Founder of Sheni and Teni Folasayo Williams wants to diversify the children's market, creating fun and educational ways for children from all backgrounds to gain an appreciation of African cultures.
Named after her kids, the Sheni and Teni brand was created with the main goal of expanding horizons in the world of play and education through toys. She says "I would love to see images of black children - images that they can relate to and see themselves in - represented in good quality toys and books normalised in the marketplace".
She always loved jigsaws as a child, and when Sheni approached the age of three, she began to search online for puzzles but could only find brands which did not reflect the beautiful brown skin of her family. She thought she could create a fun, engaging and age-appropriate way of introducing children to African cultures and this was her main driver for designing the products.
She says "when Sheni saw the Yoruba image for the first time, he yelled "Look Mummy, it's me, you and Daddy" and that filled my heart with so much joy. It was probably the first time he'd seen anything close to his family set-up in a toy he could physically hold and play with".
Looking forward, Folasayo aims to build on the foundation she has already created, design and develop even more exciting products and create the bridge between play, culture and education.