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Woman creates custom crocheted dolls in 21 different skin tones: ‘It’s important for Black people to know that they are represented’

Doll maker Tammy Blunte knows firsthand how important it is for children – and even adults – to see themselves represented in dolls. Growing up in Trinidad in the ’80s and’ 90s, Blunte tells Yahoo Life, she had Cabbage Patch dolls and white Barbies, “but I could never find one that looked like me.” She adds, β€œIt was pretty much difficult to find a Black doll. And if you [did] find a Black doll, it was never with an Afrocentric type of hairstyle. It was never the right skin tone. The representation was not there. ” This inspired her to start TammyBCreations where she makes handmade crochet dolls that reflect Black and brown little boys and girls. Making sure that her dolls have a wide range of skin tones was important to Blunte. When customers order a custom Tammy B Creations doll, there are 21 different skin tones – β€œI try to match as close to your skin tone as possible,” she says – and about 10 different hairstyles to choose from. Blunte shares that she received many heartwarming videos of kids who are thrilled with their custom dolls and that “this is what keeps me going.” She sees the dolls as something that can help give kids “confidence and boost their spirits and be like, ‘Wow, I’m beautiful.'” Having a doll that looks like them is a “special gift,” says Blunte. “To say that, ‘Okay, this doll has my skin color and it looks like me,’ those are the words – ‘just like me’ – that I love hearing.” She adds: “I need people to understand that having something to make them feel happy and proud, it can really do a lot for little girls and boys, even for adults to see that.”

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