Team Member, Rini Lutfie.

Our bubbly, generous team member Rini Lutfie has kindly donated two of her Ballerina & me dolls as prizes for the Humans in Geelong Expo 2019. She has also donated her cheeky, fun Surfbuddies for all of our 200 thank you bags. Here is Rini’s story.

“In 2012, my young daughter Louise, would constantly plead with me “Please dance with me mummy.’ Louise loved dancing and was learning ballet. It broke my heart. I was a single mum, I’d be exhausted and flat out preparing a healthy home-cooked meal after having fit in two sports runs for Louise’s older brothers.


“It was her brothers Edwin and Dylan who came up with the solution. ‘Why don’t you make a ballerina doll for Louise to dance with?’ I loved the idea and responded by creating one. Then another, and another. Each an improvement on the first. Louise was thrilled to have, not just a dancing partner, but also a play companion of her own.

Rini was compelled to share the love, bring more joy to, and to inspire and spark the imagination of children of all ages.

She engaged a professional designer to help translate her ideas into a production design, located a quality manufacturer and Ballerina & Me® was born. Rini researched and learned everything she could about the toy industry. She pursued international trademarks and compliance with strict European and Australian Toy Safety Standards and used word-of-mouth, local markets, social media and online platforms to attract customers and build sales.

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The uptake has been magical! Ballerina & Me® doll is lifting the hearts of a legion of little girls and their grandmothers, and now Rini’s ready to take on the world. If you are wondering where Rini is on Humans in Geelong 2019 Expo day, Sunday 6th October, she’s pitching her dream in Europe, we wish her luck.

Rini’s based in Geelong-Victoria, Australia and reaching out to touch the lives of children around the globe through Ballerina & Me® dolls, other products and Brand Licensing.

Thanks again Rini for your generous gifts and for being an enthusiastic and shining part of our team. FYI, Rini is in the process of regaining her original identity by changing her name back to her maiden name, watch out for Rini Lutfie (note mis-spelling in Humans in Geelong Book, sorry Rini).

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Story: Jacqui Bennett. Photos: Supplied