Yelitsa Jean Charles has gone from not knowing how to do her own hair at the age 21 to teaching young girls all about their own.
While in her Junior year studying Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yelitsa redesigned the fairy tale Character Rapunzel as a brown girl with beautiful kinky hair. After speaking with classmates and friends. she saw the opportunity to address the demonstrated need for more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing.
With a grant from of the Brown University Social Innovation Fellowship, support from the RISD E’Ship Program, Masschallenge Accelerator program and 674 dedicated Kickstarter backers, Healthy Roots was born.
She was most recently recognized on Essence’s 2017 50 Founders to watch list and won the Startup Stampede as well as the New Voices Fund Pitch competition.
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