As I seek out dolls for friends and family, I have found authentic representation in black owned brands. That is, dolls that represent a cross section of African likeness and style, capturing the nuances of hair texture, facial features, skin tone, personality, and more. Watching the reactions of children opening these gifts has been rewarding. Though they may not be able to articulate the resemblances and familiarity, their reactions speak louder than words. Upon review of the many doll options from black owned brands, you will find products from diverse businesses to suit a range of tastes and budgets. See the following companies and product links for more information.
- Adwoa Design offers a selection of handmade, collectible, and themed dolls.
- Afrikrea offers a diverse and large selection of dolls.
- African Fabric Company offers an “Afro Doll” with an Afro where you can also choose the skirt.
- Bino and Fino offer a doll collection that corresponds with the characters of their cartoon series.
- Black History Studies offers a Nia ballerina doll wit movable arms and legs.
- Bounce Essentials offers a selection of Nobuhle and Bontle dolls.
- Cultural Interiors offers a handcrafted “Bailey’s little people” doll that is available in different skin tones. An “Olive Rose” doll is also available.
- Double Dutch Dolls offers a selection of 18 inch “African American fashion dolls” based on twins Zaria and Kaila.
- Dream I Am offers an 18 inch Mia doll.
- EthiDolls offers “black heritage dolls” in elaborate cultural garments for which accompanying storybooks are available.
- Fresh Dolls Store offers a selection of dolls in which female and male dolls are represented in wave 1 and wave 2 respectively. For younger youth, the positively perfect doll collection is available.
- Gifted Hands 4MeByU offers a range of crocheted dolls that are ready to ship, and dolls that can be customized according to skin tone, hair, and clothing.
- Happy Hair offers a selection of hand made 15 inch eco-friendly dolls, Renee, Marie, and Holly.
- Healthy Roots offers an 18 inch “healthy roots” doll showcasing naturally curly hair.
- Herstory Doll offers a selection of first edition 18 inch dolls in medium brown and dark skin tones.
- I Am U Dolls offer a “Sunjai” doll designed and styled for dance.
- Ikuzi Dolls offers a selection of 18 inch dolls in various skin tones and styles, and a selection of mermaid dolls.
- Kay Customz offers customized and collectible dolls.
- Kunaka Kids offers a diverse selection of dolls including talking and rag dolls.
- QuèllyRue offers handmade and one-of-a-kind dolls such as the “sleeping swaddled” and “turbanista” dolls. More dolls are also available.
- Makedaa Dolls offers a selection of dolls of various sizes with Afros and dresses made by an African designer.
- Malaville offers a diverse selection of dolls with textured hair.
- Melanites offers a Jaylen action pal boy doll.
- Miss Shabazz offers a selection of dolls designed to showcase diverse African cultures.
- Mixed Chicks offers a selection of “mixed chicks rock” dolls.
- Nana Dolls offers a selection of dolls fashioned after African freedom fighters. The dolls have textured hair and are clothed in Ankara prints.
- Natural Girls United offers a selection of dolls representing natural hair textures with locs, braids, Afros, and more.
- Nola The Nurse offers a Nola the nurse doll with a practitioner box.
- Oh So Paper offers a selection of digital dolls for downloading.
- Olivia & Me Boutique offers a selection of crocheted dolls that are customized by skin tone and hair style.
- Pretty Brown Girl offers a signature “pretty brown girl”doll.
- Queens of Africa Dolls offers a selection of dolls with various skin tones and hair textures.
- Sibahle Collection offers a variety of dolls including the Bontle, Nobuhle, and Rainbow Nation collections.
- Soapbox Theory offers a selection of paper figures for digital download.
- Sugarfoots offers a selection of signature rag dolls in various styles.
- Super Beauty offers a “pep talker doll” with inspirational messages.
- Tammy B Creations offers one of a kind, custom made crocheted dolls (e.g., by skin tone, hair, and more).
- The Damn Salon offers an 18 inch, natural hair Keleshe doll.
- Toys Like Me offers a selection of mermaid princess dolls.
- Trinity Designs offers a selection of limited edition/quantity and collectible dolls.
- Uzuri Kid Kidz offers an African American ballerina (plush) pepper doll.
In reviewing these companies and products, I hope you find dolls that work for you.
ALSO, Shop With Leslie is now offering a Premium Content section with Buying Guides and Sales Information. You will find 1000+ gifts for $25.00 and less from black owned companies. That is 300+ gifts for $10.00 and less, 200+ gifts from $10.01 to $15.00, and 500+ gifts from $15.01 to $25.00. We do the legwork so you don’t have to! There will be updates and posts throughout the year. Sign up HERE for the low cost of $1.95 a year.
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