Inspire-A-Doll

Shovon Wiggan | BA (Hons) Business Management

Shovon Wiggan, the founder of Inspire-A-Doll, gained inspiration from her family to improve the representation of dark skin dolls for young children; this led Shovon to start her business,  Inspire-A-Doll . Through attending the STEAMhouse Hatchery and BSEEN programmes, Shovon has her heart set on applying for further funding, which will take her business to the next level.

"During my second year of university, I took my passion for entrepreneurship and owning my own brand and turned that into launching my own business. My niece at this time, was five years old. Her name is Nyah and due to low representation of dark skin dolls she faced doubting her own beauty. This inspired me to create a toy business called Inspire-A-Doll. I decided to name the first doll that we launched after my niece Nyah.

I got some valuable knowledge from the STEAMhouse Hatchery and the external speakers. The mentors were really knowledgeable and supportive. The program helped me develop my skills and further develop my knowledge of running a successful business effectively. Networking  with like-minded, ambitious and motivated entrepreneurs of the Cohort was really beneficial, finding my website designer from the BSEEN course was a great collaboration.

One of the nicest moments during my business development is getting the recognition for my business idea. Inspire-A-Doll breaks down barriers when it comes to race, culture and inclusivity which stuck the motivation to peruse the business idea. I have inspired my niece to be a role model for my own community, which has been overwhelming but successful. I’m still learning and developing but I think making a difference in my community has been the biggest success for me at this point.

When first starting out on this business journey, having the self-belief to success was a big thing for me. Believing in yourself on the days where things aren’t going to plan is challenging at times but being able to be positive and driven during these times is important. Having to gain a great amount of business knowledge in such a short amount of time was a challenge, networking with professionals and experienced entrepreneurs sometimes causes me to focus on the flaws of my business which leads back to having the confidence and self-belief that what you are doing is successful.

Within the next sixth months, My co-founder and I are focusing on funding and aiming to secure $30,000 to fund the production of three additional dolls to add to the collection, achieving a four doll collection for customers to collect.

We are developing workshops to deliver to young children in nursery and primary schools to promote the success of women across the world from all different cultural backgrounds. Using this idea as a tool to inspire people regardless of background or culture they can be as successful as the role models highlighted in the stories of the dolls and business.

Future development of the business includes introducing a children’s book which inspires to bring the story of the four dolls to life. They become friends at the local school and use a greenhouse to teleport their way around the world visiting exciting places meeting successful individuals of all backgrounds that have achieved amazing things. We inspire to incorporate geography, history, success and fun with our story."