"I sat down at the kitchen table in the evening when I was on parental leave and started sewing a doll for my son. In the morning when the children woke up, I gave them the doll and was overwhelmed with love and pride. It should be a matter of course that all children should be able to play with dolls that look like themselves!”
How it all began…
Watoto Arts is a social enterprise that works to create positive social change.
The idea for Watoto Arts came from seeing the lack of representation in toy stores. We couldn't find dolls that our own children could identify with and the few dolls that did exist were made far away, contained plastics and were neither durable nor made in a nice and transparent way. To counteract the skewed image created by today's limited supply, we took matters into our own hands and started designing and producing our own dolls, that was the starting point for the Watoto family business!
What does your doll box look like? Does it represent society?
Watoto is Swahili and means children - all children. Our vision is to create a world where all children feel included and can develop, regardless of how we look or where we live. We know that the foundation for many of the values we take with us in life is laid at an early age. We also know how important it is to be able to identify with one's surroundings in order to make room for a safe and confident individual. Our award-winning dolls are therefore more than just dolls, they are a tool to develop empathy and self-esteem and thus create positive social change.
Let's expand our horizons through puppetry!
“The dolls are so much more than just dolls. In the small way, the dolls make a difference to the child, but in the big way, they make a difference to society"
We are a work-integrating social enterprise
Watoto Arts is a work-integrating social enterprise that works to create positive social change. We create employment for individuals who have been excluded from the labor market, it may be foreign-born women who have had difficulty finding work. For us, this is an important step in our work for a more inclusive society. We are convinced that by empowering women and mothers, we create the best conditions for a brighter future.
Read more about work-integrating social enterprise here
All our products are carefully designed and manufactured by hand in Solna . We have created a short, sustainable and local production chain that allows us to manufacture safe toys that last for generations. All our dolls are handmade from organic fabrics carefully selected by our team.
When we design our dolls, we aim for diversity, inclusion and representation
When we choose materials for the dolls, we have sustainability, safety and the environment as our goals
When we manufacture our dolls, we aim for quality, safety and durability
When you buy our products, you can therefore be sure that you have made a good investment for you, for the children and for our planet.
All Watoto toys are created according to EU requirements for toy safety. We follow the EN71 standard and all our products are non-toxic and fireproof.
Let Watoto dolls be your obvious choice over mass-produced plastic toys!
The core of Watoto Art's work is to offer inclusive dolls through responsible and local production. In our assortment you will find dolls with different ethnicities, different skin colors, different hair colors and different functional variations. We want every child to feel seen and for every child to be able to be the main character in their play.
Thanks to our short production chain, we can also customize dolls according to wishes, where you as a customer together with our team can design a doll according to your needs. Write to us here and we will help you!
Our dolls are suitable for all occasions, have you been invited to a baby shower? Then a parent doll with accompanying baby is perfect. Are you going to a party? Spoil the birthday child with a doll that represents him, or design a look alike doll! Do you have a child going to school? Order a look alike parent doll to take to bedtime.
Do you want to support our sustainability work? Order accessories that we make from leftover fabrics!
"When we create our dolls, we have our children and the well-being of our planet in mind and you can feel that in every doll"
We don't just create dolls, we have big dreams to make the world a better and kinder place to live.
Environment and climate issues are matters of our hearts and we work hard and continuously to contribute to a positive change. We are extremely proud of our local production which allows us to have full control over all production steps. Sustainability runs like a red thread through our entire chain. We have built up a responsible production where we select materials with great care. When we design a product, we think about how we design it to create minimal waste, an example is: when we cut out fabric for our dolls, we have a strategy that creates minimal fabric waste. We create accessories from the little fabric waste that still remains or donate it to creative businesses. Do you want waste fabric from us? Get in touch here !
We follow the 17 Global Goals and Agenda 2030 for an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development ( read more here ) .
We have chosen to focus on the following goals
Sub-goal 4 Good education for all
Sub-goal 8.6 Promote young people's employment, education and internships
Sub-goal 16.1 Reduce violence in the world
Sub-goal 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization
Sub-goal: 10.2 Promote social, economic and political inclusion
Sub-goal 12.5 Reduce the amount of waste
This is how we concretely work to create a minimal climate footprint
We design and produce all our products in Sweden
We use plastic-free packaging
We use up all our waste material
This is how we concretely work to create social change
We employ locally
We have a transparent, sustainable and clean operation in Sweden
We offer dolls that represent everyone, we see everyone
Here are some of our proudest moments
Watoto Arts took home first place in the ideas competition - For–women
We were accepted into the Reach For Change business incubator
We were appointed Change Leaders
Fatma Guettou was named this year's Womeneur
We at Watoto Arts love to collaborate. Together we become stronger and together we create greater impact!
Our different experiences and perspectives are a strength that we want to use to contribute to a more inclusive society.
Please get in touch if you have an idea or want to collaborate with us!