Doll company Orijin Bees announced its toy collection is available at Target. The Baby Bee Doll collection aims to amplify the array of Black and brown skin tones and hair textures, Black News reports.
The company, also spelled out like O.R.I.J.I.N B.E.E.S, stands for Our Representation Is Just Inclusion Normalized, Beautifully Empowering Every Soul.
“As a purpose-driven brand, we are determined to help broaden the view of beauty to include Black and brown girls of every shade and hair texture,” founder Melissa Orijin said at the beginning of October.
Orijin is the mother of a 7-year-old daughter who struggled as the only Black girl in her class. The business owner said her daughter’s experiences inspired her “to do more.”
“As a mother, I felt I had to do more for my kids, my family, my friends and also for the many kids out there who I’ve never met but who I know struggle the way Esi did, not seeing others like themselves in their classrooms or even among their toys at home,” she said.
According to Orijin Bees website, the businesswoman and her husband raised their daughter between Africa and the U.S., focusing on raising Esi to appreciate her deeply rooted African culture. But Orijin said once it was time for their daughter to head to school, her preferences for white dolls and actors became apparent.
“Like any mom, I went straight into panic mode and started looking for a solution,” the mom of two said. “I made an effort to enroll her into extracurricular activities where I knew there would be kids from diverse backgrounds.”
“Everything we had worked on during Esi’s first years of life had disappeared in just a few weeks. The world we had created for her, where she could explore and appreciate her rich African heritage and culture, was vanishing before our very eyes,” she added.
Orijin said the company plans to develop additional products that showcase the Black community.
The doll collection, which is available now at Target and the Orijin Bees website, was created in 2018 to inspire other young girls like Esi and encourage them to be confident.
The company also sells outfits for dolls, playsets and hair accessories including bonnets, hair clips and headbands. Customers can also purchase matching turbans for dolls and little girls.
By Elizabeth Leiba, Linkedin