I am the first one to admit that I LOVE Barbie. I do and always have. That being said, as a little girl I admired her fashion sense and beauty not because I aspired to be her but because I truly loved everything about her. But as the years have come and gone other fashion dolls such as Bratz and Monster High have capitalized on their laser focus on sexuality and beauty despite being ridiculed for it by the masses. The message that these dolls have sent to our younger generations is anything but positive. Generating self-esteem and confident issues these dolls are setting a ridiculous standard that should not even be something any child aspires to be like.
As an entrepreneur one of my favorite things to do is explore the ongoing campaigns on Indiegogo – the crowd funding website. Upon my most recent search I stumbled upon a start up toy company, Ember World, which launched its campaign on 3/23/15. As I read about the adventurous, realistic and relatable doll that founder Katie Nielsen is in the process of finding funding for I wanted to help in any way I could. Introducing the very type of doll that we and younger generations NEED Ember World will change the doll industry as we know it. When funded, Ember World will begin production of Ember, the first adventure doll in a series of five. Each doll includes an adventure storybook that spins a tale of exploration and intrigue as Ember and her friends embark on grand adventures together. You can even read an excerpt here
With an immediate affection for Ember World I reached out to the founder Katie Nielsen and had a fabulous chat all about how she started and what her vision is. Check out some tidbits from our convo below and join me in supporting Ember World! As Katie so perfectly put it below – what better reason to support such a wonderful cause?
“I want to emphasize that this is a completely new category, that takes the best parts of action figures + fashion dolls (minus the stereotypes) to create a brand new toy. Girls are naturally curious and adventurous, and it’s time to give them credit for it!”
I got to ask Katie a couple of questions and I loved what she had to say in response:
What motivated me to start Ember Word:
I loved dolls as a young girl, but over time fashion dolls have become more and more stereotyped and unhealthy. The whole category constantly revolves around fashion and beauty, and girls are so much more than that. The girls I know are wild and curious, and full of potential! Girls deserve a doll that give them space to run wild with their imaginations, that’s why I’m carving out a new category of dolls – Adventure Dolls.
There are lots of great adventure focused toys out there but they feature almost exclusively male characters. Girls need to feel invited to participate in the world outside of fashion and beauty.
Adventure is important to kids because it is about pushing boundaries. Discovering new things. Believing in yourself and learning to find your hidden courage. It’s about pressing onward. Every child should practice this a million times when they play: I want to see girls fall in love with adventure.
What’s the difference between fashion dolls and adventure dolls?
Ember comes with hiking boots and a grappling hook, not your typical hairbrush and pink stilettos. She’s dressed to explore, push limits, and make her own way. We were careful to avoid the dangerously thin proportions of a typical doll and instead we’ve made her strong and healthy looking. Her body is a tool she can use to accomplish her goals, not the center of her life. Each of the dolls in our series will have a unique skillset they can use to overcome challenges on their adventures, and we are even creating a book series to illustrate what confident, motivated girls can accomplish. It’s also important to us to show positive and supportive female friendships, instead of the all too common stories that shows girls pitted against each other for attention. We hope the girls who play with these dolls and read our books will be able to see themselves and dream big.