Terri Lee: A Family-Owned History
Originally created in 1946 by Violet Lee Gradwohl, and first manufactured out of her home on South 20th Street in Lincoln, Terri Lee has been a true family venture for over 70 years. Terri Lee, named after Violet’s own daughter, was sculpted by her cousin, noted artist Maxine Stevens. The original mold was made in the likeness of her daughter, Drienne.
Celebrated artist Lee Platt was one of the original painters of Terri Lee’s delicate features and distinctive eyelashes, capturing a signature style that collectors quickly grew to know and love.
Terri Lee, was the world’s best-dressed toddler in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and a fashion icon to thousands of little girls across the country. At the height of her popularity, her fashion wardrobe consisted of over 500 different exclusive costumes and accessories, each and every one made with the strictest attention to detail and the highest quality fabrics.
Terri Lee’s fashions were also predominant in growing a robust cottage industry of seamstresses in Nebraska and the Midwest. This enabled housewives to use their sewing skills to piece together Terri’s outfits for the Terri Lee Doll Company and, in turn, help support their families.
To commemorate the Terri Lee doll’s 50th Anniversary, Knickerbocker Toy Co., in partnership with Terri Lee Associates, reproduced the beloved Terri Lee doll and presented her at the 1999 Toy Fair in New York. Since then, Terri Lee Associates has been committed to not only reproduction of classic Terri Lee’s, but also has created a line of new Terri Lee’s for a younger generation that has been sold at Target stores and her very own website, terrilee.com.
Terri Lee’s sophisticated taste for classic apparel and all things vintage make her a timeless childhood favorite. It’s our promise to you to keep this iconic doll in the hearts and minds of every girl—no matter what her age may be.