L.A. Mom Designs Dolls Representing the Global Scene

By Carolyn Richardson

girls dolls

The Prettie Girls Dolls! Tween Scene collection features Alexie, Hana, Lena, Kimani, Valencia and Dhara. These hip young girls attend the Dream Academy of Excellence, a school where dreams can come true – as long as you work hard! PHOTO COURTESY TONNER-ONE WORLD

You can learn a lot about a little girl by watching her play with dolls. Stacey McBride-Irby, a Gardena native, played out her love of fashion with Barbie dolls. That love never waned, and after earning a degree in fashion design from Los Angeles Trade-Tech College, she turned her childhood passion into a design career.

McBride-Irby started as a design assistant for Barbie doll toy maker Mattel. “After an interview, I designed a jumpsuit for Barbie and got the job. I began designing clothes and accessories for their career-themed dolls and Disney princesses,” she says.

Playing with Barbie dolls all day was satisfying for McBride-Irby, but she noticed her daughter, Sierra, wasn’t so engaged. “She wasn’t playing with the dolls on her own or with her friends,” McBride-Irby says. She thought Sierra might be more interested in dolls that looked more like her, and set out to design African-American dolls. She pitched the idea to Mattel, and Barbie So In Style was born. The dolls featured a big-and-little-sister duo with fashion- and school-centered accessories.

Although the line was successful, Mattel declined to have McBride-Irby create more dolls of color. Then McBride-Irby met businessman Trent T. Daniel, who established The One World Doll Project in 2011, and the two teamed up to develop Prettie Girls!, a line of dolls that represent cultures from all over the world. The dolls are produced by Tonner-One World.

“The Prettie Girls! have their own individual story, as well as goals and inspirations, which captures the essence of positive attributes that every little girl can embrace,” says McBride-Irby. PRETTIE is actually an acronym for positive, respectful, enthusiastic, talented, truthful, inspiring and excellent. The line includes the 11½-inch Prettie Girls! and the 16-inch Prettie Girls! Tween Scene. They have two more collections in development, Prettie Girls! NYC and The Prettie Girls! Dream Babies.

The dolls and accessory kits are available at WalMart.com and in select WalMart stores. Tween Scene dolls retail for $24 and Prettie Girls! for $13. The accessories kits, which include full outfits, cost $8. For more information, visit tonneroneworld.com or Facebook.com/prettiegirls.

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