Charlotte Gould was born with a cleft lip and has had numerous surgeries to fix it. The third grader from Arizona didn't let that obstacle bring her down, though. Instead, she decided to sew rag dolls to sell on Instagram. Half of all her sales go to Barrow Cleft & Craniofacial Center at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. We had the opportunity to ask Charlotte a few questions, so read on for our exciting interview with her.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE YOU INVOLVED IN?
I take sewing, dancing, and theater classes. I'm a movie and Broadway fan, especially musicals. I am very involved with the hospital that helped fix my cleft lip & palate. I also started a charitable program when I was 5. I buy teddy bears with stitches on their little noses and gift them to families of babies born with clefts. They receive the teddy bear to keep them company during all their surgeries.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEA OR PROJECT THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON.
I design and sew little rag dolls. I call them Sweeties and call my project Stitches by Charlotte. After each doll is designed and sewn, I sell it. Half of all the sales go to the hospital and doctors that I love "sew" much!
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA?
My nana and papa bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and I decided to do something good with it.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED SO FAR AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I have had 5 surgeries. I don't remember the first two because I was less than a year old. I have a tiny scar on my lip, but I love it and wouldn't change it!
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED SINCE YOU STARTED YOUR IDEA?
Most importantly, I have made people smile! I have raised over $2000 for charity and spread love and awareness for cleft lips and palates. Cleft lips and palates can happen to 1 in 700 babies, so it's pretty common. I want to let the world know that all smiles are beautiful!
WHAT DO YOU STILL NEED HELP WITH FOR YOUR IDEA? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU?
I would love to have more people know about me, cleft lips, and my dolls! Sometimes I see kids looking at my scar but I can tell they are too afraid to ask about it! I would love if everyone who met someone with a cleft lip scar (or any scar, really) would smile and say "hello" knowing what it is and being open and accepting to them.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNGER GIRLS THAT HAVE AN IDEA THEY WANT TO MAKE HAPPEN?
Follow your heart and stay true to yourself. Your idea may be hard work and you might have to miss some fun stuff because you're working, but it's all worth it when you see what you did!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR MANTRA?
"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. But be an example to all believers in what you say. In the way you live. In your love. Your faith. And your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM JOB?
I dream to someday own a fashion design business in California or New York.
If you know a girl with a story like Charlotte's, nominate her to be our next featured Idea Girl!