Our Fierce Humans


Sofi Seck - Founder 

Born in Senegal, Africa, and raised dually there and in St. Louis, Missouri, Expedition Subsahara Founder Sofi Seck considers herself bicultural. Embracing the vast differences between countries half a world apart, Sofi’s goal is to teach others about both cultures that she loves. As the company founder, Sofi designs​,​ plans and orchestrates all things Expedition Subsahrara, meaning she gets very little sleep.​ From website and product design, to product shoots, to artisan showcases (where is drives from state to state with Expedition Subsahara goods ​to showcase the goods) to shipping and customer care, Sofi does it all. She knows that all of the hard work will pay off when ​a ​STEAM school for girls provides a pathway to education for smart, fierce, amazing girls in Senegal. 

Karen Butterfield - Editor & Wordsmith

Missouri native Karen Butterfield is passionate about education. She believes the old adage that knowledge is power, and through that power —  paired with opportunity — children can realize their potential no matter their background. Karen is captivated by Sofi’s boundless energy and passion to create a school for girls, and has a desire to help in any way she can. A former newspaper editor, grammarian and self-dubbed wordsmith, Karen helps out in the writing department. Karen and Sofi have been laughing with (and at) each other since 2011. Expedition Subsahara is a natural extension of their friendship and enthusiasm for education.

Adia Ndor -
Merchandising and Curator 

Sofi’s aunt, Adia Ndor, is at the heart of Expedition Subsahara in Senegal. Adia oversees production of Expedition Subsahara products, making sure every piece of art meets the high standards set. Adia has a bachelor’s degree in business. In addition to her work with Expedition Subsahara, she manages a small shop in Dakar. Adia believes in the power of education and its ability to build young women and strengthen communities for generations.

Natti, Ami, Fatou, Sou, & Sofi - Artisans

Almost every basket on planet earth, is made completely by hand. Think about that for a second... In Senegal, basketry is an art that is passed down from generation to generation. The beautiful thing about all Expedition Subsahara products is that they are completely made by hand by a handful of artisans who are as passionate as they come about girls’ education. These women depend on their artistry to provide for their families, yet they delight in the thought of their daughters and granddaughters having opportunities they have not been provided. Without our artisans, there would be no Expedition Subsahara, and we are more than grateful for their dedication and passion to the mission.