Spotlight: Lotty Dotty Turns Paper Dolls into T-Shirts





Lotty Dotty

Paris is often considered the fashion capital of the world. But big name brands and runway shows are just part of the Paris fashion scene. The Paris scene has also inspired some smaller fashion companies, like Lotty Dotty.

Lotty Dotty is a kids’ clothing brand that has a unique line of interactive products. The company now sells its products online and in high-end stores around the world. Read about the inspiration behind these products and the brand’s journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.



What the Business Does:

Sells interactive apparel for kids.

Main Product:

The company’s patented paper doll shirt.

The company’s main product is a T-shirt that features a character the wearer can dress up with different 3D detachable outfits. Customers can purchase the shirts in different sizes and styles and then buy separate mini-outfits to dress up the shirts in different ways.

How the Business Got Started:

From an ah-ha moment while shopping in Paris.

Lotty Dotty’s founder Maya Persaud was shopping around Paris to find a gift for her niece when she came across some paper dolls with cute interchangeable outfits. She thought it would make a cute concept for a T-shirt, so she started developing the product.

Lotty Dotty

Biggest Win:

Being sold in high-end stores in Japan like Takashimaya.

Persaud says:

“It was a great honor for us and gave us visibility in a very high end market in a country that is known for setting trends.”

Biggest Risk:

Commercializing the adult line at the expense of the kids’ line.

Persaud explains:

“Luckily the Japanese and Italian adult markets liked our products. We eventually had to develop handbags and accessories for these markets which took focus away from our core product, T-shirts.”

But eventually, the Lotty Dotty team realized that the adult market for these products was more of a fad. So they returned their focus to the kids’ market and even developed some products for boys.

Lesson Learned:

Focus on one specific market.

When the company expanded to offer products for adults, it had to shift some focus off its kids’ line. But if she had it to do all over again, Persaud says she would stay focused on one market, kids in the U.S., until it was really well established.

Lotty Dotty

How They’d Spend an Additional $100,000:

Developing new products to commercialize.

The company currently features a few different characters on its shirts. But Persaud says she would like to buy the licensing rights to a few of her other favorite characters. Then the company could offer some more options for kids to dress up their favorite characters.

Favorite Quote:

“The only thing I can’t resist is temptation.” – Oscar Wilde

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.

Image: Lotty Dotty

5 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

5 Reactions

  1. I love the idea and I think they’d do great with a licensing deal of Disney characters. Then they could tap into the Disney princess craze.

  2. Aira Bongco

    Nice idea. I am seeing that character shirts or anything that has cartoon-like images on the shirt are selling. It is also good if the design is especially made by you.

    • Annie Pilon

      Yes, kids love being able to customize things. And if they can pick out their favorite characters and dress them up I think they’d really love that!

  3. Is this kind of the same thing as snapdolls made in Liberty KY?

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