Shark Tank Invests $200K in “Naturally Perfect Dolls”


Sweeting Girls

When Angelica Sweeting’s daughter announced that she hated her hair and instead wanted the same straight, blond hair as her Barbie and Elsa dolls–mom knew she had to do something.  

She created the Angelica doll. A natural hair doll that was structured using the features of her and her daughter.

That was a few years ago. Now, after receiving many requests, Sweeting has expanded her collection to create Naturally Perfect Dolls. Each of the four available dolls has 18 inches of kinky textured hair that can be both washed and styled from twists to Bantu knots to braids. Much like real hair customers are cautioned not to use heat to avoid loosening the curls and damaging the hair. What is unique about these dolls are they contain features found on women of color–full lips and broad noses and they are beautiful.

 

That’s the reason Sweeting started the company. To let girls know that they are beautiful by encouraging diversity and self-acceptance.

“Our girls need to see a reflection of their own unique beauty. It’s time for our young girls to have a new standard.”

So she and her family took to Shark Tank, in an episode that aired last night, in hopes of getting investors to help expand Naturally Perfect Dolls for a $200K investment for 20% equity in her company.

 

Things didn’t start well when Mr. Wonderful went straight for the facts in pointing out that large doll companies have tried and failed in presenting multicultural dolls. Lori followed that by mentioning Mattel’s recent campaign to create a diverse collection of dolls. The other sharks, Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Robert Herjavec were leery of both the colletion’s $85 high price tag and the Sweeting’s interests in going into retail–an avenue we’ve learned is fright with complications from watching the show for several seasons.

Ultimately, it was FUBU founder Daymond John who struck a deal with the Sweetings after a short negotiation. While he wanted to be an equal partner with 33.3% equity he accepted 30% as long as 10% was also designated to a charity. The Sweetings agreed and are now apart of the Shark Tank investments.

For more info on Naturally Perfect Dolls or to purchase with 10% off visit their website. Shark Tank airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Check out how the company got its start below.

 

UPDATE
Naturally Perfect Dolls is undergoing rebranding. The dolls and brand are expected to return for the holiday shopping season with a new look and new name. We will continue to follow their story and keep you updated

Highlighting the journey of Black women as they create spaces and elevate Black culture.

78 thoughts on “Shark Tank Invests $200K in “Naturally Perfect Dolls”

  1. I hope this becomes huge!! As a girl with “yellow hair and white skin” it’s actually saddening to see two beautiful little girls like that rather looking like someone like me. Happily donating!!!

  2. This needs to happen …. a victory here will inspire more victories

  3. I’m interested in purchasing a few dolls… as a therapist it’s wonderful to assist young girls in recognizing the beautiful in all walks of life and being comfortable in their own skin 🙂

  4. Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! If they are unrealistic then why aren’t you on their website complaining? Let black girls have something JUST FOR THEMSELF FOR ONCE!!

  5. Hello,
    She said in a video in order to make dolls with other tones and hair texture she needs our help in meeting the minimum 1,000 doll manufacturer order

  6. American Girl s price point is much higher than these dolls and the dolls, for the most part, are differentiated by skin tone and not true to our babies. I’m a single parent, however, my baby does have a few AG dolls. We should incest in our own businesses. We pay for what we want. Unfortunately a lot of times it’s not supporting us. There’s a bigger message here. Children need to be represented, to preserve self love. Please try to support!!! As soon as they are up and going, I’m all over it!! Be blessed.

  7. The point is that everyone should feel beautiful and perfect yes there are plenty of white dolls. But they are unrealistic! An there are black dolls also that they could have bought for their daughters…. they’re places that make dolls to fit your needs and wants.

  8. Hmmmm… Somebody have a ‘Crabs In The Barrel Syndrome’. :/

  9. There are enough white dolls from you to choose from!! The point is so that black girls can have dolls that look like them! You have enough companies that cater to white children for goodness sakes!!!

  10. I agree, they still don’t have an ethnic look, they still look like white dolls with darker skin. I will support you but I do think the features need more work.

  11. This is true! I love the idea and would like to order one!

  12. Too expensive for me also and I don’t know why everyone keep saying the price is better than American Dolls. As if everyone is buying American dolls. I have two girls, single mom so there is no way for to to really afford this

  13. I love this idea, unfortunately I STLL CAN NOT get dolls that look similar to my children. Someone still needs to research ALL girls. I know mine are NOT the only African American girls with VERY light skin, freckles, redish textured hair!!! So not still NO dolls for my babies. But I do support these dolls. Maybe expand???!!!!

  14. I always brought my daughters and now buy my granddaughters African American dolls because I want them to know that they are beautiful, and they can identify with the look of the toy that they spend a lot of time admiring while they do her hair and dress her. You are amazing for coming up with this doll. The idea of making sure the girls can style the hair is so important. The dolls on the market now is horrible when trying to style the hair. It gets very matted and starts to fall out..that’s when my grand babies start loosing a little interest because they want to wet it and style but thats not possible right now. I can’t wait to purchase these for my grand babies….GREAT WORK!

  15. American in Japan, My family and children are molticultural. Your Dall will be Loved by so many around the World This will do so much GOOD for children and getting rid of so much Self Hate…I Love it,,, Thank You Thank You Thank You …

  16. This will do so much GOOD for children and getting rid of so much Self Hate…

  17. Go out on a limb and support black business. Give your nieces something to look at and play with that represents what they look like. This can be a lifetime gift with lifetime meaning. The $85 is worth it for self motivation and expression of “I like me” on the girls faces.

  18. Could they make different body shapes? & make all races? I’m white, but always compared myself to the doll, she was better shaped & tall, I’ve been less curvy & short my whole life. I know some white little girls feel the same.

  19. Are these available in the UK? My daughter has a variety of dolls but none with hair like this. Love them, definite gap in the market for these dolls. Great job guys x

  20. PLEASE PUT THIS DOLL ON THE MARK, YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS TYPE OF DOLL!! I’M 61 YRS OLD, I HAVE A 9 YRS OLD GRAND DAUGHTER, WHO LOVE HER BLACK BABY DOLL, BUT SHE CAND REALLY DO THIER HAIR LIKE THIS!! I KNOW SHE WOULD LOVE THIS DOLL, BESIDE THE DOLLS IS HOW I LEARNED TO BRAID HAIR!!

  21. I Would Love to get a couple of dolls for My Darling daughter and Myself.

  22. I love the concept. I would like to buy one. I have children ranging from 9 to 19 and wanted one. Good kyck

  23. This is AWESOME .. the price is irrelevant, how much is paid for the video games ? Other dolls that don’t represent us to the fullest.? .. I am in ! Where do I place my order ? Great investment Damon John ! It takes a village…#self love ❤️

  24. They’ll never be a big seller. There are already dolls like this and they don’t sell

  25. My daughter is adopted and Ethiopian and we struggle with her acceptance of herself. She was love this doll especially since she could wash and style her hair.lime we.style her hair! I can’t afford to donate right now, but I would buy at least one! How do I.purchase?

  26. How do I purchase one of these dolls my daughter would absolutely love it!!

  27. I just saw this episode and was wondering how to find the dolls. Getting one for mom and myself.

  28. I absolutely love this idea and wish I had a doll to reflect my differences as a child. I’m excited to support this line! Great job Sweetings!

  29. Yes, the dolls are gorgeous, and are tailor made to show ‘my black hair is not only beautiful but manageable’.

    When I first saw the video, I was super excited. I was thinking, this would be a perfect welcome gift for my foster children. Something to ease the pain and the transition of their removal from their parent house.

    But once I saw the price, I knew it was not going to happen. I understand that it is cheaper than the AG doll, although that wasn’t on my too purchase list, because of the price as well. I can only hope for a great sale.

    Awesome investment, however my revolving door won’t let me. ???

  30. I’ve been a Shark Tank fan from day one but ever so often someone comes up with a very special invention and this doll is it. I’m so proud of the whole family God Bless them all, im sure this is only the beginning of a wonderful journey.

  31. I am happy to hear that many complections and hair textures are in the plans. I hope that includes body shapes and thick features on light dolls and all the gamut of combinations possible. I have been so disappointed with dolls that have deep tones of skin which are lovely but then have thin lips or nose. I find all the features in our diverse community beautiful. Short afros too please! While I am at it, here is a related suggestion, a black mermaid with short hair. My inner child craves this. Many blessings and success in getting this off the ground.

  32. The price on these dolls are perfect. I crochet dolls and charge more. I’m not stepping on any toes or throwing any shade, but we pay for what we want. Supporting black businesses is one thing I made a promise to do last year. Let’s support one another…please.

  33. I would love to get one of these dolls for my grand daughter. The price is not too high. The American Girl doll is over a $100 plus the high price of accessories that come with her pushes the price over $200.

  34. They are cheaper than American girl doll I paid 120 plus for my daughters

  35. I agree with you about that price. AG cost more and people buy them like water. I had a friend that worked for them for a couple of years and she has since retired and visiting her at the AG store here on Fifth Avenue in New York City the place was bananas people had no problem paying the price for the dolls as well as the high price for the clothes heck I spend less money on an outfit for my kids than what they spend all money for the AG doll. I will save up the money to buy them for all of my granddaughters (8).

  36. I would love to but these dolls for my nieces. There is certainly a need. However, I too am leery of the $85 price.

  37. I absolutely agree! The price is not crazy compared to AG and I can tell you making the hair kid proof is a brilliant idea! Can’t wait to purchase these dolls.

  38. I actually think it is underpriced when you think of the personality and how this doll will be personalized just for your daughter. Something you can hold on to and look back on for many years. This doll can be easily priced at 200.00 and that should not be a issue. Either you would want to purchase it for your child or not. I am sure people have invested more than that on a toy for their child at Christmas and already it is broken or not being played with. Girl needs to be taught at a young age to value themselves and their own natural beauty. Hopefully you will reconsider your through. @ Leta

  39. The price is better the the American girl dolls…… @ $115+ a pop. I’d rather buy a Naturally perfect doll for my daughter. I’m sure the AG doll’s hair would be ruined by a young girl’s curiosity…… making the hair kid-proof is an amazing and creative idea!

  40. I think the dolls are beautiful. Africa Americans girls especially to be taught a very young age to embrace their own natural beauty. They shouldn’t have to feel that wearing weave is the only way they can feel beautiful.
    I like it that the dolls are so multicultural, my son is dating a white girl at the time but at almost 30 unfortunately he doesn’t have any children. With that being said if he were to have a baby with the young lady I think a doll like this will be perfect. As a proud grandmother I will be the first to buy one. Good luck with your business!

  41. Even tho they remind me of Ameican girl dolls that my granddaughter has. I hope they have more ethic looking dolls. Because they still some of them look like white dolls but with darker skin. I have yet to see a real black doll that looks like us. Of course I will support you and what to know when and where we can purchase. Wish you much success and can’t wait to see the rest of the dolls to come.! Will you be doing boy dolls also. Blessings

  42. That’s amazing. I’d love to see them make a Native American one that isn’t scantily dressed like how they “say” Pocahontas dressed when she was actually conservative. I am if Cherokee blood and love this idea. ?

  43. Awesome! I have been looking for dolls that reflect my daughter’s beautiful brown skin and hair texture.

  44. I hope they can expand make some for all my daughter is half Spanish and white I would love her to have one she has dark brown hair and brown eyes and a beautiful light brown tone skin

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