I never thought I would leave the academic world as a professor to pursue the life of creating dolls. My journey into retail began with my children’s books. They were so successful that Walmart asked me to create dolls in the likeness of the characters. Of course, I never saw that as a part of my life’s plan, so I declined the offer three times. It wasn’t until I viewed the updated doll study, that my mind was completely changed. During the study, one of the African American girl participants was asked why the white doll was prettier. As she touched her hand, she said, “I didn’t think the brown doll’s skin was pretty because it is nasty just like mine”.
I knew then and there, that I had to change my life’s focus. What I once thought was success, no longer motivated me. There was no way I could sit comfortably behind my desk as our young girls believed the lie that their skin tone was not beautiful.
So it became my mission to inspire our African American girls, and all children for that matter, to see themselves for who they are – Beautiful.
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.