My name is Jane Van Cleef. I have always loved making things. In 2010 I was 25, and I wanted to strike out on my own with a big project. But I was nervous because with my (many) previous handmade businesses, I had never found a big market for my offerings. I would spend a lot of time and money making inventory, and then struggle to find buyers.
But I decided to just make something that I would want for myself, and one weekend I made the first Hazel Village doll - a tiny Annicke Mouse. I was inspired by the toys and crafts I had loved as a child, and by my favorite childhood stories like Brambly Hedge, Uncle Wiggly, and the Little House stories.
Hazel Village is named after the American Hazelnut tree: a source of delicious nuts, magical divining rods, useful twigs for basketry, and food for caterpillars.