iBesties – dolls that help young girls dream big

Girls are bright, inquisitive and believe that anything is possible. But what they see in toys and media shapes their views over time. And it’s not always what parents might want. That’s why iBesties were created.

Sisters Jenae and Gina Heitkam have a passion to flip the table on the idea of “conventional” careers for women and show young girls everywhere that the sky is the limit. And they’re doing this by building a brand of toys and media that help inspire the next generation of female moguls.

iBesties: Middle School Moguls is a collection of books, dolls and online educational games that promote entrepreneurship and technology learning for girls aged six to 11. The dolls are based on the main characters in the book, who each have a special business or technology power.


Research shows that less than five per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Women are are underrepresented in technology careers, comprising only a quarter of computer scientists. iBesties aims to change these statistics by integrating the modern concepts of entrepreneurship and technology learning into the already established play patterns that young girls have with dolls, fashion, series books and online games – in a fun and innovative way.

How empowering is this concept? I just love that the dolls are not stick figures with huge chests and skimpy clothes; instead they wear fashion that is modest but fun. Each has a distinct personality and talent, with a diverse mix of backgrounds including bi-racial and single parent households to make them realistic and relevant for modern girls.

Before you get too excited, iBesties are not on the market just yet. They are in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign and they need our help. Go online to pledge your support by the end of July to see these dolls become a reality.

In the meantime, check some of our other previous posts that buck gender stereotypes, including this one about encouraging girls to love science and this one about how strong is the new pretty.

Kate Thompson

Kate Thompson

Just back from maternity leave, Kate Thompson is resigned to a house overrun by boys (3 kids, dog and husband). Existing in a phase she affectionately coins ‘monotonous chaos’, this stay-at-home-mum revels in moonlighting as a writer and feeling like a grown up every once in a while. A background in teaching and psychology, she entered parenthood confident she was up for the challenge, but now eats humble pie on a daily basis.

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