All God's Childrenฎ - Miss Martha Originals - African American figurines

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• About All God's Childrenฎ •

Miss MarthaAbout the Artist
Meet Martha Holcombe Root

Many of our collectors are familiar with the "All God's Children" story.  Many, many more are not.  Accordingly, here is that story.  Miss Martha is the speaker.

In 1980 the pastor at my church asked the congregation to make a faith promise (pledge an offering amount)  to help raise money to repair the leaky roof on our church building.  Without a job and with three children the family funds were tight.  After praying and seeking God's guidance, I felt that God wanted me to pledge $800.00.  I had no idea how I would get this money but since this is what God had impressed upon me, I knew He would make a way.  

Soon after this, I created a soft sculpture doll and took it to church.  Several people wanted to buy a pattern to make their own doll.  Several days later I was looking at a craft magazine when the idea came to me to market the patterns through mail order.  

All the ads listed business names so I used the name my Sunday School kids called me... "Miss Martha".  I added the "Originals" part just to give it a finishing touch.  I borrowed $600.00 to place a 2" x 2" ad in the back of the magazine.  I worked 18 hours a day for the next three months getting my first pattern "Lisa" ready for the printer.

As soon as the magazine was published, my first trip to the post office was filled with joy and excitement.  Wow!  Twenty envelopes were there with each one containing a $4.25 check.  I immediately called my pastor to share the good news.  Orders came in steadily and I was able to pay my faith promise and design more patterns.  The more we gave to God, the more He continued to bless.

What started out as nothing more than a desire to help repair the church was quickly turning into a booming business.  My education was in the field of mental health and I knew absolutely nothing about running a business.  The Bible is true when it says God uses the simple things of the world to confound the wise.  I wanted nothing more than to honor Christ with my efforts.

In 1984 we moved into a new building in the industrial park.  We had 33 employees at the time.  

That was one of our highs.

A low came shortly thereafter when the market for doll patterns all but vanished.  Although we didn't have money to make our building payment, my best friend and company manager, Carolyn Snead, and I refused to give up.  We knew God had started the business and He would let us know when it was time to close.

So, in 1985, with only four employees left, I started sculpting a line of figurines we christened... All God's Children.  This name was chosen from 1 John 3:1 "See how much the Father loves us!  His love is so great that we are called God's children."

Having no formal art training, I didn't really know what I was doing but once again God blessed my efforts.  

In 1989 we introduced a black historical series of figurines.  This was done to increase awareness of the unsung heroes and heroines of America's past who had a positive influence in shaping the history of our country with their courage, beliefs, and determination.

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Much of the inspiration for my earlier pieces came from childhood memories of summers my brother Tommy and I spent on my grandmother's farm.   I remember the simple things like going barefoot, riding the old mule, and swimming in the creek.  Even getting covered with chiggers after picking blackberries and getting scratched with the cotton bolls bring back warm memories because I was with my grandma.  

My goal is for AGC to send a message to society - evoking feelings that transcend time, race, and age; that they may somehow convey God's message of love so you will be reminded that "You are loved.  You are a child of God."  

"Thank you!"

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Miss Martha Originals, Inc. ∙ P.O. Box 5038 Glencoe, AL  35905 ∙ or
Telephone 256-492-0221  ฉ2014 Miss Martha Originals, Inc.