This week, I'm so excited to introduce you to Zoe, the founder, and CEO of Beautiful Curly Me, the baby doll line encouraging confidence amongst black girls teaching them how to love their hair. She’s also the youngest founder, CEO we have had the pleasure to speak with on Flourysh.
I can't wait to dive into all of your products, but I want to start with maybe six, seven year old Zoe. Can you tell me what was the start of the business like? Why did you say, “you know what, let's start and then sell products that reflect little girls that look like me.”?
I would say it all started when I was six years old. I did not like my hair and I wished it was straight like my classmates, and I don't think I'm alone. Studies have shown that 6 out of 10 girls do not like their natural hair and girls' confidence dropped by 30%. And, this is a recurring problem of girls all over the world. So, trying to help me, my mom got me a black doll.
She looked perfect, but she did not have hair that looked like mine. And I wanted dolls with curls and braids. So, when my mom went back to the stores and came up short, I decided I wanted to start my own business and create dolls with curls and braids.
So, you're solving a problem that you had and you want to help other girls see themselves in dolls. I want to say, I wish you were around when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I remember going to the hairstylist and telling them I wanted my hair to flow and move around like my white girlfriends, right? And I remember the hairdresser telling me like, no, your hair doesn't do that. I didn't get it. Can you give us a behind the scenes of like, what was the first one or two things you did to start creating this doll?
I would say we did a lot of research. My mom and I both did not know anything about dolls or toys. So, we had to do a lot of research for finding a manufacturer. We had to work with different designers on what the doll looked like. When we got our first sample, it was really amazing to see my work come alive through this doll.
Can you show us some and then you have more than just dolls. We'll start with the dolls and we'll move into what else you have. But show us the doll you have now and why it is so special.
Behind me is my very first doll, Layla. She has a full Afro and next to me right here is my newest doll, Bella, and her hair is very relatable, very soft. She also has a very inspiring outfit that says, “curly and confident”. So we're all about reinforcing positive messages for girls all over the world.
Since I was seven, we have expand our line. I have written books, so this is my very first book, Beautiful Curly Me. It is a picture book and inspires girls to love who they are and say positive things to themselves. And I also have puzzles. So, I have my Curling Confident Clubhouse puzzle and an affirmation puzzle as well.
This is great! So, I have a two-year-old and she has a big curly afro and I am starting to see a little bit more on the market for like curls, but I love your curls because they look real. Did you spend a lot of time on like perfecting the texture of her hair?
Definitely, I can tell you we got a bunch of like 10 or 15 samples, all of different hair types. I worked on really washing the doll's, hair blow drying it, and making sure that it was the most real experience I could give other girls.
Oh, I can tell. So, where do you see this going? I mean, you're 10 now. I would love for you to look back on this interview in 10 years and be like, “wow, I did it” right. You've been featured on all these big media outlets. You're now on Flourysh. You are growing, expanding. What is like the long-term goal for Beautiful Curly Me?
I would say I want to expand my business to become global. I want to reach girls all over the world right now, I have a buy one, give one program. So, for every doll that is bought on my website, I give one to a young girl in need. I definitely want to expand that all over the world, working in different places in Africa. Just any way that I can reach girls all over the world.
We are expanding our line of dolls and products and I am working on a podcast and other forms of media. And I also, I have taken up a hobby of speaking, so I just did my TEDx talk, which just launch online and I'm looking to expand that as well.
Zoe, you are a star. I'm so honored. At 10 years old, I see the gift in you, I see the vision in you and I know that thousands and millions of other people will too. So, I just want to officially welcome you to Flourysh. You are so special. I can't wait to buy one for my two year old so she can see another big, beautiful afro. You know that she sleeps with the doll every night and I think this is going to be her next doll. So, thank you Zoe.
Thank you so much for having me!