The journey begins…
Long before the thought of establishing an online craft business, Cheryl Hinton was looking to find a Christmas gift for her great-niece.
She in for a rude awakening.
She discovered that stores lacked dolls of color.
It was November 2014.
She realized her friends and neighbors were faced with the same dilemma after having casual conversations. Instead of being disappointed, her curiosity of African American representation within the toy industry was just the beginning of her sewing doll apparel.
Her great-niece received a doll that looked like her as a holiday present. The following year, Cheryl decided to do a more in-depth online search. The same doll that was purchased reappeared. This time, the doll was significantly reduced. Curious to see how the doll looked in person, Cheryl bought the same doll.
Only to be disappointed.
Closer to starting online craft business…
The lack of trendy clothing for black dolls became the genesis of Black Dollz Rock. Again, the former seamstress and self-proclaimed fashionista conducted another online search. This time it was for doll clothes and footwear sites, which furthermore led to buying an 18-inch doll to serve as a mannequin. A single doll purchase led to buying ten dolls within three months.
Harmless inquiries became intense, passion searches. She spent days seeking dolls in various skin complexions for black girls. In addition, she connected with doll enthusiasts and joined groups to find designers who sold patterns for fashionable doll clothing.
Filled with plenty of excitement, Cheryl started making doll clothing and showing them to friends with daughters. After receiving positive feedback, she created a Black Dollz Rock page on Facebook, where she could showcase her designs.
Using craft business as a teaching tool for young girls
She wants her doll apparel business to be an avenue for finding beautiful black dolls dressed in a trendy fashion. She want girls to love themselves the way God created them to be. Her doll designs have played a huge part in building self-esteem in young black girls. The dolls give them a true reflection of themselves. She encourage parents to buy dolls that reflect their daughter’s skin tone. Young girls seeing beauty in a relatable way make a connection. It gives them something to be proud of.
Her design inspirations come from watching beautiful black children in-person, seeing online images, latest hairstyles, clothing trends, hottest colors, and high-end fashion seen on celebrity children. Other inspirations come from the works of others in online community groups.
Cheryl, a creative, detailed-oriented woman of integrity hopes that her designs will close the gap in the doll fashion industry.