We thank Sonia for her kind donation to the ATR's 2016 Annual Appeal and for sharing her story:
Sonia Singh never imagined that her love of playing dolls with her twin sister as a child would one day lead to a blooming global business.
Today she runs a small but growing craft business from her Tasmanian home that recycles plastic dolls under the name, Tree Change Dolls.
"The dolls are rescued and rehabilitated from op-shops and second-hand markets," Sonia explains. "The dolls then go through a lifestyle change, swapping their high maintenance, high-fashion look for a down-to-earth style."
Sonia painstakingly repaints the dolls’ faces, moulds new feet or shoes, fixes their hair, and her mum sews and knits their tiny garments.
At a precise time each month, she releases online a limited number of her latest dolls – usually around 20 at a time - which are snapped up by avid buyers within minutes.
She has been amazed by the level of media attention in her dolls from around the world and she has channelled this public interest into other causes close to her heart.
For a whole month, she donated 10 per cent of her profits to the ATR and explained the importance of twin research to her followers. And, of course, she couldn't miss the opportunity to create several twin pairs from her recycled dolls – see image above.
"As well as volunteering time with my twin for studies, I donate to the ATR. There are so many fields of medical research that can benefit from twin studies. We can't always join in studies but we can donate to help researchers and other twins to continue this work.
"It has been wonderful to bring all my interests together – in recycling and sustainability, twin research, and giving back to the community – and to connect with thousands of other people who care about these things just as much as me."