Our Bonnika Story
Our collection of beautifully handcrafted rag dolls is created around the concept of family the bond that ties us together and through which a special kind of love and sense of responsibility are expressed. Gifting a Bonikka doll to a young one in our lives, conveys our enduring love for them letting them know we will always stand behind them in their journey through life… just like family!
Bonikka addresses a universal need we all have for someone familiar to share experiences with, confide in, and provide comfort. The term familiar, from familiaris in Latin, literally means "to be like family”. Bonikka dolls are about exactly that; each doll is a friend, waiting to be adopted by some special child as their favorite companion, ready to provide comfort whenever needed and remind them they are indeed deeply loved.
Bonikka Adoption Certificate
In accordance with Bonikka regulations, each doll must be officially adopted by the gift recipient. To do so, place your right hand on your heart and make the following declaration.
"Officially, and with all my heart, I promise to care for (Name I Give My Doll), my Bonikka doll, to love and treat her as family, share my secrets with, and include in my activities."
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 our dolls are made.
In the few years since the Bonikka range launched, Bonikka dolls have become and 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 us is how Bonikka dolls have become favorite plaything of more than 350,000 children around the world.
The Bonikka Family
As a family-owned and operated business ourselves, we feel a strong sense of responsibility to all those who are part of the dsl Lanka family, from the girls and boys who delight in playing with our products, many of whom consider them their favorite playthings, to our consumers and retailers across the globe.
But this sense of responsibility doesn’t just extend to the outside world, we make it a point to show the same kind of respect and fairness in our dealings to all those who ensure our success… from our more than 1,000 employees and factory workers, to our suppliers, distributors and sales representatives. Together, we are creating the heritage of Bonikka.
It is with this same family perspective in mind that we take a strong stand on Social Responsibility. We just think that’s the right thing to do. When you are a part of the dsl family, we want you to know we hold you in the highest regard.
BONIKKA® SHARE THE LOVE™ Caring for Underprivileged Girls Project
Because family means so much to us, our hearts go out to those who have no family of their own, and particularly to children who have been orphaned and might not receive the same kind of love and nurturing the rest of us perhaps take for granted.
It was with this in mind, that we established an alliance with Viharamahadevi Centre for Child Development Centre, an orphanage located in close proximity to our main factory in Biyagama, Sri Lanka. The facility is a non-profit organization serving the needs of girls between 05 and 18 years of age in providing food, housing and clothing for the girls under their care.
With each Bonikka purchase made, a portion of the sale is donated to subsidize the living expenses of the girls housed at this facility.