8-year old Zoe Oli is on a mission to inspire self-love and confidence in young girls of color with her company Beautiful Curly Me. She has created a line of black dolls with curls and braids, hair care products, and has authored two books – all within the past two years. Her company gives 10% back to girl empowerment organizations and recently launched a Gift-A-Doll charity initiative.
When Zoe was 6, she came home from school one day and asked Evana her mother, one question: “Mommy, why is my hair not pretty and straight like my classmates’ hair?”
On a quest to empower her young daughter, Evana encouraged her daughter with words and actions by starting to wear her own natural hair and buying Zoe a black doll. This helped greatly, but there was one problem: her hair did not look like Zoe’s.
When Evana couldn’t find dolls with natural curls or braids in stores, Zoe immediately chimed “I want to make them and start a business!”
And so, Beautiful Curly Me was born.
The Brand Journey:
Starting small, with no toy industry experience, the mother-daughter duo worked diligently to bring the brand to life, launching 2 dolls – Anika with braids and Leyla with curls, in line with Zoe’s idea to provide positive representation for young black girls.
Zoe’s idea to create Mini & Me Satin Sleep cap (bonnet) sets for girls and their dolls is an industry first and empowers young girls to care for their natural curls in a fun way. She picks out all the bold, expressive prints herself, and the sleep caps are proudly made in Atlanta.
Zoe is also the author of 2 children’s books: “Beautiful Curly Me” and “Say it, Show it”, a gratitude journal, both released in 2020.
This year – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoe and Beautiful Curly Me created and donated over $10,000 worth of cloth face masks to frontliners and the community. With her new Gift-A-Doll Initiative, Zoe wants to spread joy this season and beyond, giving dolls and books to young girls in need.
Zoe has been featured on various media platforms including CBS, Essence, Fox, and MadameNoire. This year, her doll Leyla, the “Fro Queen” as she’s affectionately called, was featured in the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” promotional video.
At just 8-years old, Zoe’s story is only getting started. She says: “I want girls like me to love who they are inside and out and know that they can do anything they set their minds to!”
We couldn’t agree more.
To learn more about Beautiful Curly Me, visit BeautifulCurlyMe.com
This article was originally published by BlackBusiness.com.