When Angelica and Jason Sweeting’s 3-year-old daughter, Sophia, became upset during a car ride, it was a wake up call for both parents.
“She wanted yellow hair and white skin,” says Angelica in a video advertising the company on KickStarter. “She pretty much hated how she looked because she didn’t look like the doll she constantly sees or the characters that she constantly sees on TV.”
Before the incident in the car that day, Angelica and Jason Sweeting didn’t plan on becoming entrepreneurs.
The Sweetings worked with Sophia each day on affirmations of self love, all the while Angelica searched for a doll that looked like her daughter. Though there were variations of mainstream dolls available, they were all based off the same, (usually blonde, straight haired) standard doll, with no variations to account for diverse physical features or hair types based on physical differences.
Thus, Naturally Perfect Dolls was born – a doll where young girls can see a reflection of their own unique beauty. The doll collection currently consists of four dolls, all with long curly/kinky hair, full lips and wider noses. The dolls also have career paths that diverge away from the princess route: Angelica is an entrepreneur (because YAS), Brielle is a screen writer and author (my heart), Camryn is the problem solver (we all need that friend), and Kennedy is an advocate (I may have just ovulated).
As expected, the dolls have been a big hit.
Most excitingly, last week’s episode of Shark Tank showcased the Sweetings taking their dolls in front of six investors, hoping to secure a $200,000 investment. Most investors found the dolls price point of $84 set too high (to be fair, America Girl Dolls cost around $115 …so meh). Other investors took aim with the lack of success from brands who have tried (and faltered) at doing a similar multicultural approach to their doll lines.
For the Sweetings, this investment is just the beginning. Their goal is to launch a complete line of diverse dolls with a full spectrum of flesh tones and a full range of hair textures and job roles, including engineers, software developers, journalists and public relations.
Move over, Barbie. There’s a new doll in town.