Our History

Rubens Barn was founded in 1998 by two mothers, Ewa Jarenskog and Teruko Wahlström, sharing a common strong belief that children should be children for as long as needed. They wanted to create a comforting friend that would last a childhood of play. A handmade baby doll friend with a soft cuddly form, friendly body proportions as well as a warm and cheeky expression. Each handmade doll would then give children the opportunity to practice creativity, care, and empathy through role-play.

Rubens Barn Story

Rubens Barn was named after Ewa’s late father who had always dreamed of a large family, but unfortunately passed away as a young man. Ruben was well known for his love for children and so with fond memories of her kind and caring father, the two would later decide to pay homage to Ruben by naming their company after him. Because “barn” means children in Swedish, this was natural to include to the name since children are the very focus of Rubens
Barn just as they were back in the days for Ruben. Today Ruben has many soft handmade children, being loved, and cared for in many homes across the world.

“Children shouldn’t be hurried out of their childhood. They should be allowed to play as long as they want and get the opportunity to practice creativity, care and empathy through role play.” Teruko, Founder of Rubens Barn

Our children are our biggest source of inspiration for Shaping a Kinder Future.

Rubens Barn Dolls

A Rubens Barn doll takes over 100 different steps by hand to create. The faces of our dolls are sculptured in soft fabric, for a more emotional and realistic look. The eyes are important as they look to the side for eye contact when holding your Rubens Barn friend on your hip, just like when you hold a child. They are embroidered and are what brings the dolls to life, and in combination with their warm cheeky smiles, makes a Rubens Barn doll an irresistible friend!

Our core values: unique, developing, friend guide us in our decisions and interactions.

Timeline

Timeline

1998

Rubens Barn is born

Rubens Barn is born

Rubens Barn as a company was established by Ewa Jarenskog and Teruko Wahlström in 1998.  This is when the two mothers began to make their first handmade dolls with soft cuddly forms, friendly body proportions and warm cheeky expressions.

1999

From the basement to the train station

Ewa and Teruko began their journey from their basements and eventually started renting a small abandoned train station which functioned as their warehouse.

2000

Family-owned production in China

Rubens Barn is extremely proud to have worked very closely with a family run producer in China for more than 20 years. They exclusively create Rubens Barn dolls and most of the highly skilled seamstresses have been a part of the journey from the beginning, perfecting their craft and helping shape Rubens Barn to what it is today.

 

2001

Rubens Barn Original Harry was born

Rubens Barn Original Harry was born

Harry is Rubens Barn’s very first dark skinned doll after finding the perfect fabrics and tones for creating him. Also having a second boy in the original collection of handmade dolls felt like the most natural step towards making Rubens Barn relatable and inclusive.

2011

The Anatomically Correct Rubens Baby dolls are born

The Anatomically Correct Rubens Baby dolls are born

Since their launch, the Rubens Baby dolls continue to win the hearts of both people in the education as well as many customers looking for a soft handmade friend to help their child prepare for having a sibling. Their anatomically correct features still encourage curiosity for learning about the human body as well as routines around baby-care. 

2012

Rubens Barn reaches a milestone of 100,000 new friendships

Many years of dedication saw the Rubens Barn team slowly growing, word spreading and the motivation for designing more dolls increasing through each unique testimony of cuddle comfort and happiness. 100,000 handmade dolls found new homes and friends to play with.

2013

Dolls available in 25 countries

Dolls available in 25 countries

As a result of visits to toy fair visits, new contacts and an increasing assortment of soft handmade friends, Rubens Barn dolls were gradually spreading across the world being available in 25 different countries!

2015

A generational shift

A generational shift

After many years of taking care of and growing Rubens Barn, Teruko Wahlström decides to plan for her retirement. This is when her son, Kent Moore, takes over the family business to help Rubens Barn grow with a new generation of children.

2015

The Rubens EcoBuds are born

The Rubens EcoBuds are born

Rubens EcoBuds get launched as Rubens Barn’s first handmade dolls in soft organic cotton. These dolls mark the beginning of a journey towards a sustainable way of thinking and making of dolls at Rubens Barn.

2018

GOTS certified production

GOTS certified production

Rubens Barn’s production facilities get GOTS certified. This means that they follow the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.

2019

16,000 trees planted

16,000 trees planted

Rubens Barn eagerly starts its very first partnership with a non-profit organization called One Tree Planted. Within the first year,  donations are made for ca. 16,000 trees to be planted in deforested regions in Kenya, Haiti and Indonesia for every Rubens Mini EcoBuds sold.

2019

Awarded with the honorary Toy of the Year-prize

Awarded with the honorary Toy of the Year-prize

With the launch of Rubens Mini EcoBuds, also known as ‘the mini tree planters’, Rubens Barn receives the prestigious award of Toy of the Year issued by the Swedish Toy and Baby Association. The Rubens Mini EcoBuds are ranked as number one within the Eco Friendly-category due to their sustainable design and the aspect of tree planting for each one sold. 

2021

Micki of Sweden adopts Rubens Barn

Micki of Sweden adopts Rubens Barn

Rubens Barn gets adopted by family-owned Swedish toy company Micki Leksaker founded in 1944. With mutual values and ambitious goals in common, this is an exciting new chapter for Rubens Barn to move into the new home of Micki Leksaker. from Gemla, Småland.