Julz Chavez

40, creator and co-founder of San Francisco-based Get Real Girl
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2002 . Subscribe »

Description: Action/adventure line of ethnically diverse dolls

Start-Up: $250,000 in 2000

Sales: About $5 million projected for 2002

Toys for Tots: Growing up, Chavez didn't want to settle for what was being offered on the toy market, so she made toys for her brothers and sisters. "It was my own focus group," she says.

Barbie, Shmarbie: "When I was a young girl, I got a Barbie for my birthday," recalls Chavez. "I didn't like it and gave it back." After holding positions at several toy giants (including Mattel), she found no one wanted to provide an alternative to the shapely blonde. That all changed when she met Michael Cookson, former chairman of Wild Planet Toys, who became Get Real Girl's co-founder.

Modeled Citizens: Chavez modeled her dolls after the strong, confident characteristics of friends who have played sports all their lives, creating a multiracial line complete with a TV property. The company's board of advisors boasts 18 elite female athletes and businesswomen-chaired by soccer star Brandi Chastain.

Naysayers: Though pessimists spouted discouragement like, "Girls don't care about sports-only about glamour and hair" and "Girls only want Caucasian dolls," Chavez proved them wrong with strong sales for each doll.

Wise Men Say: When Chavez felt hopeless about the toy industry, her second cousin encouraged her to be patient. He knew exactly how powerful persistence can be-he was activist Cesar Chavez.

Contact Source

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

It Started As a Joke and Turned Into a Startup That Raised $1 Million in Funding