Before Esi Orijin, a 6-year-old kid, began going to school, she loved herself, and being a Black girl was completely normal like it should be. Unfortunately, when she started attending private school, she started to lose her confidence as she was the only Black girl in her class. Her mother, Melissa Orijin, noticed the changes in Esi’s preference for toys and knew that she needed to find a solution for her daughter. Esi began to not like her skin tone or gorgeous curly hair.
Her preference for toys changed and she only wanted to play with white dolls with blonde hair. It’s a fact that almost all the dolls in the market are white and there are hardly any dolls to represent Black people. So, after taking a lot of time in finding the perfect doll for her daughter. The mother and daughter came up with the idea of starting Orijin Bees. Orijin Bees is a brand with an aim to normalize inclusion in toys, especially dolls. This brand wants that when little girls see the doll, they can relate to it and say, “the doll looks like me”.
Melissa and Esi wanted to create toys that would motivate self-love, acceptance, and inclusion which is most important because usually, children grow up trying to fit in which should not be the case, children must appreciate their culture and identity without changing themselves for society. All this belief formed the brand Orijin Bees. To make dolls as diverse as they can make with different skin tones and different hair textures. Moreover, Orijin Bees are open to helping disadvantaged little girls to have their own dolls with whom they can relate to themselves.
When Esi was on a family trip to Cuba, she saw a girl who resembled her doll and wanted to gift her doll to that girl. Melissa was touched by this act and the reaction she saw was something she knew had to be continued and grown more. Taking inspiration from there, Orijin Bees created its GetONE GiftONE program where they present dolls to the kids. A doll that looks like them represents them. They have continued this mission of distributing dolls through schools, churches, NGOs, or directly to disadvantaged families. Their gifting program didn’t stop even during the pandemic as they continued to include health clinics to gift to families impacted by the pandemic.
The brand name “Orijin Bees” is an acronym for ” Our Representation is Just Inclusion Normalized, Beautifully Empowering Every Soul”. Their long-term mission is to increase their potential to make effective changes for disadvantaged communities. Orijin Bees believes that these dolls will help in nurturing the next generation. In addition, the brand also provides educational toys, for instance, the “Go Culture” card game. They want to teach children about the culture and heritage of black and brown people through their products.
The more they will play the more they will know about their culture and the more they will feel proud and confident. We can say that Orijin Bees represents the future of the toy industry and other industries should also take measures to make changes in their products. Even the smallest things impact kids and it’s our responsibility to make them feel comfortable and confident. To know more about Orijin Bees and their products. You can visit their official website OrijinBees.com