Meet Silke! She is the founder and owner of Kitoko Dolls, a shop for black dolls with the mission of empowering children of colour. Intrigued by what she does, we decided to ask her more about what inspired her in founding her shop. Here’s what she had to say:
As a French-German mother of 3 children with a Congolese father, it was important for me to introduce white and brown dolls early on for my 2 girls. However, in the mid 90’s it was difficult to find dolls with their type of hair! This was really a pity, because as my girls became teenagers, they became upset about their frizzy hair which did not behave in the same way as the majority of their straight-haired class mates. I was sad that it took several years before they accepted and became proud of their frizzy hair.
Observing all this, I reflected upon the best way to help all the children with afro hair to grow and be proud of their hair by learning through role-play to take care of it! I became inspired to start a company specialised in dark skin dolls for all ages.
I like Rubens Barn’s values of a unique, developing friend in whom a child can identify themselves with. I believe childhood is the time when a person is the most open to various influences. Playing with various colour of dolls supports a child to be open minded while accepting themselves as they are.