How are you? I pray all is well and that you are in active pursuit of making your God-given dreams a reality!
Question: Do you have a dream/vision/passion for something that burns within you? Have you been longing and praying for the right opportunity that will help bring it to fruition?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, allow me to introduce you to one woman whose story will inspire and encourage you:
Meet Stacey McBride-Irby, Sr. VP of Product Development for the One World Doll Project™. Before launching One World Dolls, Stacey was a Project Designer for Mattel™ in El Segundo, CA. For 15 years Stacey lived her dream. She grew up playing with Barbie™ dolls and now she was getting paid to design them. While at Mattel Stacey’s creativity and passion earned her a host of accolades and awards for her design work. She is accredited with creating the So In Style™ line of African-American Barbie dolls; the sorority Barbie, celebrating the Centennial year of Alpha Kappa Alpha; a one-of-a-kind take on the 1980’s Black Barbie, as well as developing several of the 2010 Barbie career dolls, including Pet Vet Barbie, Rock Star Barbie and Bride Barbie.
Life was seemingly good, but Stacey was unfulfilled. Though she found joy in creating Barbie dolls that girls around the world have come to know and love, the question as to who was inspiring the little girls of color that they too are beautiful, could do anything, and had a doll that represented all of this weighed heavily on her heart. Soon, what began as a question evolved into a passionate vision that could not be quenched. Stacey’s vision for the future of dolls of color was far greater than anything she’d ever done before, and it quickly became apparent that if she wanted to see her vision come to fruition, she would have to make a change.
After much thought and prayer Stacey left Mattel, partnered with a God-given team of visionaries, and shortly thereafter the One World Doll Project was born.
Check out our recent interview:
Dana: Good Morning, Stacey, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. So, jumping right into the interview, can you tell me who is Stacey McBride-Irby?
Stacey: Woman of God, born and raised in a Christian home, married for 14 years, I have a 10 and 12-year-old, both who encouraged me to leave Mattel.
Dana: Tell me a little bit about the One World Doll Project and how it was born?
Stacey: The dolls are multicultural dolls that strictly cater to minorities. This vision was born after I created the So In Style (SIS) line at Mattel. This is a line of dolls that have different skin tones and represent us. I found my purpose through this project. I received accolades at work, I was featured on BET’s My Black is Beautiful, JET magazine, I got speaking opportunities, and on one occasion I was invited to Hampton university on UNCF’s Empower Me Tour. It was around this time that I realized my purpose was to encourage and inspire young girls, offering them dolls that represented them, while being a mentor. I couldn’t move forward with just being a doll designer. I knew my vision was bigger than Mattel. I wanted to mentor and create cultural dolls, but had no idea of how to bring it to pass.
While I was at Hampton I met Trent Daniel, who is now one of the partners for the One World Doll Project. We had conversations, talked about my vision, and ultimately (months later) the project was birthed!
Dana: Can you talk about the timing of your dream? Have things been a constant flow of productivity for you?
Stacey: I left Mattel on a Friday and went to work that Sunday. Everything moved fast, but by the end of 2011 there was a halt—money stopped (flowing in to the company). I didn’t know what to do. The year 2012 was dry as well. Things are just now picking up momentum again. It was hard on everyone, but Trent has kept us all together. My faith was challenged because I expected everything to flow without interruption. I felt feelings of embarrassment because I told people the dolls would be out by a certain time and they weren’t. The public was waiting for them, but now I understand I needed to have a story. I needed a testimony.
Dana: Please talk about resources as they pertain to your dream. Where did they come from?
Stacey: It has not been easy and hasn’t been what I thought it would be. I took from my retirement to live off of. I leaned on my parents. God is providing. I’m not getting a constant paycheck, but we haven’t missed a beat.
In order to create the dolls I networked. I kept in touch with key people who could help me. I called on all of my old contacts from Mattel who have now started their own companies.
Dana: Where does your support come from?
Stacey: My support comes from my parents, husband and children, sister, my brother, Pastor G and my One World Doll team.
Dana: What keeps you inspired?
Stacey: I know this is my purpose, and I want to leave a legacy for my husband and children. I want to create a Stacey brand, which is a brand that girls can follow behind.
Dana: How has your life been (re) prioritized?
Stacey: I have to be more disciplined about my time and home. This time has also helped me to focus more on family and my children. I know my children need me at home, so I make myself available to them when they come home from school. A typical day for me might be doing a speaking engagement, conference calls, responding to emails from our doll plant, researching and designing our next doll, then focusing my attention on what needs to be done at home. My time is flexible.
Dana: What is your vision for the One World Doll Project?
Stacey: My vision is to be a brand of dolls that empower girls to see themselves within a doll. It’s a fashion doll much like the American Girl doll. I want flagship stores, and want to create a movement behind the dolls, inspiring girls to create a movement. I see a cartoon, accessories, party goods, sheets—Huge! Universal appeal!
I pray Stacey’s story encouraged you to trust God with the dream/vision/passion He has given you. Trust that He will most certainly give you everything you need to experience success. Do your part by continuing to nurture what He has placed inside of you so that when the doors of opportunity open, like Stacey, you are well able to walk through them.
We wish Stacey McBride-Irby and the One World Doll Project much success!
To learn more about the One-World-Doll Project, please visit: http://oneworlddolls.com/
God Bless You!