It all started when Andile was looking for a baby doll for her baby niece. She could not find the specific doll she had in mind, namely one that was not a barbie doll, one that was also reflective of her ethnicity – African descent. It was during her search on store shelves in Edmonton that she realized there were no dolls that reflected the people we encounter every day of our lives, and it was a shocking realization! There were no First Nations dolls, none of African descent, no Asians and none of people with disabiities.
Every day we encounter people of all abilities and ethnicities, she thought. Why is it that this is not reflected in our toy stores?
An idea was therefore born. Andile’s first doll was of African descent with an afro-textured hairstyle. Her second was a batch of baby dolls and one of her first in that collection was a doll with Down syndrome. Andile is an early childhood educator and she has over the years, worked with children with disabilities. She saw this as a perfect opportunity to have them play with dolls that looked like them. She believes that to create societies that are accepting of every race and ability, children should be introduced to dolls of every race and ability! Dolls that reflect society is likely to remove prejudices, over time.
Albino dolls and dolls with vitiligo were later added to her collection, but her dolls with Down syndrome features are by far the most sought after.
Visit her online store, www.beeyoukids.ca
Bee You Kids