Carramar: Cutie Hooties FIFO dolls providing comfort to kids whose parents work away

Shannon Veivers (Butler) with his daughters Elliott (1) and Charlotte (3) with their FIFO dolls made by Cutie Hooties. Pictures: Martin Kennealey d482047
Shannon Veivers (Butler) with his daughters Elliott (1) and Charlotte (3) with their FIFO dolls made by Cutie Hooties. Pictures: Martin Kennealey d482047

DOLLS that look like FIFO parents are proving a comfort for young children when their parents are away.

Butler mother Hayley Veivers recently ordered two handmade dolls, created by Carramar resident Natalie Wilson, for her daughters Charlotte (3) and Elliott (1).

Mrs Veivers said she sent pictures of her husband Shannon to the Cutie Hooties creator, who then made the dolls.

“Shannon has been doing FIFO since both girls were born,” she said.

“When the older girl, Charlotte, hit two, she started to really struggle with dad being away.”

Mrs Veivers said the girls found comfort carrying the dolls around and Charlotte sometimes talked to hers when their father was away for his eight-day swings.

Cutie Hooties creators,sisters Alison Lewkowski (Carramar) and Natalie Wilson (Carramar).

“It’s just something that she can cuddle; that she refers to as her ‘daddy doll’,” she said.

“If they are missing him, that’s when I notice that they carry their daddy dolls around a lot more.

“It’s been a big help in getting the girls to understand when dad is away.

“The look-alikes are spot on for a doll considering they are handmade.”

Mrs Wilson, who started Cutie Hooties with her sister Alison Lewkowski, said a fluoro high visibility vest inspired the idea of creating a FIFO doll late last year.

“I made one and literally unpicked all the high vis stripping off the vest and made one up and put a beard on him,” she said.

Mrs Wilson said when she put a photo of the doll on Facebook, a woman messaged her to say it looked just like her husband and bought it.

“It was bizarre seeing a grown man, thick beard and quite stocky, getting so excited,” she said.

“It’s really nice to see the resemblance.”

A photo of the dolls was shared in a FIFO support group and more parents started requesting the dolls, so she has made about 26 since Christmas.

“The orders have not stopped,” she said.

“They send me a photo – if the hubby is actually away, the mums get the hubby to take photos of themselves at work in their gear.

“They are all different – one will have stubble, one will have a big full beard.

“It’s really fun; I really enjoy it.”

Mrs Wilson said she uses yellow or orange fluoro material to make the dolls’ work wear, and has made one to look like a nurse for an eastern states buyer and another to look like an Australian Navy dad.

To see more, visit the Cutie Hooties – Cute Crafts page on Facebook.

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