This week’s #WorkingWoman is: Clarissa Lewis, business owner/CEO
Business/Title: Naturally Me Dolls, an OOAK doll designing company that focuses on and celebrates the diversity of skin shades, hair – styles/textures of women and girls of color.
I am a single mom of four (two boys and two girls), a natural hair stylist and a part-time teacher. Like many women in their 30’s and older, as a child growing up my mom had a difficult time finding a doll with brown skin, never mind a natural texture of hair – for that reason she rarely bought us dolls. She would often paint the faces and bodies of images on cards, books etc. There was simply not enough representation for her four girls. My mother definitely instilled in me the power to create your own reflection and how important it is to show little girls their beauty. As a professional Cosmetologist specializing in natural hair, I have always advocated wearing natural hairstyles as a form of self empowerment and acceptance. Over the years and especially now, I have seen an increase in the toy industry’s dolls of color; yet I still notice a lack of diversity and creativity as a part of our true identity. We are such a creative people when it comes to our hair and I want to celebrate that! The first time I gave my oldest daughter a doll with locks like hers, her face lit up with joy. I want all our girls to experience that reflection. It’s amazing to see grown women light up when they see my dolls as well. The most common thing women say to me when they first see my dolls (whether it is at a hair show or on Instagram) is “I wish these were around when I was young.” I reply ,“Me too, sis.” Thankfully, because of businesses like mine and others, our daughters will never have to utter those words.
What being a #WorkingWoman means to her:
To me being a #Workingwoman means always striving to embrace my gifts and talents in order to have a truly fulfilling place in the world. It means honoring myself, all while creating a work environment that does not feel like a JOB! In this world doing this is not easy but it is worth it.
Clarissa, on knowing her worth:
I feel I ensure all women/girls of color’s worth by not just having one shade of doll or one texture of hair. Our diversity is what makes us so beautiful!!!! I never want a girl of color to look at my dolls and not see her reflection. All of us are worthy of representation!
*Below are some pictures of Naturally Me Dolls
*** For all business inquiries Clarissa Lewis can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org***