Inside American Girl®
Take the all-access tour.
American Girl was started 20 years ago by Pleasant Rowland, an elementary school teacher and children's textbook author. She wanted to create something for girls that would encourage their love of reading and teach them American history in a fun and engaging way.
She began creating characters from different time periods that any girl could relate to. Every American Girl doll comes with a storybook full of details about her life, her family and the era in which she lives. "We have 10 characters that represent pivotal periods in American historyeverything from Samantha, our Victorian girl from 1904, to Addy. She's our character from the Civil War from 1864 and her story is really about freedom and the importance and responsibility that comes along with it," says Julia Prohaska, senior director of marketing.
From little brothers seeking revenge with a mean set of markers to a Samantha subjected to the horrors of a dryer, a staff of doll doctors are always on call to fix what's ailing these little darlings.
Once each doll has received a little TLC, they're sent home with a hospital gown, an ID bracelet and a good health certificate.
In fact, that's the company philosophy. "It's really critical to [moms] that their daughters know how to read so they can engage deeply with the books and with the characters, because there are enormously powerful life lessons and stories that are embedded in these innocent little books," Julia says.
Tour the American Girl Place in Chicago.
At the American Girl Place in Chicago, it's not just about buying dollsyou can take them for tea or to a brunch, too! If you'd like to take in a show, have a seat with your doll in the American Girl Theater and watch your favorite characters come to life.
If you're looking for some exposure, you can pose with your doll for a photo shoot and land the cover of your very own American Girl Magazine.
Does your doll need a makeover? Just bring her to the hair salon!
The American Girl Place is also a place for friends to come together. Recently, Calissa and her doll, Jess, met up with Mattie and her doll, Molly. They've been best friends since they were babies. "I just moved a couple weeks ago, but we wanted to see each other," Mattie says. "We came to American Girl doll store in Chicago because we missed each other and we love our American Girls. American Girl rocks!"
Julie and Ivy's stories are set in 1974. After her parents get a divorce, Julie has to move away from her hometownand her best friend Ivy. Julie's journey will teach her to believe in herself and that change always brings new possibilities. Meanwhile, Ivya middle child who feels invisible in her busy Chinese-American householdlearns how to take charge of her own life and make her own luck.
Mia represents the seventh Girl of the Year doll, and she comes complete with red hair, freckles, a pink snowflake sweater and ice skates! "Mia is growing up in a family full of boys who are hockey players," Julia says. "So her message is really about following her dream, following her passion and practicing her heart out. It's not about being perfect. It's about doing her very best."