Conversation With Founder Yelitsa Jean-Charles


ESSENCE is proud to celebrate extraordinary Black women who are breaking glass ceilings as flourishing entrepreneurs with compelling backstories. Join us as we highlight a few of the 50 women featured in our November 2017 issue and chat with them to find out more about how they got to where they are now and what advice they have for other young women looking to follow in their footsteps.

This week, we focus on Yelitsa Jean-Charles of Healthy Roots.


Q: What kind of company do you own?Healthy Roots is a toy company that creates dolls and storybooks that teach natural hair care to young girls of color. Our dolls come in different skin tones, facial features and hair textures to show the beauty of all black girls. We also have books that function as illustrated guides on how to do natural hairstyles. I created this company so girls could have the dolls that I didn’t have growing up.

Q: What advice do you have for anyone dreaming of having their own business?Don’t say no before you can say yes. It’s so easy to write off an idea or convince yourself not to pursue an opportunity before you give it a chance. Also, it takes three steps to do something: 1) Figure out what you want to do. 2) Figure out how to do it. 3) Do it.



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