‘Our Brown Boy Joy’ doll line inspiring Black youth all over the world
TWINSBURG, Ohio (WOIO) - Meet Demetrius Davis Jr. also known as Little Dee.
The 9-year-old executive created a plush doll after not seeing enough representation in the media.
“My Friend is a company started to empower and impact brown boys,” said Davis.
Our Brown Boy Joy is the official name.
Davis has the full support of his mother, Luciana Gilmore, who is the creative director of the company.
“When he initially said a doll, I was thinking a baby doll because I’m a girl,” she said, “but when I had to take it back a little bit and say, okay, he’s played with plush dolls of other races. Let me think about that. We went to the store, and there was nothing on the shelves that looked like my son.”
And so together, they created, building their company with a line of dolls, books, clothing and other merchandise for sale that represent their culture.
“One of the things Little Dee said right away, ‘Mom, let’s put him in a hoodie,’” said Gilmore, who is a former principal for Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “We want to show that brown boys can wear whatever they want. That doesn’t mean they’re criminals or bad people. My son wears a hoodie all the time. As a principal, I had to wrestle with students in school about hoodies all the time.”
Their business is growing, and they’ve sold almost 10,000 dolls in less than a year.
Plans are in place to expand and offer more skin tones and wardrobe options.
“From the curly hair to the hoodie to the Timberlands, the doll is an exact replica of my son,” said Gilmore. ”My friend, Our Brown Boy Joy, Little Dee, our whole purpose is for the world to know and see and view our boys as joy.”
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