Martha Holcombe-Root is the artist responsible for the beautiful Miss Martha Original items. These wonderful creations were the result of a tragedy at the church Martha attended. The roof of that church developed a leak and her pastor challenged her to find a way to help raise money to repair of the roof. After praying about the problem, Martha was inspired and she began making a soft, sculptured doll.
Her dolls were so popular that people began asking her for the patterns so that they could make their own dolls. That’s when Martha came up with the idea to market the pattern. She decided to place an ad in a craft magazine and to use the name she was called by the children she taught in Sunday School — “Miss Martha” and to finish it off, she added the word “Original.” And so the “Miss Martha Original” name was launched. It took here 3 months to make the first pattern which was called “Lisa”.
Miss Martha Original
Unfortunately, the market for the doll patterns dried up. Martha decided to launch a new line of sculptured dolls, and she started her “All God’s Children” line. This is a wonderful line of African American figurines. Each of the All God’s Children dolls comes with his/her own individual story.
Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children collectibles are the loved series of figurines, created by the Christian artist lovingly referred to as Miss Martha. Miss Martha Collectibles are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also come with an inspiring testimony. Ms. Martha was an unemployed mother of three who had no knowledge of figurine fabrication. By her own words, with the grace of God and a bit of faith, she has spread the message of God’s eternal love for humanity through art.
Miss Martha’s Pledge
Ms. Martha’s church was in need of repairs. The roof was leaking, and the pastor had gone to the congregation for help. Ms. Martha was convinced she should help. She pledged to donate 800 dollars for the roof, despite the fact that she had no income. Having prayed about the matter, in her heart she had faith that the money would be provided for her to fulfill her pledge.
As it happened, she made a soft sculpture doll; she took the doll to church one day and there were several people who desired to buy doll patterns so they could make their own dolls. That incident, coupled with another that followed several days later, was the beginning of the Miss Martha Collectible dolls. As Ms. Martha was thumbing through a catalog, she had the idea that perhaps she could sell doll patterns via mail-order.
She was able to borrow the $600.00 needed to place a small 2″ x 2″ ad in the back of a magazine and worked for three months creating her first doll pattern, affectionately named, Lisa. 18-hour days produced a sweet and charming Lisa doll pattern.
Miss Martha Originals
Coming up with a business name for her ad proved simple. In Sunday school, the children called her Miss Martha. She thought it a befitting name for her new venture. Throwing in the “Originals” was simply to make the name more polished.
Once the magazine ad ran her original pattern, she eagerly anticipated her first trip to the post office. Her very first order batch was 20 orders. The first person she shared the news with was the pastor of her church. Her prosperity increased as her orders increased, and she was soon able to meet her original pledge of 800 dollars to the church.
Miss Martha becomes a Household Name
When thinking of her own success she is quoted as referring to it in terms of 1 Corinthians 1:27, “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise”. She never intended to begin a business, she was only searching for a way to help her church in its time of need. Having no income or means to honor her pledge may have seemed foolish to some. Her subsequent blessing made her want to honor Christ even more in her newfound success.
Even though she only had an education in mental health, she managed to successfully run her business. As it grew, she was able to move her tiny operation into a more professional setting. By 1984, nestled in an industrial park, Miss Martha Originals employed 33 employees and was blossoming.
Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children Collectibles is Born
Shortly after gaining moderate success, Miss Martha Originals began to experience great losses. The niche market they catered to was no longer viable. Fewer people had interest in doll making.
She found herself down to only four employees and unable to make payments on her building. With the backing of her best friend, she refused to give up. She believed the business she had started could thrive.
With no formal art training under her belt, Miss Martha began to sculpt figurines. Despite her lack of knowledge, she learned to work with her hands. She wanted to spread the message that we are loved by our heavenly father and are all God’s children. Thus, Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children collectibles were born.
Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children Collectibles Historical Series
Most of the early Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children collectibles were inspired by her childhood past. She called on memories of her brother and their time on her grandmother’s farm. Swimming in the creek, riding her grandma’s aged mule, running free and barefoot, and blackberry harvests complete with chiggers all evoked warm memories in her that she wanted to share.
1989 was the year that the historical series of the Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children Collectibles was introduced. She wanted to do her part in bringing awareness to the many unsung heroes of America’s past. The historical series consists of solely African American figures.
The goal of Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children collectibles is to honor God. Miss Martha is quoted as saying that she hopes her pieces convey God’s love and that “You are loved. You are a child of God.” It is a message she feels transcends everything. It is endearing that Miss Martha Originals – All God’s Children collectibles spread one of the gospels most important messages.