HBCU Grad, Creator of First Black 18-Inch Superhero Doll Celebrates Having Sold 1,000’s of Units

Photo: Shaneisha Dodson

Shaneisha Dodson, the founder and CEO of the Brilliant Girl and a proud graduate of Grambling State University, is celebrating the fact that hundreds of her dolls have been sold to young black girls nationwide.

She claims that she started her own business to provide more opportunities for representation in the toy and doll industry. “Growing up in Arkansas, there were not a lot of black dolls on the store shelves,” according to her.

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This prompted her to design the Sugamama doll, the first 18-inch black superhero doll ever. Since then, she has heard many tales from other women who experienced the same experience of not seeing themselves represented in the media when they were children.

Shaneisha claims that hearing experiences like this motivates her to keep developing items that encourage optimism since she is well aware of the influence a person’s sense of self-efficacy can have on their development. She gave away approximately one hundred dolls to youngsters in 2022.

Shaneisha, who has won many accolades for her playwriting and has a passion for writing, wanted to do something more than merely make dolls. Because of this, she has also written and published two novels under the pen name Sugamama, titled The Adventures of Sugamama and Sugamama Saves Christmas, to accompany her best-selling doll. In addition to this, she has introduced a new line of puzzles called Positive Image Puzzles. These puzzles are deliberately constructed and feature positive imagery related to topics such as parenthood, superheroes, and females enjoying fun.

As Brilliant Girl pursues her objective of providing more representation to the doll and toy business and giving back to the community, Shaneisha has extended an invitation to everyone to participate in a celebration of the power of diversity.

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