“Sometimes the best ideas are the most obvious, so why don’t they exist?”
My name is Farzana Rahman and I am the founder of The Desi Doll Company. I am mother to our daughter Zahrah and twin boys, Sami and Zain; my inspiration. It all started when my daughter was 2 ½ years old and I was trying to find toys that would help her to speak her mother tongue, Urdu. Failing to find anything, I embarked upon designing a talking Urdu doll myself.
It wasn’t long before I realised that there was a lack of language toys for the “Desi “ languages, ie. Languages spoken in the Indian sub continent – and so the project became to design a doll that was able to speak several languages. This was a huge project! And after 2 years working on and off the project I realised I couldn’t focus on this whilst working as well.
It was only after I had my twin boys in November 2006, that I decided to swap the world of Investment banking for Toy Design and manufacturing.
Realising that the language dolls was technically a very complex project and would take some time; I decided, in the mean time, to launch our Arabic/English talking dolls, Aamina and Yousuf , which went from design concept to shops in just 5 months, just in time for Eid 2008.
Selling and marketing the Aamina and Yousuf dolls became the priority and which meant, again, the language dolls are put on hold. Realising the lack of quality toys teaching children Arabic and Islam, other products quickly followed. The Arabic alphabet sound (and non-sound) puzzles followed in October 2009. The Mosque sound puzzle launched in September 2010.
I then wrote and published my first book, a children’s story sound book - “Don’t forget to say Bismillah” in November 2010.
Having many friends from the Gujarati speaking community, it was only a matter of time before I developed a Gujarati Alphabet sound puzzle – this proved to be one of the most challenging puzzles because of the number of letters.
Nevertheless the good news is that it will be available to purchase early July 2011.
I love wooden puzzles, and after the Arabic Alphabet and Gujarati Alphabet sound puzzles, I thought why not make an English Alphabet phonics puzzle. It seemed like a natural progression
My boys were at an age where they were learning to read and so these puzzles would come in very useful!
Aside from the 24 sounds of the English alphabet in My 1st English Alphabet puzzle, I decided to design My 2nd phonics sound puzzle, which further helps with combined sounds of 2 letters together.
A fantastic learning tool for any child learning to read … and as with all our products; another first of its kind.
I am very excited about the English phonics puzzles, as these will be Desi Doll’s first mainstream products and will be an instant resource for children, parents and teachers.
We are fast becoming recognized as not only toy manufacturers but educators too … educators who like to combine learning with fun play.
Desi Doll Company continues to grow its offering to parents wanting fun toys that take children away from computer screens and allow them to develop their core learning skills through old fashioned play, mixed with the added technology of sound and speech.
All products are created by us, inspired by the need to develop core learning skills and give children the stepping stones to further education, all through interaction and play.
Unique toys that make learning simple and fun … it’s a simple story really … but its been a difficult journey and one that was worth it as so many of our customers would testify to.