Yelitsa Jean-Charles

Founder of Healthy Roots Doll

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$5,000 - $10,000*

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Detroit, Michigan, USA


Yelitsa never had a doll that looked like her growing up. The one time her parents gave her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t the “pretty one”. Since then, Yelitsa has made it her goal to make sure that no other children feel the way she did about her own appearance growing.

Yelitsa has gone from not knowing how to do her own hair at the age 21 to teaching young girls all about their own.

Since starting Healthy Roots Dolls, Yelitsa has graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She has won the Startup Stampede, New Voices Fund Pitch competition, participated in the Backstage Capital Accelerator program, and was awarded the first Main Street Ventures Wendy S. Lea Female founders Grant. In 2019, Healthy Roots Dolls took First Place and People's Choice at the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day.

She is a 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 Honoree and to date, Yelitsa has raised $1,500,000. Healthy Roots Dolls is helping thousands of parents provide their children with a product that makes them feel seen and beautiful. Yelitsa’s mission is to make sure everyone loves their healthy roots.

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