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Healthy Roots, Natural Dolls for Natural Girls

Created by Healthy Roots team

Healthy Roots, Natural Dolls for Natural Girls
Photo original
674 backers pledged $48,918.00 on Kickstarter

Healthy Roots is a toy company that teaches natural hair care to young girls of color. Help us celebrate the beauty of diversity!

Raised in Kickstarter
$48,918.00 / 674 backers
Raised in BackerKit
$2,775.00 / 26 backers
Estimated Shipping Date: May 2016
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Big Book of Hair
For $30, you'll receive Healthy Roots' Big Book of Hair, a one of a kind hair manual for girls. T... more »
$30.00
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Love my Healthy Roots Shirt
Get an awesome Healthy Roots T-Shirt! Shirts are available in kids and adult sizes and feature ou... more »
$25.00
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Healthy Roots E-Coloring Book
We'll deliver our awesome coloring book featuring Healthy Roots characters straight to your email... more »
$5.00
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ART PRINTS
You'll receive 2 high quality art prints featuring beautiful works by our talented illustrators. ... more »
$15.00
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Healthy Roots doll: Zoe
You will receive the Zoe of Healthy Roots! Our 18 inch vinyl dolls come in different skin tones a... more »
$65.00
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Healthy Roots doll: Gaiana
Pre-Order your very own Zoe Doll. Our 18 inch vinyl dolls come in different skin tones and hair t... more »
$65.00
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Healthy Roots doll: Dara
Pre order your very own Dara doll!Our 18 inch vinyl dolls come in different skin tones and hair t... more »
$65.00

Learn About Our Project:

It's time to bring TRUE diversity to the toy aisle

My name is Yelitsa and I am a children's illustrator from the Rhode Island School of Design. Growing up, I suffered from many insecurities about my skin color and hair texture. I was often told that in order to be beautiful you had to have long, flowing hair or fair skin. Not seeing many girls like me in the media didn't help these issues. Today, only 8% of children's books have main characters of color, but about 50% of children in the USA are of color.

These numbers don't add up. 

I created Healthy Roots to fill that void. Internalized racism and colorism stem from mainstream beauty standards that exclude women of color. The pressure that girls feel to appeal to mainstream beauty standards impacts their self esteem, leading them to use dangerous chemicals like perms and bleaching creams to become "beautiful." Healthy Roots teaches girls of color self-love through education, diversity, and positive representation. If the toys we play with influence how we perceive ourselves, imagine the kind of impact we can have with a toy that aims to inspire and empower.

Meet the Healthy Roots girls

3D Doll Models
3D Doll Models

Healthy Roots is a doll + book series starring best friends Zoe, Dara, Gaiana and Marinda, girls from all different cultures and walks of life. These girls are much more than fashionistas. They are truly passionate about learning and creating good for others. Girls get to follow our characters' journeys as they deal with insecurities while reading our storybooks.

Sneak peak at future characters.
Sneak peak at future characters.

As they read along, they learn about life and the many different cultures of the African Diaspora.

Target age range: 3-12

Doll Packaging Concepts
Doll Packaging Concepts

The initial set includes:

Manual: "Big Book of Hair": This is the intro to natural hair care starring the Healthy Roots Girls. Doll: 1 character doll. Product: 2 Kreyol Essence Natural Hair care products that girls can use to care for their own hair.

Rewards

Thank you post cards!
Thank you post cards!
 
Healthy Roots E-Coloring Book
Healthy Roots E-Coloring Book
Healthy Roots Prints
Healthy Roots Prints
Big Book of Hair Manual
Big Book of Hair Manual
T-shirt (available in kids and adult sizes)
T-shirt (available in kids and adult sizes)

Healthy Roots Humble Beginnings

First Prototype
First Prototype

Healthy Roots has come a long way. What started as an art project has grown into a social venture. I've built a strong team of women of color from different universities who are equally as passionate and dedicated to this cause. 

The Healthy Roots Team
The Healthy Roots Team

Participating in the Brown Social Innovation Fellowship, RISD E'Ship Program, Brown Breakthrough Innovation Lab, and now the MassChallenge Accelerator Program has given the Healthy Roots team all the necessary skills to launch this product.

These programs have given us access to workshops, mentors, and toy designers that have helped develop this product. We have done extensive research on the impact of dolls, race, and representation with several mothers and daughters to develop the best product. The positive feedback was so strong that we had to pursue this project.

First doll sculpts
First doll sculpts
3D Model Turnarounds
3D Model Turnarounds

We have already established a relationship with a manufacturer and have developed doll models that have been 3D printed and tested. The dolls will be made from plastic and different synthetic hair fibers. We will be avoiding dangerous plastic to ensure the safety of the children that play with our dolls.

Our dolls will go through all industry-standard child safety testing before it gets to you.

3D Doll models
3D Doll models

My focus as an artist has always been to create social change. We are ready to go into production and all we need are your orders. To get these dolls in the arms of little girls, we need to reach our minimum order of 2,500 dolls. 

You will be able to see the process of producing Healthy Roots from start to finish after backing me on this Kickstarter. See the journey on www.healthyrootsdolls.com 

Who we are doing this for

For the girls! We are doing this for all the young girls who participated in our model call. We are doing it for girls like Sarah, Lily, and Saige.

In order from r to l: Sarah, Lily, Saige
In order from r to l: Sarah, Lily, Saige

We go far beyond being just another black doll. Everyone deserves to be represented and no one should feel less than because of the color of their skin or the kink of their curl.

What's Next?

This Kickstarter project is only the beginning! We will create a series of Healthy Roots dolls and storybooks. Healthy Roots is not just a doll. It is a social movement. Help us make it happen.

***Photo credits: Nitashia Johnson, Allison Bamaca, Yelitsa Jean-Charles