Pleasant Rowland – American Girl Doll



 Pleasant Rowland  an incredible entrepreneur and a woman of inspirations.   Pleasant  Rowland was born in Chicago and grew up in Bannockburn, suburb of north Chicago.    Ms. Roland taught elementary school for six years and then switched career to a t.v. reporter for a couple of years  and then follow by a career as a textbook writer and finally an entrepreneur. 

One day in the Early 80’s  Ms. Rowland visited colonial Williamsburg, Va and that was the beginning of a phenomenon.    In 1986 Rowland founded the Pleasant Company, which manufactures the famous American Girl dolls, each 18 inch doll from a  different historic era.  She believed what a unique and inspiring opportunity for young girls ages 7 thru 11 to incorporate fun, stimulate imagination while learning history through their dolls.   

Upon locating a German manufacturer and intensive research at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology led to prototype designs for the first three dolls of her collection.   In 1986, the first launched of her American Girl Doll collection was Kirsten, a Swedish pioneer girl in the 1854 era, Samantha, a wealthy Victorian orphan 1904 era, and Molly, a bespectacled nine-year-old in the waning years of World War II era.   Each doll came with a historical era story book, an audio cassette, and a detailed collection of optional accessories.  It was also the year of the first American Girl Catalog.  The American Girl doll were first available thru mail order catalogs.

The company grew immensely and other 18 inch dolls as well as Bitty baby and Girl of the year were added and many other cool accessories.  In 1998 Ms. Rowland sold her company to Mattel, the world’s largest toy company for a whooping $700 Million. 

In 2004, Ms Rowland founded Rowland Reading Foundation to promote Rowland Reading Program such as Superkids Reading Program which my daughter, Arianna  had enjoyed in her first grade class.


Leave a comment