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.