DO see the power of small things

Model-turned-en­tre­pre­neur Mala Bryan is chal­leng­ing out­dated con­ven­tions with a doll of an idea.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Glamourama -

caribbean-born beauty Mala Bryan, 33, be­gan her mod­el­ling ca­reer at 17 and went on to walk the run­ways of Fendi, Roberto Cavalli and Tommy Hil­figer among oth­ers. But her new­est ven­ture, the Malav­ille Doll Col­lec­tion, may be her most im­pres­sive achieve­ment to date. “Malav­ille is my imag­i­nary space, my ver­sion of what our world should be,” she ex­plains.

A long­time doll lover, Mala strug­gled to find eth­nic ver­sions for her col­lec­tion, and she soon re­alised she wasn’t alone in her quest. “Many of my friends who are par­ents talked about the same chal­lenge for their chil­dren, and that en­cour­aged the idea of cre­at­ing my own range.”

Her big­gest hur­dle with the ven­ture? “Just start­ing it! I was told it’s a bad idea and warned against com­pet­ing with large, es­tab­lished com­pa­nies, but I couldn’t al­low those words to af­fect me. I found the right man­u­fac­turer, per­fected the skin tones and hair, got the ball rolling with the first sam­ples, and talked my­self into stand­ing firm and be­liev­ing I could make it work.”

In do­ing that, she is help­ing to man­i­fest dreams, self-es­teem and de­light for girls ev­ery­where.

“I de­sign ev­ery doll down to the last de­tail, and I like to make them all unique. They’re makeup-free be­cause I love nat­u­ral beauty, ” she says. “We’ve just launched Alexa, the first in the col­lec­tion with al­binism, to add even more di­ver­sity and help cre­ate aware­ness of global is­sues.”

She’s also reached out to SA, and cre­ated a doll called Imani in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Fos­chini, which will be sold in se­lected stores.

To find a stock­ist near you, visit malav­il­

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