These days, dolls come in a variety of different shapes, colors and sizes. But what you may have noticed, is that when it comes to hair, diversity in toy stores is still pretty scarce. Sure, sometimes you’ll occasional stumble across a Barbie with adorable micro mini braids or a curly ‘fro, but for the most part, they all have the same tamed, straightened hair. Thankfully, one California mom decided that it was time for a change.
Karen Byrd, founder of Natural Girls United, a company that customizes dolls with natural hairstyles, admits to the Huffington Post that growing up, she often questioned her beauty because she didn’t have dolls that looked like her.
“I had dolls that were gorgeous, but they didn’t look like me. When I looked in the mirror, I would be confused — like, am I beautiful?”
After strolling through a local toy store with her 12 and 14-year-old daughters, Karen was shocked to learn that not much has changed since her childhood. The dolls being offered still lacked diversity. In 2011, Natural Girls United was born. The entrepreneur takes regular dolls with straight hair of all different skin tones, and gives them total hair makeovers with beautifully handcrafted natural hair styles.
Since its 2011 inception, Natural Girls United has grown drastically. Moms and daughters can’t seem to get enough of the custom-made dolls, which Karen says are almost sold out due to high consumer demand. She also revealed that she has big plans of hiring more employees, as her clientele has expanded to the United Kingdom, Australia and Africa!
“People are excited that the dolls look like the more their children or the people in their community. It makes them feel good about themselves,” she revealed.
How awesome is that?!
Turn the page for more photos of Karen’s beautiful creations.