I, like so many of us, played with Barbie dolls growing up as they’re a staple in girls’ play room, like G.I. Joes are for boys. I still have a small trunk filled with my Barbie dolls and the extraordinary crocheted clothing my grandmother made special for my dolls, which I one-day hope to pass on to my future children. Stacey McBride-Irby, cofounder of The One World Doll Project Inc., our cover story this month, endeavored – like my grandmother’s small-scale hobby – to bring a unique style to the fashion doll industry on a large scale.
McBride-Irby designed Barbie dolls for Mattel for 15 years, creating the company’s first African-American doll line in 2009. Yes, it’s true that it took until 2009 to create an entire line dedicated to “non-Caucasian” dolls. McBride-Irby chose to take product development even further with project cofounder Trent T. Daniel by creating five very different dolls – The Prettie Girls! – all with varying ethnicities, physical attributes and biographies in order to stress the importance of cultural diversity, personal and professional strengths. Her success proves that doll design and play isn’t just for young girls!
McBride-Irby described her leap from corporate America into starting her own business as a scary one, which is a dilemma that many entrepreneurs face and Lauren DeCosimo, founder of Pinned and Proper in New York City, is no exception. Our reporter Tara McCollum reveals to readers how DeCosimo decided to discontinue her career path as a pharmaceutical representative on Long Island and divert her course to pursue her true passion: hair styling and customized luxury bridal beauty services. Her successful styling can now be seen not only in treasured wedding albums but also on runways during Fashion Week.
I also encourage readers to take a peek at two articles written by our newest Lioness, Christina Raus. This month Christina chronicles the compelling stories of Fran Solomon, founder of HealGrief, a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources for the bereaved, as well as that of Kiri Bloore, a British TV personality who can be seen on E! Entertainment Television’s “The Royals” in 2015. We’re thrilled to welcome Christina to our pack and hope you’ll enjoy her creative take on verbal styling as much as we do!