When a Texas woman searching for an HBCU doll to gift a friend couldn't find any, she decided to created her own line.
Brooke Hart Jones, the creator of HBCyoU dolls said she was shocked she couldn't find any dolls representing students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities available in 2020. Now, Jones has created the first and only HBCU doll line that's sold in major retail stores worldwide.
"We're very proud of that. We want to use it as an opportunity to plant the seed of higher learning, and use as a tool to teach history... spread our legacy and champion and highlight and preserve the legacy of historically black colleges and universities," Jones said.
"I was looking for them to buy as a birthday gift. I am a former toy buyer. I have a background in merchandising... and I'm a lifelong doll lover, and a proud, HBCU alum," Jones said.
So, when Jones found herself furloughed during the pandemic, it became the perfect opportunity for her to start making her own.
She put together a website and social media pages and soon after, began selling her dolls online.
Eventually, Purpose Toys, a company that supports black toy businesses reached out to her to collaborate. Jones said the company's support helped her scale her business, sell the dolls at a more affordable price and reach a larger audience. Now, they're being sold at large retailers like Target, Walmart, Sam's Club and Amazon.
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