Every girl should feel empowered by the beauty of the kink of her curl; and the color of her skin.
FOUNDER & CEO
ONLY 4 OUT OF 10 GIRLS LOVE THEIR CURLY HAIR
Healthy Roots is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that reinforce positive self-perceptions of the richly diverse, varying shades of complexion and natural hair textures among girls of color. Societal beauty standards negatively impact the self perception of girls of color. We empower, educate and inspire self love.
Healthy Roots dolls have a medley of facial features, skin tones, and hair textures that can be styled in countless ways. Our dolls have multiple interests and aspirations which exposes young girls to their own unlimited career potential. Our goal is to represent the voices of young girls of color in the toy industry with products that empower, educate and inspire self love.
Healthy Roots is the first line of natural hair dolls to enter the toy industry. Our mission is to bring diversity to the toy aisle with products that reflect the diversity of our reality.
OUR FOUNDER, YELITSA JEAN-CHARLES & HER STORY
Yelitsa never had a doll that looked like her growing up. The one time her parents gave her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t the “pretty one”. Since then, Yelitsa has made it her goal to make sure that no other children feel the way she did about her own appearance growing.
While in her Junior year studying Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yelitsa redesigned the fairy tale Character Rapunzel as a brown girl with beautiful kinky hair. After speaking with classmates and friends. she saw the opportunity to address the demonstrated need for more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing.
With a grant from of the Brown University Social Innovation Fellowship, support from the RISD E’Ship Program, Masschallenge Accelerator program and 674 dedicated Kickstarter backers, Healthy Roots was born.
Yelitsa has gone from not knowing how to do her own hair at the age 21 to teaching young girls all about their own.
Since starting Healthy Roots in 2015, Yelitsa has graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She was most recently recognized on Essence’s 2017 50 Founders to watch list.
How Black Girl Magic Can Change the World
Our founder Yelitsa Jean-Charles gave a TedxTalk exploring the issues of race, identity and diversity. She looks to the options society provides to girls of color and considers a more diverse and inclusive future powered by women entrepreneurs.