When I first came across Boy Story on Twitter earlier this year, I got super excited to see a new company emerging with an innovative idea that breaks the typical gender stereotypes. Once I read a little more about them in The Baby Spot, I fell in love!
I got a chance to interview the amazing creators of Boy Story, Kristen and Katie to learn more about them and share what they do with my amazing readers.
- Tell me a little about yourselves.
“We’re sisters! Kristen is a former international lawyer and a mom of two boys. Katie is a designer and has worked in design and hospitality for years. We were raised in Michigan and Florida, we’re both now living in Tampa to work on Boy Story full time. Our family and our past definitely influences what we are doing now.”
- What does your company do?
“Boy Story introduces cool boy Action Dolls to the toy market. Our dolls are 18” plus and vinyl dolls with ball joints for extra pose ability. We specifically want to make kids feel comfortable including boys in pretend play using dolls. That’s our basic goal really. It’s simple, but not so easy to achieve!”
- When did you start your business and how did you come up with the idea?
“The idea started while Kristen was pregnant with her second son in the summer of 2014. She wanted to buy a boy doll for her older son to help him get used to the idea of being a big brother and to have a companion to play with at times when mommy was busy taking care of the baby. But when she went to buy a boy doll, she was shocked at the market. Most dolls were either girls or baby dolls. There were no cool boy dolls out there. That was the beginning of the idea.
But Kristen was working full time as a lawyer overseas, and there was no way she could start a business. That’s where Katie came in. Katie was so excited at the idea that she decided to risk it all by quitting her own job and working to get things started. With tons of strong will and determination, even without any prior business management experience, Katie relied on the guidance of Kristen and started up the company. Kristen joined full time this past spring.”
- How did you come up with the business name?
“We went in circles over the business name, but kept coming back to Boy Story. We wanted something that really reached out to boys and help counterbalance the market. Our doll line is exclusively boy dolls (right now). And we wanted that to be captured directly in our company name. So we embraced the goal and went with the name “Boy Story.” The dolls are accompanied by adventure stories, so that’s where the “story” part comes in.
The hardest part about our business name is that it could be perceived as excluding girls, and we actually know from marketing testing that girls love our dolls. But what we’ve found is that all kids are excited to see boy dolls joining in the fun, and they are completely cool with the name. Who knows, maybe we’ll expand in the future and go through a company name change. But for now, we are Boy Story – working to break down gender barriers so our kids can share the sandbox!”
- What do you hope your business accomplishes?
“Our big picture vision is to eliminate the stereotype that “dolls are for girls.” We want to give kids choice in play. When our generation’s kids walk into a toy store, we want them to run down the aisles looking for fun and adventure – without a care in the world as to whether the toy is “for a girl” or “for a boy.” If we look back 10 or 15 years from now and our kids laugh at the notion of gendered toys, we will have made a huge achievement.
One of the way we are striving to eliminate stereotypes is through positive messaging. Boy Story isn’t just about our dolls, it’s about kids of all shapes and sizes. So we’ve started an Equality Campaign showing kids just being kids – having fun without the pressures of stereotypes. It’s been really fun to put together. You can follow and support our Equality Campaign through social media and share, share, share away!”
- Where would you like to see your business in five years?
“We’d love to see our business stable, yet growing, with a reputation for having introduced a cool toy to the market and for our high quality design and product. We’d love to see our dolls in specialty toy markets all over the world. And we’d love to see product line expanded to make it more personalized and interactive. We also really want to lead the way in corporate growth and behavior by modeling good employment practices and having a core team of dedicated and happy employees. These are pretty lofty goals, but we can dream!”
- Since your launch, what has been your favourite moment or success so far?
“One of the most amazing moments was when we actually received the completed prototypes of our dolls. It was one of those “dream come true” moments where an idea turned into something real.
And the absolute best is when we see kids light up when they test out our Action Dolls. Kids are just amazing in their honesty and pure love for play. As soon as they get their hands on the dolls, adventures begin. And that makes our hearts so, so big.”
- If someone is interested in purchasing one of your dolls, how can they get started?
“Our dolls are currently under production and should be arriving early this fall. We have a limited initial quantity, so we are accepting pre-orders on our website (http://www.boystory.com/). Some of them are already slated to be shipped to our awesome Kickstarter supporters, so the supply is pretty limited but we will try to keep up with demand. Also, some specialty retailers have placed orders and will carry the dolls in store. If you’d like the latest and greatest info on our production process, you can sign up for our newsletter. We try to keep in touch about once a month or so.”
- Anything else you would like to add for our readers?
“We are immensely grateful to be featured by Momma Braga! The support we’ve received in general as we’ve started up Boy Story from Melanie has been truly humbling. We’re all in this walk of life together, and our “village” today is built from passionate and hardworking people like her.
We also love feedback, so if you have any comments, questions, or even complaints about Boy Story and our products, please reach out directly to us. If you love what we’re doing, please support us on social media! We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”
Well, if words could blush you would be able to see that I am truly flattered with the kind words from Boy Story on Momma Braga – thank you! It truly is very easy to support an amazing company who is changing the way kids play and making it more inclusive for everyone. A toy shouldn’t be determined by gender as all should be able to play together.
Momma Braga gives this company 5 stars out of 5 for being innovative, inclusive, and for breaking gender barriers. Boy Story is following their dreams to make kids dreams come true!
Until next time…Happy Parenting!