Múkami Kinoti Kimotho is starting a revolution, the Royelles Revolution, where young girls can be empowered and see representations of themselves in the dolls that they play with. Kimotho is inspiring young girls to be fierce, bold, and ultimately the best version of themselves in all that they do.
“It’s interesting how our children will inspire us to do things we never imagined,” says Kimotho.
The Royelles Revolution started when Kimotho’s daughter Zara began struggling with her self-value and self-worth. She felt that she wasn’t beautiful or good enough and Kimotho took to social media to connect with other mothers about their daughters. For all of the little girls, oftentimes even the grown women, the idea of being different wasn’t always positive. Kimotho didn’t agree with this notion and wanted to do something to change the mindset of how girls and women of color saw themselves.
“We need to help our girls understand that their differences are their superpowers,” says Kimotho. “That’s where opportunities for joy lie.”
The dolls, or “avatars” as she calls them, are called Royelles as a way to disrupt the definition of the word royals and the ideas of what a princess should be. Kimotho found that what attracted young girls to these princesses in the first place was their bravery and passion. She took these qualities and made sure that they were embraced in the thirteen different Royelles in how they looked, how they were dressed, and even how their backstories and aspirations were presented.
“These dolls represent the diverse dimensions of our girls—their body forms, ages, life paths, and abilities,” says Kimotho.
Each avatar is 3D printed and then hand-painted by Kimotho herself. She refers to the Royelles project as a labor of love; she has been working on these avatars for about two years, starting with sketches and even conducting focus groups with mothers and daughters to see how others connected with the dolls.
As a multidimensional creative and serial entrepreneur, Kimotho has outdone herself, using her fashion design skills to sketch and create beautifully vivid clothing for the Royelles avatars. With each piece of clothing that she’s created, she made sure that the designs were fun and contemporary, and that the patterns and energies were representative of courage and empowerment.
“Creating for a person is very different than creating for a doll—it was quite difficult,” she says.
What is unique about the Royelles avatars is that each doll comes with a story. Take Teti, for example, the single mother of three who uses her writing to create stories for young adults as a means of escapism. Tepi is an avatar that was inspired by Kimotho’s mother and acts as an homage to single mothers everywhere.
Another avatar is Tanni, a young girl who acknowledges what makes her different and sees it as an opportunity for greatness. Moved by music, Tanni is able to achieve her dream of becoming a world-renowned dancer with the help of beautiful prosthetics.
It is Kimotho’s hope and overall goal that with the Royelles, young girls see representations of themselves, their culture, and their beauty. She wants to ignite girls to be original and to be themselves in every way possible.
To learn more about the Royelles avatars, click here.