Expedition SubSahara, an African traditional craft basket and home decorator brand, has piqued the interest of many viewers following its appearance on the popular television show, Shark Tank. With a focus on Senegalese culture, the company offers beautifully handcrafted products that showcase the rich artistic heritage of Africa. The brainchild of entrepreneur Sofi Seck, this distinctive brand aimed for a life-changing investment from one of the show’s savvy business moguls.
In a memorable episode from Shark Tank’s 14th season, Sofi presented her company to the show’s panel of investors, seeking $500,000 in exchange for a 10% equity stake. The pitch focused on her exquisite, handmade home décor products, as well as her passion for sharing African culture with the world. Sofi’s appearance on Shark Tank proved to be a significant opportunity for Expedition SubSahara, shining a spotlight on the brand and garnering attention from potential customers and investors alike.
Since then, many have wondered about the outcome of Expedition SubSahara’s Shark Tank journey, and how the brand has fared after its time in the limelight. As the audience eagerly awaits updates, it’s clear that Sofi Seck’s innovative venture continues to inspire curiosity and admiration from fans of the show and beyond.
About Expedition Subsahara
Expedition Subsahara is a company founded by Sofi Seck, dedicated to showcasing and promoting the beauty of African culture through various handmade products. The company is based in St. Louis, Missouri, but its roots go deep into Senegal, West Africa, where Sofi originally hails from.
Sofi Seck moved to the United States and attended the University of Missouri. However, she remained deeply connected to her Senegalese roots and the Wolof tribe, which played a significant role in shaping her vision for Expedition Subsahara. As a result, the company focuses on celebrating the rich artistic heritage of Senegal and Africa at large.
Expedition Subsahara specializes in handmade woven baskets created by skilled artists from Senegal. These baskets are more than just functional items; they embody the spirit and essence of African culture and art. Each basket is meticulously crafted using traditional techniques passed down through generations of Senegalese weavers, showcasing the artists’ talent and dedication to their craft.
In addition to woven baskets, Expedition Subsahara also offers a range of other handmade products, such as jewelry and home décor items. Each product is thoughtfully designed and exquisitely crafted, making them the perfect gift or addition to any home.
Through the sale of these unique and beautiful creations, Expedition Subsahara aims to empower the artists behind the products and contribute to the economic well-being of their communities in Senegal. Sofi Seck’s dedication to her heritage and passion for supporting the artistic talents of the Wolof tribe has brought a vibrant touch of African culture to the United States, while making a meaningful difference in the lives of the artisans she works with.
Journey to Shark Tank
Expedition SubSahara, a home decor company specializing in African traditional craft baskets and other handcrafted products, embarked on an exciting journey to the renowned TV show, Shark Tank. The company’s entrepreneur, Sofi Seck, was eager to present her beautifully crafted items that showcase the art and culture of Senegal, Africa.
In Season 14, Episode 4, Sofi Seck took center stage, seeking a life-changing investment from one of the formidable Sharks. With her passion and determination, she pitched her business to seasoned investors Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John.
During her pitch, Sofi confidently put forth her proposal asking for $500,000 in exchange for 10% equity in Expedition SubSahara. Each of the Sharks, including Lori, Mark, Kevin, Robert, and Daymond, listened intently and engaged in negotiations with Seck to assess the potential of her company.
The episode aired on October 14, 2022, and was broadcasted on the ABC network. Viewers tuned in to watch Sofi’s passionate presentation and follow the outcome of her negotiations with the Sharks.
Products and Prices
Expedition Subsahara is a unique company with a focus on handcrafted home decor products inspired by African culture, art, and traditions. Their product line includes a variety of handwoven baskets, coasters, placemats, and other home accessories designed to add a touch of luxury to any living space.
The company prides itself on creating products made from natural materials, including sweetgrass and recycled plastic. Each item is handwoven by local artisans from Senegal, showcasing their skill and artistry in the intricate weaving patterns evident in the final products.
The baskets form the core of Expedition Subsahara’s offerings. These handwoven baskets come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, offering customers a variety of options to choose from. Whether you need a large basket for storage or a smaller one for holding fruits and trinkets, there is a style to suit every need.
In addition to baskets, Expedition Subsahara offers a range of beautiful coasters, designed to protect surfaces while adding a touch of elegance to your home. These handcrafted coasters are made from natural materials and feature eye-catching patterns that reflect the artistry and creativity of Senegal’s skilled weavers.
Complementing the coasters is a lineup of placemats, perfect for dressing up any dining table or kitchen space. Like the baskets and coasters, the placemats are skillfully handwoven from natural materials and display a unique weaving pattern that elevates any dining experience.
Expedition Subsahara also sells other home accessories, such as necklaces and shoppers, which cater to customers seeking a holistic and well-rounded home decor experience steeped in African inspiration.
When it comes to the prices of these products, shoppers can expect a comfortable range from as low as $29 for smaller items like coasters, all the way up to around $200 for larger, more intricate baskets. This pricing variety ensures that there is an appealing option suited to any budget, allowing customers to enjoy luxurious, meticulously crafted products at an accessible price point.
Business Strategy and Success
Expedition SubSahara, founded by entrepreneur Sofi Seck, focuses on showcasing the rich art and culture of the Senegal community through their e-commerce platform. They primarily deal with African home decor and aim to sell high-quality products worldwide at affordable prices.
The business has adopted a strong retail and advertising strategy by creating a user-friendly website that effectively displays their products. With a combination of digital marketing and sales efforts, they have been successful in reaching a wide audience interested in their unique offering.
Through their online presence, Expedition SubSahara has managed to gain significant sales numbers, contributing to their overall success. This has led the company to reach a valuation of $5 million. While appearing on Shark Tank, Seck asked for a $500,000 investment for a 10% equity stake in the company, showcasing confidence in the potential growth of the business.
The company’s core team consists of skilled professionals, including a professional photographer responsible for presenting their products in the best light on their website. By doing so, they are able to attract customers and earn money through their e-commerce platform.
Expedition SubSahara’s business strategy emphasizes a focus on increasing sales while maintaining a healthy profit margin. They achieve this by keeping a close watch on their expenses, ensuring that their gross profit translates into substantial net profit. The desire for investment from Shark Tank demonstrates their ambition to expand their business and further increase sales and profits.
Their success can be largely attributed to a combination of effective advertising, continuous efforts to enhance their e-commerce platform, and maintaining strong relationships with their suppliers to provide quality products at affordable prices. As a result, Expedition SubSahara continues to be a thriving business in the retail space.
Community Impact and Goals
Expedition Subsahara, founded by Sofi Seck, is not only a business centered around decorative baskets but also works towards creating a positive impact in the Senegal community where these beautiful baskets are crafted. The company is focused on supporting and uplifting the community through various means, including education, community development, and addressing poverty.
A key goal for Expedition Subsahara is to enhance education opportunities, particularly for girls who often face barriers to access quality education. The company has dedicated 20% of its profits to funding scholarships for girls in science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM) fields. By providing these opportunities, the company hopes to create a bright future for the next generation and empower them to follow their dreams.
The skilled weavers who expertly create each basket are essential to the success of Expedition Subsahara. The weaving technique used in crafting these baskets is passed down through generations, making it an integral part of the community’s heritage. By supporting these weavers, the company helps to preserve their traditional art while ensuring a steady income that plays a significant role in fighting poverty in the community.
Moreover, Expedition Subsahara acknowledges the importance of sustainable growth for the community. Accordingly, the company emphasizes the utilization of local resources, such as grass, in making the baskets. This environmentally-friendly approach promotes the use of renewable resources, underscoring the company’s commitment to sustainable business practices.
To further extend its impact on the community, Expedition Subsahara has previously launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, significantly helping to fund the scholarships and expand the reach of their mission. Empowering the community and providing educational opportunities is crucial for creating a lasting positive impact, and Expedition Subsahara’s ongoing dedication to achieving these goals make it an exemplary business.
Market Presence and Growth
Expedition Subsahara has garnered a significant market presence in the United States and has been growing steadily since its appearance on Shark Tank. With a focus on intricately designed, hand-woven baskets and home décor items, the company has managed to capture the hearts of many fans who appreciate the masterful craftsmanship and rich cultural heritage behind each product. While the company faced challenges in getting endorsements during its Shark Tank appearance, it has flourished as an e-commerce business, expanding its product range beyond baskets to include storage hampers, decorative necklaces, and more.
In addition to its success in the American market, Expedition Subsahara has expanded its reach to Canada, gaining traction and an increasingly loyal fan base there as well. The company’s dedication to supporting the communities from which its products originate, particularly through its Storage Scholars initiative, has resonated with customers and inspired a positive brand image.
Expedition Subsahara has also managed to create strategic partnerships with companies like Woosh and The Foundry, helping to streamline their online customer experience and improve their overall market positioning. These collaborations have further facilitated the company’s expansion of its product line, allowing it to offer an even greater variety of high-quality, artisanal home décor items.
One distinctive aspect of the Expedition Subsahara brand that has charmed fans is the inclusion of the Ghia motif in their design repertoire. Such attention to detail, coupled with a friendly and approachable marketing tone, has contributed significantly to the growth of their customer base in North America.
Overall, Expedition Subsahara has experienced impressive growth since its Shark Tank appearance and has continued to evolve as a brand, consistently delivering beautiful, high-quality, and culturally significant products to its ever-expanding market.