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Healthy Roots is a toy company that teaches natural hair care to young girls of color. Help us celebrate the beauty of diversity!
Healthy Roots is a toy company that teaches natural hair care to young girls of color. Help us celebrate the beauty of diversity!
Healthy Roots is a toy company that teaches natural hair care to young girls of color. Help us celebrate the beauty of diversity!
674 backers pledged $48,918 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Healthy Roots, Natural Dolls for Natural Girls

$48,918

674

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

Risks and challenges

With any product, there is always a risk of delays with shipping and issues with manufacturing. We will be working with our manufacturer and clearly communicating so that we can avoid any obstacles.

We are confident that we will be able to deliver our incentives in a timely manner and have already established our distribution methods.

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FAQ

  • Our dolls are 18 inches in height. The dolls come in different skin tones, facial features and hair that can be styled any way you'd like!

    Last updated:
  • We created the "Big Book of Hair" to go with our natural hair dolls. The book teaches girls natural hair care step by step. We include a product and hair tutorials. Girls will learn the properties of different natural hair care products and their uses. Girls will also learn how to do box braids, bantu knots, twist outs and other protective hair styles.

    Last updated:
  • The first doll from the Healthy Roots line is Zoé. If we reach our stretch goals we will be able to produce the other dolls. We will announce these in updates.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! We have created an international option for our doll and storybook. We currently offer shipping to:

    Canada
    Mexico
    Australia
    China
    France
    Germany
    Great Britain & N. Ireland
    Israel, Italy
    Hong Kong
    Ireland
    Japan
    Netherlands
    Russia
    India
    New Zealand
    Singapore

    Last updated:
  • Yes! For your convenience we have already included shipping in the price of your order.

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    *Thank You POST CARD!*
    Even small contributions matter! We truly appreciate your support. You will receive a Thank You Postcard with our feature characters.

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    52 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    *Healthy Roots E-COLORING BOOK*
    We'll deliver our awesome coloring book featuring Healthy Roots characters straight to your email in pdf format. Print as many pages as you like and get coloring!

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    68 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    *ART PRINTS*
    For your contribution you'll receive 2 high quality art prints featuring beautiful works by our talented illustrators. Hang them up on your wall, or share with friends!

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    55 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    *Limited Edition T-SHIRT*
    Get an awesome Healthy Roots T-Shirt! Shirts are available in kids and adult sizes and feature our main characters rocking different hairstyles. Yay!

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    66 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    *BIG BOOK of HAIR*
    For $30, you'll receive Healthy Roots' Big Book of Hair, a one of a kind hair manual for girls. The book contains instructions for a variety of hair styles in addition to a holistic introduction to natural hair care! Full color, with beautiful illustrations on each page.

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    46 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    ***DOLL AND BOOK***
    This is our feature incentive! Take home our Healthy Roots feature doll and our Big Book of Hair and celebrate the beauty of natural hair!

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    134 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    *DOLL, BOOK, and KREYOL ESSENCE*
    This is our feature incentive with a special bonus!
    Kreyol Essence is a natural haircare brand with a social mission to support Haitian farmers.

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    44 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    *DOLL, BOOK, and T-SHIRT*
    Get our feature products plus our awesome T-shirt in the size of your choice!

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    44 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    ***DOLL AND BOOK INTERNATIONAL***
    This is our feature incentive now available for international delivery ! We are only able to ship to the following countries: CAN, MEX, AUS, FRA, GER, G.B., ITA, N.Z., and NLD

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    18 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    *DOLL, BOOK, and 2 T-SHIRTS*
    Get our feature products plus 2 of our awesome T-shirts in the sizes of your choice!

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    22 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    **DOUBLE DEAL**
    *2 DOLLS, 2 BOOKS, and 2 T-SHIRTS*
    Have two little girls in your life? Treat them both to our Healthy Roots feature incentives. You'll receive 2 dolls, 2 books, and 2 t-shirts.

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    25 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    **TRIPLE DEAL**
    *3 DOLLS, 3 BOOKS, and 3 T-SHIRTS*
    Bigger is better! This incentive offers triple the fun: you'll receive 3 dolls, 3 books, and 3 t-shirts

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    14 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ****COLLECTOR'S PRINT****Get a limited-edition print of an original Healthy Roots illustration (choose from 1 of 5 pictures) signed by Yelitsa. This is a collector's item, only offered in this Kickstarter campaign. Keep a piece of the work that started it all. You will also get a Healthy Roots doll +storybook. As an extra thank you, you will be recognized as a rock star supporter on our website.

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    Limited 4 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)