The experience was crazy and incredible. It was the most intense roller coaster ride of my life.
First, I want to thank every single person who had any part in the experience, starting with the sharks – Lori, Mark, Daymond, Robert, and Kevin. They were passionate, kind, and freely giving of advice. You could tell they cared about the product and business by the way they listened to my story and asked questions. They made me feel welcome, comfortable and heard.
When it comes to the points we discussed during the show – In short, it was full of ups and downs. I wanted to tell the story of Expedition Subsahara, which is incredibly layered. Part of our mission is to create an inclusive brand that shares Senegalese culture with the world. Then, we have a second mission to build something bigger for the community we serve in Senegal – a STEAM school for girls. Finally, we operate a sustainable business that pays our weavers and everyone we work with fairly, and we want to be a part of the community alongside them.
All of this means we operate with very tight margins. We knew going in that getting a shark would be tough. If our missions create thin margins, that’s an exchange we are willing to make over and over again.
I started Expedition Subsahara with a friend, with $500 dollars and a dream. She left early on, and we have built it into what it is today. I say “we” including you. Without you as our supporters, our weavers who create these beautiful works of art, those who pack our products, designers, and others, we would be nothing.
So, what’s next?
We’re going to keep making happy baskets for colorful people.
We hope you stay on this journey with us, and that we continue to make you proud. We hope you continue to fill your homes with handcrafted goods that also do good and that one day we can build the STEAM school for girls in Senegal.
What’s next is what’s always been our north star, because until the lion can speak, the story will always glorify the hunter.
Now, hear this lion roar.