April 1st, 2012
So much has happened since the last post. The most obvious being how much the political climate of Mali has changed. The country that has for so long been viewed as the model of democracy in West Africa, is now unstable after the presidency was overthrown on March 22.
I’m far from being an expert on the subject and I gain most of knowledge from various new sources. The following sites are a few that I have found to be beneficial:
So much has changed and so much is still to be determined. Obviously, from Sababu’s perspective, many things may have to change. Logistics, supply chain and many other things may be effected by the decisions made in the upcoming days and weeks. Our hope and prayer is that Mali would return to the stable country it once was and violence will subside. Not for Sababu’s sake, but for the Malians sake.
January 26th, 2012
I talk a lot about how empowering Africans preserves dignity and builds a sustainable, hope filled future. At the end of the day, what does that look like? It’s really just job creation and avoiding handouts that paralyze or create a chronic dependency. I could write a lengthy post here, but instead will just post a really intriguing graph that tells the story better than my words can.
January 20th, 2012
As we look to the future and decide on what different styles we want to offer, we are thinking that we need to offer a v-neck option. This would be for the regular weight shirts as well as the undershirts. For all of you hairy men out there, have no worries. The “V” won’t be so deep that your fur shows, I pinky swear.
January 11th, 2012
Join The Undershirt Club and receive 2 shirts in these Sababu made bags! African made shirts in African made bags.
January 5th, 2012
Next time you are at the store, take a gander towards the undershirt section and peak at who is buying undershirts. I think you will be surprised to see that more often than not, it’s women in the aisle searching for the husband’s undershirts. This has always been strange to me as I would venture to say that 99% of undershirts are wore by males yet they are purchased by women. This is why The Undershirt Club (TUC) exists. TUC allows women to bypass the undershirt section of the store AND make a difference. So, naturally it makes sense for us to talk about TUC to women.
We’ve started to tell women about TUC and, as expected, they are usually keen on eliminating “buy undershirts” on their to-do list and of course love making a difference. But, we would love for you to help spread the word about TUC for us as well. It can be Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, word of mouth or however you best see fit. The bottom line is, the more women we reach, the more of a difference we make. Feel free to guide friends, family, coworkers, pets, politicians to www.theundershirtclub.com and tell them to sign up for a free trial. Yes, it’s really that simple. Thanks in advance for making a difference!
November 20th, 2011
Those who signed up for The Undershirt Club gave feedback and while most of it was positive, we did receive some great suggestions. The number one improvement that was requested was “send fewer t-shirts……12 per year is just too many.” So, we listened. Members of The Undershirt Club will now receive 2 shirts every 3 months.
Another adjustment is the billing. We are now charging per month versus per quarter. The monthly membership is $5.95 per month.
And the last, and perhaps most exciting change is that we are offering a free one-month trial to The Undershirt Club. We are so convinced that you will fall in love with our super soft and comfy undershirts that we will ship 2 shirts to you and your membership won’t be billed until the 2nd month.
There you have it. 2 shirts, every 3 months for just $5.95 per month (first month free). All while making a difference!
April 20th, 2011
I’m not sure that any company functions on auto-pilot or cruise control although every entrepreneur optimistically dreams of it. A business with no turbulences would be boring anyways, true? Some days I’d agree to this. As of recent, I long for it.
1) Cotton prices are at a 150 year high. A year ago cotton was $.77/lb. Compare that to the current price of $2.44/lb and you can see why this is a thorn in our side. An increase like this demands prices to be raised on our product. Something a new company doesn’t ever look forward to. The bad news is many experts don’t see any relief in the short term.
2) Gas prices. Our t-shirt pipeline from Mali to Omaha isn’t quite finished so until then, we will use big boxes and a boat. Boats take gas and you understand where this is going…….
3) Civil unrest in Africa. We were using a company out of the Ivory Coast to make our fabric. The country is not stable right now after recent elections and so our fabric provider is no longer an option. Our contingency plan? We planned on using a company out of Nigeria. Bad news again. Recent elections have disallowed this.
T-shirts aren’t hard to make………if you have fabric. So, we’re back to the drawing board trying to work up a solution or two…………..
April 7th, 2011
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have told the Sababu story. Scratch that, I wish I had a subscription to The Undershirt Club for every time I’ve told the story. Forget that too. I wish I had a subscription for every time the story was told by anyone, not just me.
Here’s what we’re after. We’re looking for places like a local CPA office and a local law firm who says they love the story and want to tell it to others. We’re looking for advocates within companies/organizations to tell the story for us and ask for subscriptions. We give you the poster to hang in your lounge (like below), samples and subscription cards. The rest is up to you.
If you’re keen on advocating The Undershirt Club at your place of work, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for making a difference,
February 21st, 2011
Continuing with the “Meet the Linemen” theme that was started in late January, I want to introduce you to Emmanuel Thera.
Emmanuel comes for the “Bobo” people group and lived in the bush until he was 12. His dad, Daniel, was working for the government in various roles throughout Emmanuel’s childhood so they moved a few times. He ended up in Bamako and did all his schooling there. And, just as his father, he went to college to become an international lawyer.
Emmanuel’s role at Sababu is large. His official title is Manager of Inventory & Logistics, but his role extends much past this title. You see, besides his father, Emmanuel has been on board the longest with Sababu. For many, the ribbon cutting at the grand opening was the launch of something new. For Emmanuel, it was the summit of a mountain he’d been climbing for 18 months.
One of the most memorable stories about Emmanuel was during the 3 month employee evaluations. To gauge the level of respect for the management team and get true, honest feedback from the employees, we spoke to the employees in private and away from the management team. When an employee was asked what he thought of Emmanuel, his response was “I just don’t get him. He is a manager and I’m a guy from the bush who can’t read, I can’t write, I have no education and yet Emmanuel treats me like I’m a brother to him. I just don’t understand.”
This is Emmanuel.
A few facts about Emmanuel:
– 26 years old
– Has a side business of used car sales
– Favorite soda is Dr. Pepper