japanese language since it was hard for Japanese customers to use our home page for there was only English and Korean language.
- D: Please send some message to the many ChicaBi fans in Japan!
- ChicaBi: Thank you so much for reading the interview of ChicaBi.
It is still a small company, however, we will show our development in the future and we would like to meet with fans in Japan.
We appreciate a lot for your support.
- D: Thank you so much for answering a lot of questions!!
I got inspired from the characteristic lovely cheeks and the strong preference and feeling to a body silhouette.
I am excited for the new products and the original story that will be released in the future.