Raggedy Ann Dipped in Chocolate

Funny, I did not begin to ask the question, “Where are all the black dolls?” until I became an adult.

As a youth, I was absolutely overjoyed when I was playing with my Caucasian Barbie and Ken dolls.  They were a happy couple and I often spotted them stealing kisses from each other.  To me, this was the norm...until I fell in love with a Raggedy Ann ® doll.

It was something about this old-fashioned doll which drew me to it one day while browsing in the doll section toy aisle.  It was at that moment, I decided she was too pale for my liking and I set out on a quest to find me a Black Raggedy Ann doll.  Can I just tell you, it would have been easier to find a needle in a haystack!

Since I could not find one, my next step was to get to the fabric store.  I was going to have my cocoa brown Raggedy Ann even if I had to make her myself.  I found the Raggedy Ann pattern, pieces of rich cocoa brown for the skin tone, striped pillow case fabrics for the stockings and a wonderful combination of fuchsia and teal fabric for her dress.

I triumphantly walked to the cutting table with my supplies and asked for the correct measurements to be cut.  The sales rep, an older Caucasian woman was cutting my fabric asked me what I was going to make.  I showed her the Raggedy Ann pattern and she was taken aback.

She told me in a very opinionated tone, I had the wrong fabric; that in order to make the Raggedy Ann I needed to have a white fabric, preferably muslin for the skin tone. When she realized there was no muslin on the cutting table, she reluctantly succumbed to the fact that this Raggedy Ann was going to be brown  When I think about that story and my conviction to make a brown skinned doll, I realized how conditioned I had been (along with so many others) to just accept that a doll as iconic as the beloved Raggedy Ann would probably always be the preferred white muslin design.

As I began developing the concept of my company, I knew I could not stop there with just a cocoa brown skin doll.  I was on a mission to create various hues of browns, tans and creams which would reach out to people of many colors and nationalities.  I’m glad we live in such a colorful world and that it is not just black and white.

With this mission of multi-faceted colors swirling around, Sugarfoots has no choice but to move full speed ahead. Next stop, United Colors of Benetton!