DO see the power of small things
Model-turned-entrepreneur Mala Bryan is challenging outdated conventions with a doll of an idea.
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 malavilletoys.com.