My name is Omobola (but my author name is Simisayo Brownstone), and I am the CEO and founder of Teni & Tayo Creations. We produce toys, books, apparel, workshops and more for kids with a pinch of African influence. ? ? ? Up until a few years ago, I never really thought of myself as the type to start a business. I was born and raised in Nigeria and was always surrounded by people that looked like me, but now I live in Los Angeles California and I am raising my two daughters in an area where we are a minority. As my daughters got older, they started to notice how different they looked from their friends. Even the TV shows they loved so much lacked representation. I wanted to reassure them that they were beautiful just the way they are, so I began to be more deliberate about the things I bought for them. I wanted to surround them with books, toys and more that represented their beauty and culture, but there weren’t a lot of good options available. And when I tried to find representation in the things my daughters were particularly interested in – things like princesses, fairies and superheroes – it was even harder to find options. That’s when I decided to start something on my own, and that’s how my first character, Feyi Fay, was born. Feyi Fay is a Nigerian superhero fairy who travels the world helping kids solve their everyday problems from bullying to making friends. I later added a character called Captain Nosa to represent the boys. ? ? ? My goal with Teni & Tayo creations is to create a wide range of everyday products for kids, from pencil cases to underwear, and maybe even a TV show one day! I hope that these products appeal to children from all backgrounds and ethnic groups, while at the same time allowing black and African children to feel more seen, empowered, handsome, proud and eager to embrace their natural beauty.
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