Business Partners Caroline Hlahla (UK London based) and Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu ( South Africa) originally came together to build a customer-centric hair company that specialises in 100% natural textured extensions to suit African women’s natural hair (Bounce Essentials). However they noticed that beyond the deeply personal connection that women have with their hair, the identities and confidence of their customers’ children became a conversation piece. It was a personal experience in which Khulile’s daughter at age 3 started wanting blond and flowing hair. This made the pair start thinking of how they could address the hair issue amongst black girls. Both women identified the very real lack of black dolls with kinky Afro hair, sold in toy shops for parents of black and mixed heritage kids to buy. They later decided to challenge the norm and came up with a quality beautiful dolls collection called “The Sibahle Collection” that would be representative of children of African and Caribbean heritage.
The Sibahle journey has not been an easy one to embark on. When the duo first started they thought it would be much easier to find a manufacture but were point blank rejected by manufacturers. The consistent response was that black dolls do not sell, black dolls are ugly, etc. Despite being a huge shock these rejections made the pair even more determined to succeed. Since launching the brand they have been sold out twice and are now looking for seed funding to scale up the brand.
The Sibahle Collection wants children to see the beauty of their skin and the dolls in the collection have features that resemble most African and Caribbean children’s facial and body features.
“We decided to do this because we want our children to know they are beautiful the way they are. We hope the doll’s hair will teach our children how to take care of their own natural hair from a young age and to love the skin that their in.” – Caroline Hlahla and Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu.
The dolls are available to purchase via Amazon UK.
Sibahle is a Zulu word that means “We are beautiful”