The concept for Bonikka came out of a family tradition that originated in 1895 from a simple action with great significance. The great grandfather of a Sri Lankan woman named Mano Sheriff, initially gifted a beautiful porcelain doll to his daughter; Mano’s grandmother, as she left home to begin a family of her own.
Since receiving it as a gift from her mother, Mano has kept Monica, the precious heirloom doll, under her attentive watch. Generations later, as a Director of DSL Lanka Private Ltd., a family-owned and operated manufacturer of some of the world’s best soft toys and dolls, Mano was inspired by her family’s tradition. Through Monica, she has experienced the same sense of enduring family love and support as her grandmother did upon receiving it as a gift more than 120 years ago.
So moved was she by her family’s tradition, that Mano wanted to find a way to share this experience, but with younger girls and boys as they begin to understand who they are and how they relate to the world around them. So, Mano created an exceptional range of meticulously crafted, cuddly, and wholesome dolls called Bonikka, the word used for doll in the Sinhalese dialect spoken in Sri Lanka, where the dolls are made.
In the few years since the Bonikka range launched, Bonikka dolls have become an international phenomenon and are distributed in 8 countries (UK, USA, Italy, France, Spain, Lithuania, Australia, an at-home in Sri Lanka). While they have won numerous awards, what’s most important to them is how Bonikka dolls have become the favorite plaything of more than 350,000 children around the world.