Videos recorded by winners following Covid-19 safety measures. Film-making by Naomi Joda.
Illustration of Nicole and Jayla Hawthorne
Illustration of Nicole and Jayla Hawthorne


Nicole and Jayla Hawthorne

Jayla's Heirlooms creates children's dolls representing people of color – who continue to be a much under-served demographic in the toy sector. ‘We believe every girl deserves a doll that highlights her natural beauty,’ says Nicole Hawthorne, who co-founded the business with her five-year-old daughter, Jayla. ‘Our brand is unique because our dolls are created by women artisans from all around the world.’ At the moment, Jayla's Heirlooms sells mostly direct to consumers online, but Nicole hopes to be ready to expand to big-box retail soon. She says the Fresh Fund program will help with prototyping the next doll, building brand awareness and professionalizing her logistics and shipping operations.

Type of business
Based in
Charlotte, NC