Black and Mixed-Race Dolls Your Kids Will Love
Melissa Orijin and her daughter Esi have set out to create products that encourage self-love, self-worth, and inclusion.
Prior to starting school, 6-year old Esi Orijin loved everything about herself. To her, being Black was “normal” and feeling included was a way of life. However, Esi struggled with confidence issues within three weeks of starting private school and being the only black girl in her class.
Her mother, Melissa Orijin, was devasted and needed to find a solution after witnessing Esi’s preference for toys change and her self-love take a dip. Esi no longer loved her skin tone or her curly hair. She wanted only white dolls with straight blonde hair.
Orijin Bees wants little girls to look at a doll and say, “She looks like me.”
Both Melissa and Esi set out to create products that would encourage self-love, self-worth, and inclusion. This story is far from unique. It’s something so many families experience. Children should grow up appreciating their culture and identity without thinking they have to change themselves to fit in. This belief forms the mission of Orijin Bees. A brand to create dolls as diverse as we are, with the different complexions and curly hair textures missing from the dolls you see in most toy stores.
The name ‘Orijin Bees’ is a clever acronym that reflects their mission; Our Representation is Just Inclusion Normalized, Beautifully Empowering Every Soul. Their long-term goal is to maximize their potential to make a real change for these disadvantaged communities. They believe these products will help nurture the next generation and the leaders of tomorrow. The brand also offers educational toys, like their ‘Go Culture!’ card game, which teaches children Adinkra symbols and their meanings.
Visit Orijin Bees at orijinbees.com and follow them on Instagram @OrijinBees.