The Beginning and More!
I am the Uniquely Beautiful mom, mentor, designer, founder, entrepreneur who I grew up in Gardena, CA. As you can see from many photos, my favorite color is yellow and I spent most of my childhood playing sports, drawing, writing and playing with dolls. I nurtured my baby dolls, while my Barbie dolls were more fantasy play with all of her accessories and fashions. Barbie inspired me to want to be a fashion designer!
Blessed with the opportunity to start my career path and dream job of designing for Barbie in 1996. My daughter wanted no part of Barbie, although I had access to free and discounted dolls. So committed and honored to design AKA's Centennial celebration doll featured in 2008, the doll and my daughter's feeling towards Barbie, wanting to offer her and her friends dolls that reflect who they are, I was inspired and used my position to create So In Style, African American line of Barbies. Each doll had fuller noses, lips, different skin tones, hair textures and came with little sisters that they mentored with the same attributes.
So In Style created many positive opportunities of travel, television, radio, print and mentoring, sharing my story for this once shy, young woman. The work-life balance of pursuing my purpose became slightly unstable with being a career woman with a 6 year old, 8 year old and husband.
In 2011, I was presented with one of the toughest decisions of my life. I made a sacrifice, chose to leave my dream job and trusted a partnership with some entrepreneurs based out of Houston. We founded The One World Doll Project and I created Prettie Girl multicultural dolls with positive stories and bodies that better represented the everyday woman.
The business experienced great success, unfortunately, the salary promised was never implemented towards me and my efforts. I had the opportunity to work from home, but my family was unfairly suffering financially. In 2017, I was again faced with a difficult decision, to walk away from another doll line that I created. I was completely deflated and wasn't quite sure if I wanted to start another doll business all over again from scratch. To contribute to my household, I worked customer service at a popular airline and shoe company.
I took about a 6 month break then decided to pick myself up and start another doll company on my own. McIrby, ent. was established and the IamU, Uniquely Beautiful doll line was born! I had to become business savvy overnight, running all operations and along with a silent investor, I invested the other half to get my first doll run produced, shipped to the US and placed on Amazon.com for sales. Windows opened when Sunjai's manager approached me to design her doll and I accepted the offer.
Through the pain and pitfalls, I continued to persevere. My passion, colliding with my purpose to create dolls while being a role model to women and girls pushed me to press forward. Surrounding myself with family, prayer, positive influences and motivational quotes supported my chance get back up to encourage others that they can as well. You might fall over some hurdles in life but dust yourself off, get back up and finish your race. All things are possible to those who believe.