It is very rare to find a child that does not love a doll or action figure. Coming in all shapes and sizes, children have always been able to find a doll that satisfies, but not all children have been able to find one that reflects themselves. Even today, most online and physical retailers are stocked wall to wall with Caucasian characters. If you are lucky, you may find a minority side-kick in a boxset with Caucasian dolls, but you will need to look closely to spot them. Businesses claim to be inclusive and progressive as do most parents, but retailers see little reason to put in the extra effort to stock a Black doll when parents are buying the Caucasian products without complaint.
For innocent children that see everything in the world including all colours, the consistent absence of colour in particular areas is more informative than any 2-minute speech a parent or teacher can give on race and inclusion. The Black-owned businesses below are changing that narrative for Black children. They provide a range of dolls representing African, Afro-Caribbean and other ethnic minorities, allowing children to play with dolls that reflect themselves and the entire community.
Black Dolls From Black-Owned Stores
Melange Dolls is a company that produces Black and ethnic minority dolls for children. Their dolls are unbelievably beautiful with names such as Daisymae, Iris, Azalea, and Sorrel. They build each of their dolls with the intent of representing ethnic minority girls, helping them build confidence and self-esteem. Melange Dolls designs and produces the fabrics on each of their dolls, so this ensures that their dolls are quite different and stand out amongst other dolls.
Akila Dolls is a start-up designing a unique product. They aim to create diverse and disabled Black dolls for kids to represent everyone. Still in the early stages, their first prototype was recently unveiled on Facebook and it looks amazing. There is nothing to purchase right now but we recommend you visit the site, check out that prototype and see how you can support.
Nana Dolls is another unique shop that creates Black dolls for kids using the stories of real-life African Queens. Each doll is named after an African Queen and adopts the real-life backstory of the African royal figure. Various accessories can be purchased for the dolls including traditional and non-traditional dresses and outfits. Storybooks telling the history of each Black doll are also available for purchase and make the perfect accompaniment to any doll purchase.
Thimble and Doll creates handmade diverse Black dolls from felt and cotton. They produce dolls for all skin tones and ensure that each of their dolls has a very credible look in terms of Black doll hairstyles. The dolls are designed, drawn, cut, and stitched in house by hand so you will be getting top quality and high value for your money. They also offer a bespoke service with lots of flexibility, including the selection of the size and hair styles. The bespoke service takes 2 – 4 weeks to complete.
Clarkes closet produces Black rag dolls that represent the vibrancy and multicultural traditions of Africa. The dolls are all unique characters with different shapes, sizes, outfits, colours and Black hairstyles. All the dolls are handmade using materials from local suppliers, so they also care very much about the community in which they serve. They also offer a completely bespoke service for customers as well, where almost everything can be altered.
These and the many other doll retailers in our directory are pushing the boundaries, allowing children of all backgrounds to build a multi-racial selection of dolls that reflects the society and world we live in. Which of these retailers is your favourite, and who do you think should also be highly considered? Add your comments below and if you have purchased from one of these retailers, make sure you add a review in the directory to let everyone know how it went.
If you want more shops selling Black dolls for children, children’s clothing or anything else, please visit our directory filled with thousands of black-owned businesses.