“SAKA Dolls” are handmade resin ball-jointed pageant dolls founded by Kelly Tran, who has a strong passion in dolls and pageantry. Born and raised in Vietnam, Kelly moved to the US with her family. For over a decade, she has been married to Alex Bui, a United State Marines Veteran. Together they had two beautiful children. Her primary work focus has been in the financial service industry, where her current job is as an underwriter.
From a young age, Kelly has had a strong passion of creating outfits for her Barbie dolls. She sewed her dolls’ outfits by hand without using any sewing machines. She also liked to draw, paint, and sculpt clay. As she grew up, she fell in love with pageantry. Kelly competed in her first pageant in 2001 and holds several titles, including Mrs. Vietnam World 2015, and became a pageant director soon after.
One day, while attended a local beauty pageant, Kelly saw the pageant director give her queen a Barbie doll onstage as a gift during her farewell walk, Kelly thought this is a great idea for the pageant queen as a souvenir gift. She began looking and searching for a replica doll for her pageant queens, but she couldn’t find anyone who would make these dolls at an affordable price.
The “Ball Jointed Dolls” also known as “BJD” has a special mechanism which allows you to pose with ease. Kelly spent over half a year searching and learning the process of making BJD doll clays, molding, and casting resin. She used her spare time on sculpting, drawing, making silicone molds, and casting resins. It is not an easy process and it requires lots of patience, especially without any prior experience. Finally, she was able to cast her first BJD doll successfully with the help of her husband and her daughter.
Each doll was made by hand, costumed with hand sewed garments and hand sewed wigs.
Her inspiration behind the doll is to transform what is known as a traditional doll into a modern beauty pageant doll.