Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Lightship Capital Leads Round for Healthy Roots Dolls, Bringing Inclusion Focused Products to the Toy Market
Lightship Capital is excited to announce the first of our investments for 2021, Detroit based toy maker, Healthy Roots Dolls. This fast growing company is bringing representation to the toy aisle with its premier doll “Zoe”, made to offer parents and children an authentic ethnic aesthetic and curly hair play option.
“When I designed her, it was really about doing more than just painting a doll brown, but creating an educational play experience,” affirms company founder Yelitsa Jean-Charles.
Founded in 2015, Healthy Roots Dolls has found itself at the center of recent media attention highlighting their product and mission to provide representation for all children. Since being profiled on Good Morning America in November 2020, Healthy Roots Dolls has been consistently sold out and plans to allocate the $1M seed funding from lead investor Lightship Capital and others including co-lead Backstage Capital, to expand product lines, increase inventory and grow their team.
“I've worked with Candice and have been mentored by her for years.” Said Yelitsa of Lightship Capital General Partner, Candice Brackeen. “We are excited to be creating a brand with meaningful products and impact with a fund that aligns with our values.“
As part of an initiative led by Lightship Capital, Healthy Roots Dolls partnered with Procter & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful campaign in 2019 to further the mission of celebrating positive representation of Black women and Black hair. Each doll came with a curly hair kit featuring P&G’s hair care line, My Black Is Beautiful Golden Milk Collection. Recent company wins include product placement at Target.com
“I’ve worked with Yelitsa since she was a Venture for America Fellow, and her talent was apparent to me, then.” Says Lightship Capital General Partner, Candice Brackeen. “Lightship is thrilled to work with this young entrepreneur in bringing true diversity to the doll market. The contribution Healthy Roots Dolls is making to the culture is so necessary, and we’re honored to be a part of the movement.”
About Lightship Capital
Lightship Capital invests in underrepresented entrepreneurs across the Midwest with a dynamic approach to portfolio building. We find & fund the most remarkable, yet overlooked opportunities in venture including companies led by BIPOC, LBGTQ+, Women & people with disabilities who operate in the CPG, E-Commerce, Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Healthtech spaces.
About Healthy Roots Dolls
Healthy Roots Dolls is a multicultural children’s product company celebrating the beauty of our diversity. Healthy Roots Dolls first line of products feature dolls with a range of skin tones and unique hair textures specially designed to be washed and styled teaching girls to love their curls. Our goal is to represent the voices of young girls in the toy industry with products that empower, educate and inspire self love. We are creating products that reflect the diversity of our reality.