Starpath Dolls are series of dolls from a startup toy company of the same name that was established in the Spring of 2017. The dolls come with customized books that encourage children to read and embrace other cultures. Intended for girls ages five to nine, these finely detailed dolls took four years to get into production and the highly customizable books aim to bring the #Doll's characters to life. The dolls also come with a line of clothing accessories and stuffed toys.

Anita Winsor is the Managing Director of Starpath Dolls. She earned a Master’s Degree from Cambridge University and is the award-winning author of the 1994 best-selling book titled ““The Complete Guide to Doing Business in Mexico.” She has worked for the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, the International Relations Committee of the U.S.

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House of Representatives, and served in the role of Trade Representative for the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce and was Deputy Director of the Pan American Development Foundation.

Anita is currently the caretaker of the Pitt Street Free Little Library. Her experiences working with people of different cultures mainly inspired her to start her doll company which is dedicated to offering dolls from a number of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. It has taken her years to navigate the toy industry and develop the precise dolls that she originally envisioned.

For the very first time, Anita recently granted an exclusive interview and discussed being a toy designer, her experiences as the owner of a startup company, and her goals for the Starpath Dolls company.

Idea

Blasting News (BN): What gave you the idea to start a doll line and how did you develop these specific characters and models?

Anita Winsor (AW): I have always been interested in ways to encourage children to read and to use their imaginations to learn.

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When I was reading to my daughter, she would sometimes say she would like to go into the story—ideally with a friend. That evolved into the whole idea of having a child step into a personalized adventure story with her doll as her traveling companion. The characters are developed in the stories and encourage independence, friendship and seeing yourself in a world outside of your own.

BN: During your childhood, did you have any favorite dolls?

AW: Easy answer! My Sasha doll was my favorite. I loved how she looked so distinct from other dolls. I also liked her friendly but serious expression. Nobody has a big smile on their face all the time!

BN: It took you years to release the "Starpath" doll line! Why was the process so long?

AW: I am lucky to working with Linda Mason, a very talented designer who created the dolls. We both agreed from the start that we would not compromise on the quality or the look of the dolls. It was difficult as a small new company to be taken seriously by some of the doll manufacturers.

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Thankfully, our third factory finally did it right.

BN: The clothes that go with the Starpath characters are super detailed so do you have a favorite outfit or accessory?

AW: My favorite outfit is probably the Indian Sari. It is featured in the story “Tiger Magic” where the reader travels to India (to save a tiger cub from poachers) and is given a sari by her new Indian friend. This is a fun way to learn about another culture.

Stories

BN: What made you decide to include storybooks to go along with the dolls and what was the process of getting them written like?

AW: Books are a wonderful way to learn new things, reinforce appropriate values, but also to be entertained. The books were written by Mitali Perkins and Suzanne Williams – two renowned children’s book authors.

BN: You have stated that the books are customizable so how exactly does that work?

AW: The customer chooses her chapter book on the Starpath Dolls website. It is designed to be child-friendly and enables the child to answer a series of fun non-invasive questions about herself which are woven throughout the plot. With over twenty of her personal characteristics in the story, it becomes a wonderful memory book available as a paperback or e-book.

BN: Have you designed any other playthings and what are your plans for your career?

AW: This is my first venture into the toy business. My dream is to continue to expand Starpath Dolls through interesting stories and dolls and accessories that are featured in the stories. I also like the idea of continuing to feature dolls that better reflect a greater group of people. All children should have a doll that looks like ethnicity. It can also familiarize a child with a doll playmate from a different background.

BN: What have been some of the best responses to your dolls thus far?

AW: I was pleased to get a message from an eight-year-old girl who told me that Morning Star looked just like her best friend. That is the ultimate compliment. #Toys & Games #Startup Company