HAZELLE HEDGES BEGAN MAKING marionettes at the age of 22 and ultimately developed the only marionette factory in the United States and one of the largest in the world.
After a summer in New York City with Tony Sarg, a famous marionette artist, Rollins established a small factory, Hazelle Marionettes, and made her first sale during the 1934 Christmas season. She even designed her own machinery for her factory in Kansas City, Mo.
She instigated new characters on a regular basis including Mother Goose characters, Space Flyer, Sweet Sue, Buckaroo Bill and the Blue Fairy. She also introduced marionettes to help children understand other nationalities and races such as Senor Carlos, Rosita the Gypsy and Tony the Vendor.
By 1962, Hazelle, Inc. was the world’s largest exclusive manufacture of marionettes. At the time the company was sold after 43 years of business, she had designed 300 puppets and held four patents.
Kansas City Mayor H. Roe Bartle appointed her to the Women’s Kansas City Commission for International Relations in 1957. Secretary of the U.S. Treasury William Simon appointed Rollins as one of 25 national committee members to the U.S. Treasury Small Business Advisory Committee on Economic Policy in Washington D.C. in 1976.
Courtesy of womenscouncil.org