First black doll store in Brazil to open in Rio; in a market where black dolls only make up 7% of the total, founder estimates she will sell 10,000 per month



Note from BW of Brazil: Well, needless to say, I am really happy and excited for the young lady behind this project. Ever since she was first featured here after the story of her son hit the headlines, I’ve kept my eye on Jaciana Melquiades. It was in January of 2016 when her son, Matias Melquíades, received a message from actor John Boyega after discovering how much finding the Star Wars action figure bearing his likeness meant to the young man. Jaciana and her husband Leandro realized that as seeing black dolls in Brazil was such a rarity, they saw opportunity to fill a void that affects perhaps tens of thousands of black children across Brazil. The store was scheduled to open a few days ago, so allow me to wish Jaciana and her co-founders much success with their new venture! As black children and parents have long know, the time has been long overdue!

Jaciana com suas bonecas
Jaciana Melquiades, founder of black doll store project

First black doll store in Brazil to open in Rio

Courtesy of Promoview

Era Uma Vez o Mundo (Once Upon Time the World), a social impact business, born in 2017, in Belford Roxo, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio de Janeiro, to supply the lack of products aimed at black children, will stop being just virtual and open a physical store.

On February 16, the first bonecas negras (black doll) store in Brazil will be launched at Espaço Andradas 22, in Centro.


The project that is accelerated by the Instituto Ekloos, in partnership with Oi Futuro, will feature the doll Dandara, the famous heroine and wife of Zumbi dos Palmares, a darling of the public.

It is worth remembering that this piece has already honored many personalities such as actresses Cris Vianna and Ruth Souza and the doll for Lázaro Ramos.

“Our Dandara doll will be the highlight of sales, with more than 15 prints and different models of clothes made with exclusive African fabric. It will cost 80 reais, and there is also the possibility of customizing it, starting at 65 reais. Although the supply of black dolls has increased in the last three years, we still have only a 7% supply of black dolls by the domestic industry. Finding a black doll in a physical store is still quite difficult. We understand that the consumer public has the need to be able to see, touch and evaluate the product before buying, even more so in the case of an item still so rare on the market”, explains Jaciana Melquiades, one of the founders of the project.


The opening event will be a cocktail party that we organize to welcome customers and guests with the sale of our products. “We hope to earn a million reais in 2019, selling more than 10 thousand dolls a year, considering physical and online store sales,” adds Jaciana.

Happy with the promising phase that the company is experiencing, Jaciana also reveals the importance of having the support of acceleration at this time. “The acceleration program has given us confidence. Being able to count on a team of professionals advising us and making us see beyond our everyday experiences is extremely rich. Besides validating many qualities that we saw in us, they give us the necessary counterpoints to make criticisms and help in our decision making”, Jaciana finalizes.

The actress, singer and activist Zezé Motta is one of the supporters of this cause and says, “For more attitudes and entrepreneurship like this!”

Source: Promoview

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


  1. I’m happy to see this self-love of blackness come form Brazil. I hope this sista is very successful with her business and finds ways to expand it.

  2. Another great article!! These stories are really worth reading it is inspiring to see us make some strides as entrepreneurs taking a leap from underneath the white establishment rather it’s white Brazilians or white Americans. I have some niece’s that would definitely like those dolls, when I make my trip to Rio de Janeiro in March or May I will make a mental note to visit
    her store.

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