As I interview Saffron, we are interrupted by sounds of musical toys, clanging and screeches from Billie-Rae, the 16-month-old demanding her mother’s attention. I laugh and wave hello at the little girl that inspired the creation of Toya, the world’s first Jamaican Patois speaking doll.
Our children need to see themselves
“In 2015, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I went to the shops to see if I could find a black doll for her. To my surprise, there were no black dolls on the shelves. I was really shocked. I came home, started searching the internet and realised that most of the black dolls that were available were from America.”
Saffron found that where stores sold black dolls, they were often out of stock. Speaking to other parents, Saffron soon realised there was a niche that she could fill. And so, in 2016, Zuree Dolls UK was launched at the Jamaican High Commission in London. Standing at a mere 50 cm, with dark skin and curly hair, Toya is Zuree’s first and most popular doll.