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  • 10-Year-Old Crochets Hidilyn Diaz Doll, Uses Earnings To Help Others

    She's turned her hobby into a business to help kids in need.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
10-Year-Old Crochets Hidilyn Diaz Doll, Uses Earnings To Help Others
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorraine Dorotan
  • Since becoming the first Olympian to ever win a gold medal for the Philippines, many have expressed their admiration and love for weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (HD) through their art. One of them is 10-year-old Cheska Dorotan, an avid crocheter, who recently gifted the winning athlete her very own HD crochet doll.

    According to Cheska's mom, Lorraine, her daughter was motivated to make the doll after Hidilyn's gold win and after researching Hidilyn's accomplishments as an athlete. “Since Cheska was on her summer break from school, she had the opportunity to watch Ms. Hidilyn Diaz win the Philippines’ first ever gold medal while setting an Olympic record,” she tells SmartParenting.com.ph.

    Cheska’s dad, Abel, also happens to be a big fan of Hidilyn and told Cheska stories of how they both attended the same Crossfit Box pre-COVID.

    The doll is complete with dumbbells and the ubiquitous yellow Tokyo Olympic bouquet. It also has a flexible arm that you can turn upward to show the doll in action ala Hidilyn.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorraine Dorotan
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    Currently, the HD doll has yet to reach the weightlifting champ. But through Viber messages and social media, pictures of the doll were sent to Hidilyn with the help of Cheska’s aunt. An appreciative Hidilyn has, in fact, featured the doll in one of her Instagram stories.

    Right now, the doll, along with a note from Cheska telling Hidilyn just how proud she is of the athlete, is with writer, host, and Rock Ed Philippines Executive Director Gang Badoy Capati who will send it to the champ once pandemic restrictions have eased.

    Hooked on a hobby

    Cheska with mom Lorraine and dad Abel.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorraine Dorotan

    Cheska’s crochet journey began just six months ago. Her creativity and talent she must have gotten from her grandmother in the US who sews, knits, and also crochets, Lorraine says. An aunt, who also taught Cheska how to draw and paint, has become her crochet buddy helping her further develop her skill and control of yarn and hook.

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    Watching tutorials on YouTube also taught Cheska basic to more complex hooks from single, double, and treble crochet. From making coasters and potholders to use in their kitchen to headbands and bracelets she gives as gifts to family members, she has now moved on to creating stuffed dolls and animals based on the instructions from the crochet books.

    Cheska’s love for crocheting can also be attributed to her love for Math. “What Cheska found fascinating with crochet was how it involved math which she absolutely loves,” Lorraine shares.

    Much like her favorite subject, crochet patterns require that the number of stitches increase or decrease in order to create different shapes. It also demands practice and repetition which Cheska loves.

    In just a span of six short months, Cheska has been able to complete close to 100 crocheted toys, that now includes celebrities such as Hidilyn and K-pop group, BTS.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorraine Dorotan
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    Lorraine's mom is quick to point out that crocheting is more than just a hobby for Cheska, especially during this time of pandemic when social interaction and going outdoors are limited.

    “Cheska mentioned that crochet helped her relieve stress from school,” shares Lorraine. “Crochet has greatly helped Cheska with her mental health. It calms her and brings her joy when a doll has been completed,” she adds.

    Budding entrepreneur

    To date, Cheska has had requests for Wonder Woman dolls, Candy-Crush inspired dresses, Pokemon and BT21 dolls, among others.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Lorraine Dorotan

    Cheska shares her crochet journey on the Instagram account @crochet_by_cheska. The incoming Grade 5 student from St. Paul College Pasig has not only gained followers and supporters but interested buyers as well, turning the hobbyist into a young entrepreneur. 

    With mom and dad's help, Cheska was able to create the enterprises's brand and the pricing of the dolls. All orders can be customized with an estimated production time of 7 to 10 days for dolls.

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    Lorraine, who admits she has yet to learn how to crochet herself, tells Smart Parenting, “From a young age, Cheska has started to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, understanding that quality and client service are important.”

    Cheska not only uses her earnings to buy new crochet supplies, she also contributes to a community in need. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Cheska understood that giving back to the community is important, her mom says. “Our family spends a fair amount of time at her father’s hometown in Irosin, Sorsogon and every Christmas, Cheska helps her Lolo and Lola distribute food packs to poor families.”

    To date, Cheska has donated cash to community pantries, the Philippine General Hospital, and ABS-CBN Foundation. Being a Pasigueno, she also plans to donate her next earnings to Mayor Vico’s food packs.

    “My husband and I have instilled in Cheska that she should give her utmost best in all of her endeavors and have fun during the process. She understands that the process/journey is just as important as the end result,” Lorraine shares.

    Thanks to mom and dad, looks like the crochet hobbyist is set to be an inspiration just like her idol, HD.

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