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Hail to the (Plastic) Chief!

No recount needed-this presidential doll made her maker a winner.

By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Just another pretty face she isn't. Political naysayers'jaws dropped in June 2000 when Vanessa, one of five dolls in theGet Set Club collection, announced she would run against Barbie inthe 2000 presidential election. Vanessa is college-educated,entrepreneurial and African American. "We thought the idea wasa great way to [show] we were different," says company founderJennifer Baker, 36.

Intrigued reporters and consumers soon flooded Baker'sPhiladelphia company with calls for the presidential doll. However,there was no Vanessa for President doll to go with the campaign.Baker and her staff hustled to make the special dolls, eventuallyselling 1,700 of them. "It was so backwards, but it turned outto be such a success," Baker says. Vanessa's cabinetmembers, the four other Get Set Club dolls, also sold well and ledto a sales increase of 30 percent, with sales for 2000 exceeding $1million.

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