Diverse line of dolls created by Detroit entrepreneur are a hit for the holidays

Healthy Roots Dolls is a long-term investment, owner says

Diverse line of dolls created by Detroit entrepreneur are a hit for the holidays

DETROIT – The holiday season is here and the hot toys lists are too -- one of those hot toys happens to be one Local 4 featured this summer.

The Zoe Doll was created by Healthy Roots Dolls and has become an important toy for little girls of color. The owner, Yelitsa Jean-Charles, has had a very successful year and now Zoe’s wardrobe is getting something new.

READ: Detroit entrepreneur creates diverse line of dolls

Yelitsa Jean-Charles grew up wishing that she had a doll that looked like her. Later in life, she learned the art of design and figured out she could make that dream a reality for little girls in the future.

“We actually had a viral Tweet, where we got like 36 million impressions. And it was a photo of myself and Zoe’s beautiful face side-by-side,” Yelitsa Jean-Charles said. “People absolutely loved it.”

Yelitsa Jean-Charles said that is when Zoe started flying off the shelves.

“She’s all about curl power, with hair you can wash and style, just like your own hair,” Jean-Charles said. “So girls can learn to love their curls, and she’s the first of many products we hope to make.”

Yelitsa Jean-Charles said that the message has really resonated with people.

“We get a lot of parents who tell us, ‘Oh my gosh, she looks just like me.’ Or that they never had a doll that, ‘Looked like me growing up,’” she said.

Zoe is one of Parent Magazine’s hottest toys of 2020 and Good Housekeeping’s best toys of 2020. She’s also nominated for Doll of the Year, you can vote for her here.

Yelitsa Jean-Charles said that Healthy Roots is a long-term investment in early childhood development, which helps represent girls of today and tomorrow.

Click here to visit the company’s website.

In response to the doll’s popularity this year, Jean-Charles issued the following statement:

“We want to assure all our customers that myself and the Healthy Roots Dolls team are doing everything within our power to get you and all our loyal customers their orders as soon as possible. This year has proved to be trying for many, and unfortunately, various delays in shipping due to COVID-19 have resulted in delays for completing orders for Zoe as soon as we’d hoped. We understand your frustrations and know so many hoped their Zoe doll would be under the tree for family and friends this year, and appreciate your understanding during this unprecedented time.

The most up to date shipping information for each batch of samples can be found below, and if you have any other questions regarding your shipment, feel free to email hello@healthyrootsdolls.com.”

Officials say that orders placed between June and Oct. 15 began shipping on Nov. 23. Orders placed between Oct. 16 and Nov. 20 are expected to begin shipping the week of Dec. 20.

Read more: Local News

About the Author:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.