Madame Alexander® dolls are manufactured by the Alexander Doll Company. The company was started by Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman,born to Russian immigrants, on 9 March 1895. Her mother named her Bertha, but Madame Alexander later changed her name to Beatrice, since she thought that the name Beatrice sounded more elegant.
Madame Alexander's stepfather owned the first doll hospital in the U.S. The family lived above the hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The young Bertha often played with the dolls that waited to be repaired by her father in the doll hospital. Since she was always surrounded by them, she developed a love for dolls and desired to create her own.
The future doll manufacturer grew up in the midst of poverty, living in an immigrant community with her family. Despite these challenges, her parents encouraged her to work and study hard. She even managed to graduate from high school, a rare feat for young women in her neighborhood. The work ethic she learned from her parents enabled her to build a doll empire that would eventually make her an extremely wealthy woman.
When Madame Alexander first began to make dolls, she hired people in the neighborhood to help her make cloth dolls. The first doll she made was a cloth Red Cross Nurse. In 1923, with only $1,600 US Dollars (USD), she started her now-famous Alexander Doll Company. Her fine, handcrafted dolls swiftly grew in popularity.
The company was the first doll company to create a doll based on a licensed character. That character was Scarlett from Gone with the Wind. Soon, more dolls were created based on characters from popular movies of the time.
The Alexander Doll Company was also the first to make dolls of living people. Madame Alexander® dolls were created in the likeness of Queen Elizabeth, other royal family members, and even the famed Dionne Quintuplets. The company introduced the first full-figured fashion doll in the 1950s called Cissy. These glamorous Madame Alexander® dolls wore haute couture clothing.
In 1988, when Alexander was 93 years old, she sold the company, serving merely as a design consultant. She died a year later on 3 October 1990. After her death, the company suffered financial problems before it was ultimately purchased by the Kaizen Breakthrough Partnership in 1995. Its new owners guided it toward renewed financial stability.
Madame Alexander® dolls are handcrafted collectibles. Today, the Alexander Doll Company produces 400 types of dolls annually. They manufacture over 3,000 Madame Alexanderreg; dolls& each day. Dolls include classic characters from stories such as The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella to high fashion dolls clothed in strapless dresses and fake furs. Prices range between $25 USD to $400 USD and higher.