Thanks again to my awesome readers! Madelon sent a link to this fascinating article written by Christopher Borrelli for the Chicago Tribune called The American Girl Way – Inside American Girl Headquarters.

American Girl assembly line

First you have to watch the video – from the assembly line to the doll hospital (oh you have to see some of those poor dolls!!) to gift wrap and beyond, various members of the American Girl team are featured in this tour of some of the important parts of the American Girl headquarters. (photo is a screen shot I did from the video)

Next read the entire article. Mr. Borrelli makes you feel as if you are actually on the tour with him and really paints a fascinating picture of the entire American Girl process, culture and really illustrates the battle between keeping the company values “thoughtful” and the commercialism of it all.

And my favorite part of the article…

A few feet away, there’s a conveyor belt connected to a larger maze of conveyor belts, which snake through the complex. I lean over and read the labels on the packages that zip past. Houston. Dublin, Ohio. St. Augustine, Fla. Beyond the belts, in the distance, there are more boxes, a forest of tan reaching five stories high, marked “Snow Gear” and “Fresh and Fruity Top” and “Rebecca” and “Molly.” And a name I don’t recognize: “McKenna.” There are lots of “McKenna” boxes. Which is awkward. Because, though I hate to “demystify” American Girl so close to Christmas, on its 25th birthday — but, just a hunch, McKenna will be the 2012 GOTY.

When I ask Parks again who girl of the year will be, she shakes her head and smiles. Then she says, mysteriously: “Think gymnastics.” So in the car I ask Google. It seems American Girl fandom is already familiar with McKenna. She’s a gymnast from Seattle. Her friend’s in a wheelchair, which, I bet, will go for $38.

Specifically the part about Googling it… I wonder if Mr. Borrelli found himself visiting Doll Diaries?

In all seriousness, this is a fabulous article. Go read it. And thank you Chicago Tribune for giving us a glimpse inside the inner workings of dolly heaven – also known as AG Headquarters.