This Detroit Mom Just Brought Some Much Needed Diversity Into The Doll Industry

Florence Aferi

Florence Aferi was taught how to crochet by her mother at the age of 12, though she didn’t think much of the craft at first. However, the Detroit mom has now turned her talent into a full-blown business, selling inclusive crocheted dolls with a wide variety of skin tones!

Though she began making and selling hats, gloves, and other accessories a few years back, Florence got the idea of making dolls from a childhood struggle that those of color know all too well. She remembered wanting a doll that she herself could identify with, and that was not the typical Barbie found in stores. “My siblings and I grew up in Ghana, West Africa, and back in the ’80s, there wasn’t much variety when it came to dolls of color. There was the Kenya Barbie and the regular Barbie,” she admitted.

So over a year ago, the entrepreneur taught herself to make and sell these incredible crocheted dolls through her online business, Fancy Fancy Crochet! The custom ordered dolls have different shades to better reflect the world we live in, and give little girls (and boys too!) a new friend that actually looks like them!

Florence, who’s created almost 100 dolls since she started her business, uses original patterns to create the actual body parts, hair, and a majority of the clothes. She takes time to connect with each customer about their doll preferences, which determines the price. 

The base price starts at $125 but can go up to $350, depending on what the customer wants. But as gorgeous as these dolls are, the price is definitely worth the work that Florence puts into them! Each doll takes about two to three weeks for her to make, as she carefully crafts each one to fit her clients’ needs.  

Check out the entrepreneur talking more about her dolls below…

Of course, Florence’s work is beautiful, but it’s also very important in promoting diversity and inclusivity, not just in the doll world, but our world in general. It’s great that this entrepreneur is using her gift of crochet to make a positive impact!

You can check out more of Florence’s dolls on Facebook and Instagram, and shop Fancy Fancy Crochet on Etsy.

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