Four little girlsâ€”Mia, Ashley, Brianna and Andreaâ€”are out to change the world. The four little girl dolls are the product of a company called Children of America, a small company with a mission to â€œprovide little girls with dolls that were representative of their own race and ethnicity.â€
Former educator Mary Eubanks founded the company in 2006 to not only to celebrate the diversity of America, but to make dolls that are â€œbeautiful, durable, and affordable.â€
â€œWe didnâ€™t want any child to be denied the pleasure of our dolls because the cost was prohibitive,â€ said Eubanks, through her website.
Eubanks, who grew up in Atoka, a small town in Tennessee, had very few dolls of her own as a child, and discovered that world as an adult.
As she roamed the local shops and doll shows looking for treasures, she noticed that there were few dolls of color. Whether in a major retail chain or a boutique shop it seemed to Eubanks that the market wasnâ€™t offering dolls that accurately reflected the diversity of America.
Each of the Children of America dolls tells her own story: Andrea, who is Hispanic, is one of three children. Her father is a carpenter and her mother is a teacher. Brianna, who is African-American, loves sports and music, and her goal is to one day be a singer or a doctor like her father. Ashley, who is Caucasian, has an older brother with whom she has traveled around the country. She loves video games, and hopes to design her own games some day. Mia, who is Asian-American, also has a younger brother, and her mother owns an art store. She loves working in the store with her younger brother.
â€œAs an educator,â€ said Eubanks,â€œI know that cultural representation is important for the development of identity and self-esteem. I had little time to advocate for cultural diversity in the doll industry while I pursued my career in education, but it was something that I thought about a lot. If children are taught at an early age that they are all right, not only will they respect their own uniqueness and looks, but the uniqueness and looks of others as well.â€
Once retired from a long education career, Eubanks dove headlong into doll manufacturing, researching dolls, fashion, and actual doll production. She begantaking doll-making classes to lean the ins and outs of the business from some of the industry leaders, finally launching the company eight years ago.
â€œEach doll is designed to teach young ladies that they are uniquely different and very special,â€ says Eubanks with pride.
Move over, Barbie.
Children of America Dolls are available at coadolls.com