If you have a daughter, then I don't need to explain the American Girl empire to you. Girls can't get enough of this stuff.
At our house, we try to walk a fine line when it comes to the American Girl world. On the one hand, I totally get that my daughter loves the dolls because I was once an eight year-old who loved dolls too. My daughter Ellie is the proud mama of a couple of different American Girl Dolls (which have been gifted to her -- one from me and two from other family members). She loves these dolls and their ten million accessories. On the one hand, I certainly want her to enjoy these dolls. On the other hand, I also want her to appreciate these are lovely gifts that she is very lucky to have.
A trip to the American Girl store is a treat and a big deal. We can't buy Ruthie a new outfit just because. But the thing that many people don't realize is that American Girl is about so much more than just the dolls.
There are also the books. Ellie absolutely adores all of the American Girl books. These are the very best part of the American Girl experience (in my motherly opinion). The books explore girls' lives in different time periods in a way that today's readers can relate to. Ellie has literally flown through dozens of these books from our local library. And she also loves the magazine which features short stories, craft ideas, etc.
A couple of weeks ago, Ellie and I were invited to take part in a very special experience that any American Girl enthusiast would love.Thanks to MasterCard, we were provided with exclusive access at the American Girl Place® Chicago before the store opened to the public. Personal shoppers were available to help us explore the store. Ellie was gifted a store credit to use as she chose (seriously, talk about an eight year-old's dream come true). We browsed through the store and Ellie chose to be photographed for the "cover" of an American Girl Magazine (now proudly displayed in her room). Then came the best part. We were treated to a brunch and discussion with award-winning author Valerie Tripp. She gave a lovely talk about the process of writing the American Girl books and imparted several words of wisdom to her captive audience.
After brunch, Ellie used the remaining money from her store credit to get her doll Ruthie's ears pierced and pick up a cute set of fluffy white ear muffs.
She literally loved every minute. If you have a little girl who loves American Girl, I strongly encourage you to consider attending one of the brunches with Valerie Tripp or another author. If you are going to head to the store anyway, why not fill your daughter up with some literary inspiration before you indulge her love for petite snow boots and coordinating pet accessories? Similar brunches are being added to the store calendar in the coming weeks. Plan to attend if you can. You (and your daughter) will love it.
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in this exclusive opportunity thanks for Mastercard. We were provided with complimentary meals and a gift card to the store. I was not otherwise compensated. My thoughts on the American Girl store are my own.