@zoe_beautee/Instagram

Haitian mother Carline Smothers created this doll when her 5-year-old daughter called characters who looked like her “ugly.”

Toni Akindele
Oct, 11, 2016

This Haitian entrepreneurial mom is out to teach culture and diversity with the help of her doll, Carline.

Carline Smothers tells ESSENCE she sought “desperate measures” when her 5-year-old daughter began to call characters in thebooks who looked like her, “ugly.” It was then that Smothers realized that the books they had been reading each night rarely had characters who represented what their family looked like.

“I created [ZOE BEAUTEE Little Reader’s collection], a book series, to celebrate culture diversity, focusing on Haitian culture, after not being able to find books our children could relate to,” says Smothers.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

Wanting to capitalize on teaching Haitian culture while bringing more diversity and representation to children, Smothers also created the prototype for the Carline doll, which she hopes to be able to put into production soon.

“Growing up Haitian, my family and I were often bullied and called names. Even till this day, there is a negative stereotype about Haitian people and our culture,” Smothers shares. “I truly believe that knowledge is power, and starting with our youth will bring positive change in our community.”

For more information on Smothers’ project, or to support the Carline doll, check out her Kickstarter here.