Intensely shy and introverted as a child, Thressa Willett spent most of her time in a world of fantasy—building and designing elaborate playlands. Playtime interests ranged from the likes of building blocks, Legos, and Lincoln Logs. She designed colorful paper doll clothes and created intricate topological routes for matchbox cars.

As she grew older, more culturally accepted interests for girls took hold. Although never interested in baby dolls, Thressa did become passionate about the Barbie doll. She made them unique clothes from curiously crafted fabric scraps, cut and dyed their hair, and ditched the Mattel dream house for wildly improvised miniature interiors. Her headless Malibu Ken doll was essentially the village idiot in every scenario (headless not by guillotine, but a Mattel design flaw).

At first radical, later even-handed, a feminist was born. After some heartache and hardship in her adult years, Thressa turned to academia to find her way. She holds a BA in English, a BFA in New Media, and an MFA in Studio Arts.  This priceless journey (pun intended) has taught her so much about the world and herself. With newfound courage to voice her questions and ideas, she writes and designs in search for a brighter future.


Thressa, age 6 (Bangor, Maine)