Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Healthy Roots Dolls
Yelitsa Jean-Charles never had a doll that looked like her growing up. At the Rhode Island School of Design, Yelitsa redesigned Rapunzel as a brown girl with beautiful kinky hair. She then saw the opportunity to address the demonstrated need for more diverse toys. With a grant from the Brown University Social Innovation Fellowship and 674 dedicated Kickstarter backers, Healthy Roots was born. A toy company that creates dolls that celebrates curl power and teaches natural hair care.
In 2017 Yelitsa was recognized as one of 50 founders to watch in Essence Magazine. In 2018 she won the Startup Stampede, New Voices Fund Pitch competition, participated in the VFA Accelerator program and was awarded the first Main Street Ventures Wendy S. Lea Female founders Grant.
This year Yelitsa was accepted to the Backstage Accelerator program in Detroit with an investment of $100,000. Most recently, she won First Place and the People’s Choice award at the 2019 Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day for a total winning of $125,000. As of 2019 Yelitsa has raised nearly $500,000 total for her company.