A businesswoman has opened a children’s boutique in Islington selling custom made, handcrafted black dolls inspired by women in her life.

Sandra Monero, of Stoke Newington, launched Monero Kids Boutique after seeing an empty unit. After losing her mother, father and brother, she found making clothes therapeutic and decided to go professional.

Now her shop is proving a hit with the community for its range of eco-friendly, hand crafted children’s clothing, books and her most popular dolls called “gratitude dolls”.

“The dolls are named Monero Dolls and we do three, which represent archetypal women. My mother, Ellie is one, and it’s been like therapy making the clothes.”

Growing up as a woman of colour, who loved playing with dolls. Sandra felt like there was no doll that represented. “My dolls tell a story,” she says. “They have Afros, one has a beauty spot on her lip and another has a birth mark on her left cheek.”

Sandra now sells around 20 dolls a week after the word of her creations are spreading.