Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Been A While

We have been traveling, ordering new products, going to toy and gift shows, and generally promoting DollsLikeMe.com nationwide. But we're back... in full force. Our little online shop is growing by leaps and bounds and I intend to just touch on a few new and upcoming products, promotions, and ideas (many from you). We've added an entire new boys section (the toys are great for girls too) featuring the Mighty World series of Asian, Black and Latino figures and their accessories. We've stocked the fireman, computer expert, K-9 policeman, foreman, and an interracial couple out on the town. Check them out - they're really, really cute, affordable, and designed for boys 3 - 10. We have added a "Going, Going, Gone" section featuring manufacturer discontinued toys. These are in stock in the numbers listed and once they're gone, they're gone. I suggest visiting the section often. One doll sold completely out in a couple of days after being listed.

We have receive 35 email messages requesting Southeast Asian and 107 requests for Islamic "dress up" dolls. We're happy to announce that we are developing our own off-the-shelf Islamic doll and are frantically scouring the planet for a Southeast Asian doll that we can offer. Bear with us. Both are priorities for DollsLikeMe.com After all, it was your input that started us on a mission to locate toys for boys and developing a baby gift section. We hear you and thanks for the input. The Lee Middleton play dolls are in and a couple of them sold out shortly after we stocked them. Lee Middleton is arguably one of the better dollmakers in the US - they certainly have a solid reputation for quality. The dolls are really cute too! Many new books on adoption and a few related to biracial children are en route. Check the book section regularly for new titles. On the subject of new, we have added a "What's New" section, at the request one of our regular customers. She thought we should have a way for regular site visitors to see the new stock without going through the entire site - which now has more than 300 items. Kudos to she who shall remain anonymous. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, please respond via this blog or write to us at info@dollslikeme.com

Until later.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Check Out Barbara, Our Newest Family Member

While strolling through the mall last weekend, I saw the most adorable little copperheaded girl dragging the cutest doll behind her. What caught my attention was her Mom telling her that "Barbara might get hurt or dirty if you keep letting her feet drag on the floor. Would you like me to carry her in my bag?" I didn't hear the little girl's response, but when I turned to see who Barbara was, I was immediately smitten. As I say on her new catalog page, you will be too. Barbara is huge (well over 22" tall), soft, very plush, and infinately lovable. Barbara is an import who has just arrived at our warehouse. She is washable, comes in a much smaller version (for newborn - 36 months), is also available in plastic with a "pull-back" activity scooter, and has an equally adorable partner, "Michael."

Monday, April 17, 2006

DollsLikeMe.com News & Updates

It's been a while, but I have spent the time away productively. I have found several new products and more are coming. There's a line of Latino greeting cards for children in Spanish; a new line of baby announcements and shower invitations; a really cute dress-up doll with more than 150 accessories, including a working blow dryer (blows cold air); the Groovy Girls are in (including the child-sized sleeping bag); and African American, Chinese, Korean and Latina Pose-and-Play dolls are in. We've been featured in several articles and blogs and have been on national radio with Tavis Smiley. There is a free shipping sale on the Buttaflyunltd designer Baby Tees (until 4/30/06). That's it for now. Check back later.

Monday, March 20, 2006

New Products & Services, What's On Sale, and A Special Note from a Friend

Whew....It's been a while and we have been busy, busy, busy. First, there are several new toys coming soon, including a long awaited series of figures for boys of color, "Mighty World." Look for them in the next couple of weeks. The multicultural Groovy Girls are also on the way. We are still holding fast to a commitment to our own set of family values - which (for us) equates to not carrying "slut" dolls for little girls. If that's really what you want, they're available at your neighborhood super or toy store.

Currently, we have two sales running - both end March 31. There is a shipping sale ($2 each) on Baby Bottoms Dolls (without potty) and a 20% discount on all imported (organic) Furnis Spiewelt dolls and accessories (Black Tina and Jabari along with the Latina doll, Maya (shown), the doll carrier/wardrobe, and clothing to fit all three. All are available while supplies last.

We have added offline purchasing capabilities for those who are still not comfortable entering their credit card information online (we heard from you that there are still a few holdouts) - you can now order by telephone, FAX, or mail. Details and order forms are available on our Website. Eight new sales consultants have joined DollsLikeMe.com and they are ready and eager to answer your questions and take your orders. Their names and contact information are available on the Website.

Several organizations have written to us for donations and we have begun to give back in many ways. We've donated dolls for charity auctions, to homeless shelters, and to hospitals for terminally ill children. We don't yet have the resources to help as many as we would like to help. But we do what we can.

We will be adding a line of quality baby dolls soon too. They should be in by May.

Thanks for the encouraging emails and letters. It feels really good to hear that we are on the right track. Here's a note we received from Andrea in Detroit:

"Thank you Dolls Like Me. Every time a birthday or holiday rolled around, we would cringe because family members would always send our biracial daughter white dolls. When she started to say that she wanted to be pretty like the dolls, we put our foot down - no more dolls that don't look like Ashley. My mother, my sister, and my aunts all wanted to know where to shop. My mother refused to buy the "Vegas strip girls" all the stores were carrying (you know, the ***** dolls). Now we have Dolls Like Me. You have no idea how needed this website is. In case we do not say it often enough, we all appreciate you and your entire team. P.S. Shopping was a breeze and we love your selection. Andrea *******"

Thank you Andrea. We work really hard to find quality dolls for children of color and we will continue to do so.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New Product Update

I visited the Toy Fair at the Javits Center and was generally dissappointed at the lack of new multicultural toys; although I did find a couple of new products worthy of note. Language Littles (makers of our talking Latino, Japanese and Chinese dolls) have a really cute new talking African American "dress-me" doll - you know, the ones that teach little ones to button, zip, snap, tie and dress themselves. She's absolutely adorable and we will be carrying her - very soon.

A new line of biracial fashion dolls aimed at the "tween" market is coming this summer from Younique Gemz a new Canadian company. Theses 9 dolls, named Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, Diamond, Topaz, Opal, Sapphire, Amber, and Turquoise capture every imaginable multiethnic combination. Each doll comes accessorized with necklace, earring and bracelet that reflect the doll's name. According to Younique, "Each doll represents a growing segment of the population that share two or more distinct ethnic backgrounds." The dolls vary in skin tones so there is sure to be one that resembles each multiracial combination. Younique promises a wardrobe soon. They are expected in stock by August, just in time for holiday shopping. Once they are in stock, DollsLikeMe.com will provide free ground shipping for the first 30 days.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Interesting Perspective On What Color Dolls to Buy

I was at a biracial blog yesterday and saw a posting where a mother thought it was crazy that people asked another mother what color doll she preferred to give her daughter of color. Her response to the mother suggested that she thought a doll was just a doll and that it was not important what color the doll was. I immediately thought about all of the expert opinions I sought when developing DollsLikeMe.com (there were 14) and all of the research reports I read about the low levels of self esteem in girls of color. I reflected on what I have learned about self-esteem in children of color (particularly girls) over the last couple of years and how giving white dolls to younger girls of color actually jump-starts the problem (several articles on this topic can be found at DollsLikeMe.com). I also considered how well-meaning, but ignorant, parents cause little girls of color to grow up wanting to look and be white; hate their yellow, tan or brown skin; and despise their thick and wavy, coily-curled, or heavy straight black hair. Then I thought about how mothers like this contribute to the problem the rest of us are trying to solve.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Thanks for the Great Press

We've been receiving great press lately, thanks to all of our loyal customers and friends who are including us in their blogs and email messages. Saw a great write up on us at www.vivirlatino.com (VivirLatino is a daily publication featuring all the latest in Latino style, products, entertainment, culture, and politics created for the diverse and influential Latino and Latina community in the U.S.) . BlackNews.com is also featuring our story. Thanks for the shout out.

Forever Friendz Dolls Going Off Sale
In product news, the Forever Friendz dolls (Jada and Lianne) have been "deep" discounted (to $26.95 from $36.95) since our Grand Opening. On February 1, they will return to their regular price and another product will be deep discounted. You will have to check the site to see which one (Hint: It's a Duckhouse Doll).

Several new books and dolls will be joining us for African American History month, stop by to see the new lineup.

That's all for now. Look forward to getting with you later.

Denise and the DollsLikeMe.com crew

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

January Update: New Video, New Dolls and "Hot" Baby Tee Shirt

New Children's Video Series
Ever wonder if any of your favorite television characters do anything worthwhile after a long run on a successful TV series? Well Karyn Parsons (Hillary of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) has formed a new company that creates educational videos for children. The company, aptly named Sweet Blackberry, has released it's first animated DVD. It's a wonderful, uplifting tale of the slave Henry "Box" Brown who shipped himself to freedom in a box. Alfrie Woodard narrates. Of course, it is available at DollsLikeMe.com. Sweet Blackberry plans to bring several legends to the small screen, each narrated by a famous actor from film, television or stage. We'll let you know when a new one arrives. The videos are aimed at 4 - 8 year-olds and should be part of every classroom and home library. DollsLikeMe.com gives it our 5 Star rating. I particularly love the music.

New Dolls Coming Soon
On another note, look for us to add several new dolls in the coming weeks - including two beautiful play babies from Lee Middleton. I was really impressed by their quality. I only wish they had a better selection for children of color. It would be really great if there were a Native American baby available.

"Hot" New Baby Tee

Not for the faint at heart, this outrageous, downright outspoken baby tee is a miniature version of the one worn by Alicia Keys in Rolling Stone magazine. It's creator, Buttaflyunltd, says that they design clothes that "inspire those who wear the designs to love themselves and be proud of who they are." We think that's a highly appropriate sentiment for DollsLikeMe.com kids. Versions for adults and older children are available at Buttaflyunltd.com. Look for more cool stuff for multi-ethnic children in the coming months.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Russ Berrie Not Producing Amirah in 2006

We just heard that Russ Berrie has stopped production of "Amirah" the African American ballerina from their "Let's Dance" series. She was our most popular doll during the first couple of months we were open and we are going to miss her. Richard, our Russ Berrie rep, promises to lets us know about new ethnic dolls released for 2006 as soon as he knows. In the meantime, let's hope the new series is as cute as the last - as we are receiving at least 4 inquiries about Amirah weekly. Sad to say, we are completely out of stock - for good.

New Year's Update

Just a quick note to thank all of our customers and friends for a brisk, successful first holiday season at DollsLikeMe.com. By far, our number one sellers were the Baby Bottoms dolls - those little anatomically correct Asian, African American and Latino babies were a real hit (Latino dolls shown). We had to place so many orders, we were all dreaming about Baby Bottoms in our sleep. But it was all good and we loved every minute of it.

New Baby Section Online
We received a request to offer more infant toys for children of color and in response have created a new Baby/Baby Shower Section online. Only a few items are listed now; more are on the way - including a Spanish language baby heritage/memory book for our Latino babies. The African American Heritage Book is online and available now. I will be attending the Annual Toy Fair in February - specifically looking for new toys for infants and younger children.

Part Time Job Opportunities
On another note, we now have 5 national sales reps - in New Jersey, Upstate New York, Chicago and Atlanta. They are independent reps who organize DollsLikeMe.com parties and represent us at local events. By the end of 2006, we hope to have 50 reps. If you or someone you know is interested in a fun and rewarding opportunity, earning extra income in their spare time, please have them visit the Website or contact us at jobs@dollslikeme.com. Thanks once again for all the support and for sharing the Site with your friends, families and coworkers.

Happy New Year
The DollsLikeMe.com Family

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