As a mom and former professor, I love creating dolls that honor the beauty and intelligence of multicultural children. I want to support families in raising beautiful, confident children with unlimited possibilities.
I’ve always had the passion to inspire young people. In 2003, I formed the World of Entertainment, Publishing and Inspiration (World of EPI) with the mission of spreading joy by providing children with dolls that inspire dreams, promote intelligence and build self-esteem. Building self-esteem is the cornerstone of all the work I do, because low self-esteem can limit a child’s potential and have a negative impact on communities and society at large.
One day while watching an updated doll study, I saw a beautiful little dark-skinned girl say she didn’t think the brown doll was pretty because its skin was nasty. She then touched her own hand indicating her skin was nasty, too. As my heart broke and tears flowed down my face, I said to myself, “I have to do something. This can’t happen on my watch". A generation of children can’t grow up not knowing their true beauty and brilliance.” At that moment, the World of EPI was born. I knew I had to create dolls for multicultural girls. To this day, every morning I wake with the vision of little girls playing on the floor, and I’m driven to create dolls, accessories and items that honor them.
In 2009, I created Positively Perfect Dolls (PPD), which includes 18" and 14" baby dolls. These award-winning dolls have one-of-a-kind faces, custom blended skin tones, beautiful full lips, cute noses, with natural hair textures and styles. The line started with just two African American dolls at one retailer. The collection has grown to over 65 dolls representing black, brown, mixed and blended children. Positively Perfect now has a doll fashion line and accessories. The PPD Collection is being distributed in domestic mass retail stores and in international markets.
In 2017, Fresh was launched. For four years, I’d carried the dream of creating a multicultural fashion doll line in my heart. I wanted older girls to see their multicultural beauty reflected back to them during play. They are called Fresh because they’re a new “Fresh” perspective on dolls. These dolls have one-of-a-kind faces; that are truly works of art. They have custom-blended skin tones, beautifully authentic facial features, trendy fashions and hairstyles that include, braids, afros, afro-puffs, wavy and curly styles. Fresh doll bodies are specifically designed to be more representative by having fuller hips, thighs and more realistic waists.
I designed the dolls to be poseable so girls could dream of what they want to become while posing, bending, and playing with their dolls. Since traditional dolls clothes will not perfectly fit these shapely bodies, Fresh Dolls have their own fashion line that is “elegant with an edge."
Of course, I couldn’t leave out our young boys. So, two years later I created the Fresh Squad. The Fresh Squad are male fashion dolls that show the power and brilliance in black and brown boys. The dolls represent the men in my life who are strong, smart and chivalrous. I wanted boys to see the truth of who they are—brilliant. As characteristic of EPI dolls, each face is unique sculpture, they have strong jawlines, full lips, real hair and muscular bendable bodies. Fresh Squad allow little boys to see themselves and dream of what they can to become.
Everything we do at the World of EPI centers around love and self-esteem. We love all children and what them to see their authentic representation in toys and accessories.
What I hope to see in the Future
Retail Stores have a responsibility of offering a breadth of merchandise which reflects the world we live in. Unfortunately, I still see a problem when I walk down the toy aisles to conduct market research. I still see a lack of diversity in cultural toys, dolls and other children’s merchandise.
Our aim is to change this, and that starts with us!
We are looking to change the retail landscape so that all of our little beauties are represented in EVERY toy aisle in your neighborhoods.
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