Podcast Transcript – Series TWO, Episode 33

Amira Rasool, the Folklore May 2021


Amira Rasool: [00:00:00] I would pick out my clothes for the first day of school. Like  weeks before We actually had our first day of school

[00:00:05] I never heard no much. So then going out into the world, I didn’t really accept it as an answer.

[00:00:11] School is about indoctrination and I, wasn’t the type of person who was going to just concede.

[00:00:17] No, I was the wrong crowd. Like I was the person that they told not to run with.

[00:00:23]the currency that black people have that cultural currency is valuable itself.

[00:00:28]I really like to have them designers tell their own stories. And that’s why we do a lot of content

[00:00:32]I’ve been saying like become that LVMH of Africa, where we are really owning the supply chain from beginning to end,

[00:00:39]scared money don’t make none.

[00:00:41] We’re valuable. And you’re not going to  ask somebody else for a discount at Gucci.

[00:00:45]Yeah. I like fashion, but I have to figure out a way for fashion to help empower my people in a way.

[00:00:51] Tell yourself in the mirror, like ain’t nobody doing this better than me, and then go make sure that that’s true.

[00:00:55] Dan: [00:00:56] What’s up Unfound Nation. Dan Kihanya here. Thanks so much for checking out. [00:01:00] Another episode of Founders Unfound, that was a Amira Rasool, Founder and CEO of The Folklore, an omni-channel platform that brings luxury and emerging designer brands from Africa online for the first time a mirror has that feelisness that just draws you in.

[00:01:15] She says it got her into trouble when she was younger. But I’m betting, it will help her succeed as a founder. She and The Folklore have been featured everywhere from Forbes and Fast Company to Vogue. And Essence, Amira has just recently completed the Techstars program here in Seattle. I sat down to talk with her about The Folklore and how she sees it as so much more than a fashion brand.

[00:01:34] Amira has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.

[00:01:36] Our episode is sponsored by The Plug. Sherrell Dorsey and her team are cranking out some of the most unique, insightful data and stories about black professionals and the black founder ecosystem. They have stuff you won’t find anywhere else, including industry briefs and member sessions with leading innovators to sign up, look for a link in the show notes.

[00:01:54] And please make sure to like, and subscribe the podcast we’re available anywhere you get your podcasts, even on YouTube. [00:02:00] And if you like what you hear, drop us a five-star review on Apple or podchaser.com and make sure to tell your friends about us.

[00:02:06] Now on with the episode,

[00:02:07] stay safe and hope you enjoy.


[00:02:20] Hello, and welcome to founders. Unfound, spotlighting, the best startups you don’t know yet. We bring you stories of exceptional founders from underrepresented and underestimated backgrounds. This is another episode in our continuing series on founders of African descent. I’m your host. Dan Kihanya. Let’s get on it.

[00:02:37] Today, we have Amira Rasool, Founder and CEO of The Folklore, an omni-channel platform that is bringing luxury and emerging designer brands from Africa online for the first time. Welcome to the show Amira. We’re super excited to have you on. Thanks for making the time.

[00:02:52] Amira Rasool: [00:02:52] Thank you for inviting me. I’ve been looking forward to this,

[00:02:55] Dan: [00:02:55] So let’s just quickly start off by helping the listeners understand what is [00:03:00] exactly The Folklore.

[00:03:01] Amira Rasool: [00:03:01] Yeah. So The Folklore, uh, as it operates today is a direct to consumer e-commerce platform, uh, that sells over 35 designer brands from Africa and the diaspora. Across men’s and women’s apparel accessories, home wares and beauty products. Our main function is to allow global customers to discover these highly scalable brands that they never knew existed that are sustainable, that are socially conscious.

[00:03:28]And then to be able to access these products in a very seamless manner, being able to know that the items are being shipped from within the U S so you get quicker delivery and then. Uh, being able to provide it in a very curated manner, uh, provide content that’s curated, provide apparel that you can or accessories that she can live in cities around the world.

[00:03:49] Uh, and so that’s really, uh, our main purpose and with what we’re able to do, you know, we’re making it easier for these brands to. Uh, globalize themselves and make [00:04:00] money from a global audience in a way that they have not yet had access to doing it. So it’s really about being able to economically stimulate the African economies and to be able to give these designers a chance to be on equal footing with a Western designers who have for most part dominated the luxury space.

[00:04:18] Dan: [00:04:18] I love it. I’m so excited. And the person who has recent African heritage, my dad is from Kenya. He fills my heart with joy to see the beauty of the diaspora being represented this way. But before we get more into The Folklore, let’s hear a little bit more about Amira. So tell us about where you from, where’d you grow up.

[00:04:39] Amira Rasool: [00:04:39] Yes. I’m from a very small town in New Jersey called South Orange. Uh it’s I like to say it’s small, but mighty because we birth some pretty, great people aside from we claim Lauren Hill, we claim Zach Braff,SZA is over on the right over there on Maplewood, which said he’d go to school with everyone who lives in Maplewood.

[00:05:00] [00:05:00] It was just, it’s like a really cool town to be in. Cause we’re about 30 minutes outside of New York. So, you know, most people’s parents work in New York. So we ended up spending a lot of time in New York, um, as kids. And we get the best of both worlds, like being in this like suburban space that was actually really diverse compared to most suburbs in the U S um, so, you know, we got to experience like these kind of like hippy adults who like move from Brooklyn, uh, with their kids.

[00:05:26] And now they’re settled in so, and south orange and. Very very liberal. Like there’s a crosswalk that has like the B colors are the gay pride flag. It was really cool. Like, I, I always say, like, I couldn’t imagine living in any other growing up anywhere else because it’s like, I got to go to soccer practice on the weekends and then I would go take FIT pre-college classes with like, My weird friends would put on purple wigs and black lipstick in the city.

[00:05:53] So I got to be like the varsity kid. And then also like the art school kid, I grew up there, [00:06:00] um, two over siblings. And then I just was between my mom and my dad’s house. And they all split my sisters and my dad were both. Where all three of them were lawyers and our mom was a social worker. So everyone has seen that.

[00:06:11] I was also going to become a lawyer, but I feel like very early on, people knew that I was a little bit too defiant. I was, uh, I was, I was a wild kid. So from a young age, I wanted to do my own thing.

[00:06:24] Dan: [00:06:24] Is that part of you think like, just basically who you are?

[00:06:28]Amira Rasool: [00:06:28] Yeah, knowing I did not like authority very early in school.

[00:06:32] I was just like, absolutely no way. Like I just questioned everything that people would say just because they were my teacher then we knew were right. So like when I’d asked to go to the bathroom and he’d tell me, no, I just didn’t think that that made sense because why would our bodies require us to go to the bathroom?

[00:06:48] I mean, they want to ask to go, I can’t go. Like I used to get in trouble for basically just like questioning adults. And asking why, which I think that is something that we need to encourage children [00:07:00] to actually lean into is why. And then adults actually giving them the answer, because just telling them to do something, doesn’t help them learn.

[00:07:10] So I was always curious and I think that’s probably how I ended up getting into the journalism space, aside from the fact that I just loved the Devil Wears Prada. And that’s like the movie that I watched all the time in middle school and high school, and I’d already had like an affinity for fashion. I would like pick out my clothes for the first day of school.

[00:07:28] Like even in second grade and weeks before it was actually before like, We actually had our first day of school wearing like fedoras and like pinstriped vests and stuff as like a second grader, you know, that’s kind of how I feel like, I, I think like it was in the cards based off with just how it was as a kid.

[00:07:44] Dan: [00:07:44] So you obviously had something in you for sure, but we know as. People of color. The reality is, like you said, sometimes there’s an over-indexed amount of pushing us down conform. So your parents or something must’ve been [00:08:00] in your environment that let you be this confident person. Right. Because what’s the Japanese saying the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

[00:08:08] Right. And so were your parents supportive of who you were and your personality?

[00:08:14] Amira Rasool: [00:08:14] Yeah. I spent a lot of time with my dad cause I was really into sports and he would bring me to all my sporting events and he kind of just let me do.

[00:08:23] Sometimes I make fun of him now, like you could’ve said, no, you actually should have said no, he was very much just like he would say something and then I’d be like, no, I’m not going to do it that way. He’s just like, okay. Like it, it was kind of one of those things where he. Uh, allowed us to fail and learn that way .

[00:08:43] So he would always give us his insight and if we chose to use it then cool. But if not, there was nothing, he wasn’t going to force me to do it. So like, when I decided that, you know, I want to get my, nose pierced in eighth grade. He took me to go get it done. Then I was [00:09:00] just like, yeah, you probably should have said no, but like, thanks.

[00:09:03] So, and then, you know, when my nose ring got infected, he just sat there and said it was all like a learning experience, you know? And also, I just never felt like I couldn’t do anything. And then he always just gave us everything that we wanted to like. So we were like, okay, I want to go to sleep away camp.

[00:09:22] I think find a way to make sure that we could do that. So I think it was also just, I never heard no much. So then going out into the world, I didn’t really accept it as an answer. I think that’s really helped me in business. I’m sure it’s hard for me to, um, but I think it has done more good than bad.

[00:09:39] Dan: [00:09:39] Well, I think it definitely liberates you. Uh, and it’s pretty obvious that the confidence is high that way. And I live in the space of entrepreneurship, which is, there’s a lot of self fulfilling aspects of if you believe it and you’re willing to put the work in it’ll happen. So, and the opposite too, if it’s like, if you’re a doubting it all [00:10:00] the way.

[00:10:00] Well, there’s an outcome there too. So tell us about like high school to college. Were you thinking about. Entrepreneurship, you obviously have a sense for fashion. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that, but was being an entrepreneur ever in your sights?

[00:10:15] Amira Rasool: [00:10:15] Yeah, definitely. I actually wanted to be an architect, um, like going into high school and I used to draw like these huge developments and I used to say, I wanted to like be the person who buys them and designs them.

[00:10:29] So I,  thought it was going to be the person who like came down to down south and like created these little like communities that they’ve been they’ve been popping up everywhere. Um, but then I failed algebra my freshman year of high school, and I thought that I needed to know algebra for, you know, being an architect.

[00:10:48] And then I found out apparently math isn’t that important. And I found this out basically like two weeks ago when I was interviewing somebody for the podcast. So now I feel like I’ve cheated myself out of my true destiny, but then when I was thinking [00:11:00] about, okay, like maybe architecture is not my thing then, because I can’t stand math.

[00:11:03] And I don’t like science and my math teacher played me at one round of my grades. I ended up having since summer school. So I really was good at English and I liked English and then I was good at history and I was interested in history and then I really liked fashion and. At the time blogs became very big.

[00:11:21] And so I decided to start my own blog and that’s kind of like my first orient touch viewership, where I created the blog myself. Like I named it Bobbie Austin’s closet. So that was like my fashion alter ego, Bobbie Austin. And I would write articles about,  my personal style and take pictures and get my friends to the pictures of me, upload it.

[00:11:41] And then I would either skip school or I was suspended all the time. So maybe I was suspended from school and I’d go over to, um, New York and interview people during fashion week and go to all these fashion shows like sending emails and try to get into as many shows as possible. So that’s all, that’s what I did throughout high school.

[00:11:59]Dan: [00:11:59] So [00:12:00] suspended all the time. That’s not usually something you hear from people. Was there a particular aspect of school that just frustrated you or, did you run with the wrong crowd or how did that happen?

[00:12:11] Amira Rasool: [00:12:11] No, I was the wrong crowd. Like I was the person that they told not to run with. Um, same thing, my friends, uh, no, I, I wasn’t like fighting or anything.

[00:12:23] I never got suspended for fighting. I just got suspended for like doing normal people things the way that, a lot of schools treat young black girls things that my white counterparts were either getting detention or getting nothing for. I was getting suspended for. So like I got suspended once cause I asked to use the bathroom.

[00:12:43] They said no. And I went to the bathroom, came back suspended. I got suspended because I had a cell phone out and he couldn’t tell it was my cell phone. I gave him my iPod and said he was like suspended. You know, all of these things where it was like, none of this stuff is necessary because it was lunchtime [00:13:00] and you suspended me because I had my phone.

[00:13:02] Like, these are all things that, you know, School is like about indoctrination and I, wasn’t the type of person who was going to just concede to these ridiculous requests. If it didn’t make sense to me, I wasn’t going to follow that. And I read a book a few years ago, um, the miseducation of the Negro and like, it talks a lot about that and a lot about how, the way that they treat black kids and how they treat us more like adults and how they villanize us.

[00:13:29] And so like, you know, these are all like harmless things that I did as a child. I wasn’t going around like punching people in the face or anything. I was just telling people, no, I think I got about four different times. Some it’d be like 10 days, 12 days at a time Just for saying no. Or if just being with someone.

[00:13:46] Dan: [00:13:46] That’s eyeopening for sure. You know, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, you know, these people are celebrated for think different and going against the grain and you’re right. And I obviously can’t completely [00:14:00] relate to being a black woman, but certainly being a black man, there are these different expectations to conform and knowing you as much as I do and seeing their personality.

[00:14:12] I could see how those oil and water don’t mix, uh, kind of thing. So somehow you, made it through that experience I guess. And, uh, went on to some great institutions at Rutgers , and, uh, in South Africa, the university of Cape town. What drew you to those places? And what was your thinking at that point?

[00:14:30] I mean, you started a blog, so, and it’ll be funny to, you know, a hundred years from now, people go, oh, it was Bobbie Austin, and there’ll be a, class in, uh, you know, some like modern American literature let’s see, what’s the mystery, the myth of Bobby Austin. Who, who was it really?

[00:14:45]Amira Rasool: [00:14:45] Because of how terrible my experience was in high school. I didn’t actually want to go to college  so I actually ended up dropping out my junior year to enroll in this program that he found for me, where I can basically go to county college and take [00:15:00] credits there.

[00:15:01] And then I get like a state issue diploma, high school. Yeah. So basically I did my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college in the same year. And so while I was doing that, I started this company called Midnight Marauders, uh, named after the a tribe called quest album. And I would just go to, um, uh, create a Shopify Shopify store.

[00:15:21] I would go to thrift stores, but I think it’s for like $5 and sell them for like 35, $40 online. Um, and so that was my first introduction to e-commerce. I’ve started interning at Cynthia Rally during that same time.  And I was in their e-commerce department. So I really got to understand like what it takes to have an e-commerce company.

[00:15:41] And I, shortly after I finished my first year at the county college, I transferred to a fashion school called LIM in New York. And so I was running the company out of there. And I had, like, my dorm was full of clothes and I was like sending things around the, around the country. And that probably made a couple of thousand dollars, but [00:16:00] the two years that I did it, but that was like something that I really got to see, like, okay.

[00:16:04] When I produce and I get money, like the blog was more of like a passion. This was more of like, I can make money off of being creative. Like I used to shoot, look books in Brooklyn and get people from my FIT college pre college classes to like come and be our photographers or our models. Um, and so, but I didn’t like being in a fashion school because I started to feel like fashion was kind of stupid.

[00:16:26] Like I liked it, but I didn’t think learning about it made much sense. And like I started around the same time. I’d read like the autobiography of Malcolm X and my dad was always like really into like black history and teaching things. And so I was just like, ah, I don’t think this is for, for me fashion school, like I’m interning all these places and that’s how I’ll worry about the business.

[00:16:45] So then that’s when I transferred over to Rutgers and, um, majored in African-American and African studies. And that’s when, like my whole world shifted and it went from like, oh, fashion is life. And like, oh my God, something didn’t show up. The world is coming to an end. And then I started [00:17:00] learning about like these people who I was never taught about spite the fact I would lived in this very liberal town again, like.

[00:17:06] Columbia High School, which is where I went to high school, extremely racist. Um, you could tell that bit, by the way, they treated me and then they didn’t teach us about our history. We probably read one book, two books from black people throughout my entire time, K through 12. And so it was just great to be able to like, read about my people and to see like our resilience and to understand like why I do things and how things that have happened in the past is still impacting us.

[00:17:31] Not even just from like a political or  social standpoint or from like a psychological and emotional standpoint, when you read things like post traumatic slave syndrome. So I just like became obsessed and like, all I read was like, I just stopped reading any book that wasn’t my black person.

[00:17:45] Like I basically re-taught myself everything that I thought I knew and that I learned in high school. And just became obsessed with like Nina Simone and, James Baldwin and the boys. And, and that’s where I really realized, like I [00:18:00] have a bigger purpose. Yeah. I like fashion, but I have to figure out a way for fashion to help empower my people in a way. And that’s when I started thinking about the folklore and that’s what brought me over to Cape town.

[00:18:12]Dan: [00:18:12] Wow.  This is a great journey and pretty unique, which is awesome. And it feels like you’ve, you’ve almost stood up and said, I’m going to use the system. The system’s not going to use me.

[00:18:23] I’m going to take advantage of the things that helped me progress and enrich me in the way that I want to be enriched. And not just conform, but, so I definitely want to hear about Cape Town, but we’re going to take a short break and we’ll be right back with Amira Rasool from The Folklore.


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[00:19:38] Dan: [00:19:38] So we’re back with Amira. How do you end up in Cape town? I’ve been to Cape town. It’s a beautiful place. It is very far away from just about everywhere. So how do you, how do you end up going to the university of Cape town?

[00:19:51] Amira Rasool: [00:19:51] I took my first trip to South Africa and Africa in general when I was a senior in college.

[00:19:57] And I just fell in love with Cape [00:20:00] town. I fell in love with like the creative scene. I fell in love with nature for the first time. So I was never a nature kid. I would sit, we can’t play like we have electricity in the cabins. Um, but yeah, I fell in love. Like I started hiking and just, you know, hanging at the beach and I just really loved also like connecting with.

[00:20:18] People from all over the continent, because Cape town, South Africa just in general has so many people from around the continent that lived there. so I just ended the music and the food and especially the fashion, you know? Cause I was still interested in it. I had done all of these internships now, like Mary Claire, Women’s Wear Daily, The Theater, like I’d been at all these fashion magazines.

[00:20:39] So of course when I’m there, I’m like picking up all of these little things and thinking about ways to write about them. And so I left and then I just kept thinking about like, How do I get back there? How do I find a way to live there and be like, like consistently? Yeah, I just, I just was trying to figure out how to get there.

[00:20:56] And so I went back and I started working full time, [00:21:00] um, at V magazine as their fashion coordinator, right out of college. And , I mean, it was similar to school. I just wasn’t following anybody. Um, and, , It just wasn’t a fit for me. And I think very quickly, I just realized working for anyone else, wasn’t going to be a fit for me.

[00:21:20] So I started plotting. I was like, okay, you have this idea about The Folklore. You’re going to need to be in Africa to getting done because I had started emailing designers and stuff, and nobody was responding. Um, because it’s like, why would you respond to this like random American girl talking about, let me sell your clothes.

[00:21:37] So I applied to the University of Cape town to get my master’s in African Studies. Cause it’s like, great. I get to also like learn about something I’m already passionate about. Um, eventually get my PhD in African-American studies and like my post exit, you know, lifestyle will be like me being this really cool African-American studies professor with like really long gray locks and [00:22:00] like some like really fly stuff on.

[00:22:02] So that’s like my, my exit plan.

[00:22:04] Dan: [00:22:04] I’m seeing you, like, you know, you’re the successor to Cornell west, right? Like you do all these shows, you introduce these really profound points of view, you know,  60 minutes or whatever. So yeah, I could see that. I could see that

[00:22:19] Amira Rasool: [00:22:19] CNN to like call white people racist. When they do something crazy like that, that’s the goal.

[00:22:26] Dan: [00:22:26] This is really interesting too, because what I would have guessed beforehand was you went to Cape town, you got inspired and immersed, and it’s like, I got to do The Folklore. But what you’re telling us is it’s almost the opposite. It’s like you had this idea of The Folklore and started to poke at it.

[00:22:42] And you said, I can’t wade into the water. I got to dive in the deep end. And one of the ways I can do that is just to be on the continent.

[00:22:48] Amira Rasool: [00:22:48] I just moved out there. I quit my job and I moved up there and no family, no friends out there. I just went in the Airbnb and select, found an apartment, then just started going to school.

[00:22:59] And then while I was out there, I [00:23:00] started freelance writing for different fashion publications, like Vogue and Glamour and ID Magazine. And I started meeting the designers that way, interviewed them for these publications. And that’s how I got to know the designers built really strong relationships with them.

[00:23:15] And that’s also how I was able to help, like actually develop a business plan that catered more towards their needs. Cause I’d been talking to them about it. And so then after a while, if you’re getting to know them, I was like, Hey, I’m trying to do this thing. Like, would you be interested in doing it with me?

[00:23:29] And by then I built some level of trust and they knew who I was and credibility coming from a person who’s writing for all these publications. It would not have made any sense for me as someone who was born and raised in America that have created this without actually being there and giving them that face time and , in learning.

[00:23:46] Cause I mean goes to nothing about Africa and close to nothing about just like even help businesses down there. And also from a cultural standpoint, I didn’t realize how much I did not know until I was in my master’s courses. And like some of the most [00:24:00] brilliant people you will ever meet, they know like African culture plus they know European. Plus they know American plus they like, you know, I was just like, wow, .

[00:24:08] Dan: [00:24:08] I mean, I’ve been to, I’ve been to Kenya and I’ve been to South Africa and the taxi cab driver is more politically astute and knowledgeable than like some professors that I know in America. Right. I mean, everybody, there is very aware.

[00:24:24] Extremely insightful about what’s going on. You’re totally right about that. And I wish, I wish we could send every African American to Africa. Right. You know, we have these friends and they’re Jewish and their daughter who went to, you know, a pretty good college. And now she’s working in a Kibbutz in Israel, which, which is like this sort of commune slash volunteer kind of thing.

[00:24:50] And so she’s immersing herself in sort of the heritage and the culture, and you totally have a different perspective when you go there and come [00:25:00] back, you know, I’ve, I have cousins and so forth that have come, who grew up in Kenya and come to the United States. And they’re like, I didn’t really think of myself as black until I came the United States.

[00:25:08] I wasn’t who I was. Right. It wasn’t a thing. Right. And so it’s such a different perspective that I can totally understand how transformative that must’ve been for you.

[00:25:20] So let’s talk about the folklore. Yeah. So obviously the idea had been percolating, like tell us about what was, what was the moment when you said, okay, this is, this is what I’m going to do. This is going to be something that I’m going to pursue.

[00:25:33] Amira Rasool: [00:25:33] Yeah, it was before I actually left. I’d taken some time off between me  leaving my job and then going to South Africa had about a few months where I sat around and I watched the Married to Medicine from the beginning and wrote my business plan.

[00:25:53] I was like writing to write into and doing all this research. And, um, then I went and took a trip out to, [00:26:00] uh, to Thailand and then I went to Bali. Um, and that was definitely like an experience where I was able to also just like, breathe and think then like traveling something I do a lot of, and I love traveling.

[00:26:10] So then it also like just reaffirmed, like you could do this all the time. If you have a company that is. Based in Africa and like, you know, you can just be traveling and enjoying yourself in this way. It was a little bit unrealistic for me to think that I would be, this is going to be a fun traveling job.

[00:26:27] So I was just like, okay. I knew that I was going to UCT to be closer to these designers to make sure that I can, I could watch this. So I ended up launching it as a beta. In September, 2018. And like, I’d come back to the U S to do like a little pop-up shop in New York to announce it and have like, have Vogue do like the premier article.

[00:26:45] Uh, and I was doing it by myself for the most part. Like I had a few friends that I tried to join and help, and then, you know, fall out, just be like, oh girl, I’m trying to go to a party. Like, you know, those first, like I would say like 12 to [00:27:00] 16 months, I was just doing it by myself. My mom was in New Jersey.

[00:27:04] Shipping the products. When I went back to South Africa, because I was still a master’s student plus to survive all the freelance writing. So it was kind of like I had three full-time jobs and you know, it wasn’t dedicating as much time as I needed to for The Folklore to succeed. And I was just like, No really.

[00:27:19] It’s just, when I, when I graduate, I’m going to be able to like really do this full time and like take this to another level. But these next few years it’s going to be like research and development. But seeing who are the people who are interested, you know,  trying to see if all of the market research I did, if it’s, if it’s true, this is the actual audience seeing which brands work with brands don’t before we get to a point where we have a larger audience, and then there’s a large population of our customers that don’t like the brand.

[00:27:46] And I could have avoided that. So really just doing a lot of that kind of work, uh, how we were communicated to really creating the brand around it. Because I think one thing that I had to really face was that a lot of people don’t associate Africa [00:28:00] as luxury. They don’t, you know, think of Africa and think of luxury.

[00:28:03] So I had to basically combine like the aesthetics that I grew up around and that, you know, I really liked a lot from the west. With the aesthetics of what these designers were doing in different areas of Africa and basically be able to make that appealing to global audiences. And I think that that was something that I did really well, which was I wasn’t trying to sell Africa.

[00:28:26] I was selling products from Africa and I could have spearheaded this company and this aesthetic with designers from anywhere around the world. But the reason why I’m doing this is because I want to work and support my people, you know, so really making sure that like, Even in the messaging. I wasn’t trying to like be exploitative about how I communicate the brand’s message.

[00:28:46] I really like to have them designers tell their own stories. And that’s why we do a lot of content with our designers. And that’s why we host our podcasts. And you have Q and A’s with our designers. It’s all about letting them tell their stories.  And then letting the artists and creatives who [00:29:00] inspired them tell their stories as well, so…

[00:29:02] Dan: [00:29:02] That’s brilliant. Yeah. I mean, I think people obviously talk about media and content and community today as sort of part of the playbooks from a lot of startups, but, you know, you’re bringing sort of these two worlds together in ways that haven’t really been done before. And so storytelling and believing in, you know, the designer  as a person and.

[00:29:24] What they represent. And what they’re passionate about is I think a part of what you were, right. I mean, obviously the fashion is, is on point and it’s aesthetically, as you said, serves that aspect of it. But I, I do see one of the strengths of The Folklore is that it has this story associated with it.

[00:29:45] Right. And not in the sort of like, You know, late night infomercial let’s give 20 cents to the starving kids kind of way. It’s definitely not that. Right. Which I think is great. That you’re intentional about that. Right. But more about like, these are people, the world is flattening [00:30:00] and we should, we should have access and they should have access to this market.

[00:30:03] Yeah. So you did your sort of bootcamps with like working at an e-commerce company. You did all this work with in sort of the fashion world and the fashion media writing and being around fashion. Obviously you have a, a fashion, , instinct yourself. But as I think about your business, tell me about like what what’s been the bigger challenge, the downstream market of, like you said, trying to figure out how to create a brand.

[00:30:27] That resonates in this sort of luxury trend oriented world or the logistics of working with designers in different places and shipping stuff, because you carry inventory essentially, right. And make it easy for the designer essentially, and for the customer that way. But you take me on that burden, but that is a burden as a company. So which of those has been sort of the bigger challenge, the logistics upstream or the market development downstream?

[00:30:55] Amira Rasool: [00:30:55] Yeah, the logistics has been the most difficult thing because [00:31:00] when it comes to shipping out of Africa, it’s like ridiculous. I assume because there’s less flights coming out of Africa an insane surcharge.

[00:31:10]How do you expect people there to pay $150 to ship one box? And you’re only charging somebody in America who makes two X, three X, what they’re making like a quarter of the price.

[00:31:21] Um, and so that’s something that, you know, we’re still working to solve and talking to some shipping couriers right now about it, you know, when I think about even our pricing, a lot of luxury pricing is based off of the reputation that the company has. Th that that label has like the cache of that brand.

[00:31:41] It’s not because it costs them a lot of money to produce it. It cost them millions of dollars to create the marketing campaign. And it costs them millions of dollars to keep their branding pristine, but it might’ve cost them 20 $30 to create that one piece And the thing that’s different about what we’re doing is [00:32:00] we’re actually pricing based off of the high cost of actually having to export from Africa.

[00:32:05] So it’s like you’re getting prices and they, and they might be complimentary to some of these Western brand prices, but it’s not because we just want to charge you a bunch of money. It’s also because there’s,  way more value in what’s being done. The value is in most of the products they’re sustainable.

[00:32:19] So most of them are handmade hand dyed hand-stitched. Some of them are traditional practices that have been passed down from generation to generation. That is not going to be duplicated they’re in small quantities that you have that exclusive edge to it. And then on top of that, they cost a lot for it to be shipped.

[00:32:36]It costs a lot for it to be photographed, especially when I’m doing it outside of we do all the time being all of these things in New York. So we’re still, we’re paying your prices. The designers are paying these local inflated prices. And so when we actually you’re tallying up all of these costs, we’re putting a price on that.

[00:32:53] That, yes, it, we also want to keep up with the luxury price point and we’re conscious of that, but it’s really the [00:33:00] true value of these garments is the, it’s the fact that there’s a story behind them. Each collection from a designer has like a really great story. Whether it’s based off of a vacation nature, you know, or a memory they had growing up with their grandmothers.

[00:33:12] There’s also a cultural element to it. There is, it has a deeper meaning than just like putting a celebrity in the clothes and saying, Jan Dorsha now, you know, um, the currency that black people have that cultural currency is valuable itself. Um, and so.

[00:33:30] You know, we’re, we’re also tagging that on to it as well. So yeah , the operations, there is a lot more difficult because of the way that the goods are created and the way that they’re exported. Um, that’s something that we’re going to have to, you know, continue to deal with and have to address in order to continue scaling the amount of products that our designers can produce.

[00:33:53] Dan: [00:33:53] Yeah. I don’t envy that is, it’s not trivial for sure. So tell me about like , where the [00:34:00] folklore, where does it stand now in terms of growth or, or footprint or, or number of designers or anything you want to share about sort of, where is it today?

[00:34:09] Amira Rasool: [00:34:09] Yeah. So right now we have a little over 35 designers.

[00:34:13] We introduced BB and homewares, uh, back in 2020. So I’m still a small team, six, six of us, small, but mighty, but it is better than just me and my mom. She had to go back to their regular job.  and. You know, we’re, we’re really focused on scaling. Now. I took a hit during COVID, uh, where I basically just cut all of our expenses, even like those $5 subscriptions.

[00:34:39] I got rid of like 10 of them. And they basically just said, if I could just get through it, then I’m cool. Like, I don’t need to make any money right now. Like, I don’t think too many people are making money. So, you know, after we got through that period, we had just been seeing since, um, and it’s, and it’s been great to see that.

[00:34:57] Um, and it’s directly linked to the team, [00:35:00] me being able to bring in some really great people who know way more about certain things that I do, um, and who are really lent to have ownership on, like, this is your department, you know, come up with a strategy presented to me. And if you can convince me, it makes sense, then go with it.

[00:35:13] You know, there’s a lot of exciting things that we’re going to be able to do now that we have this great team. Uh, we launched our partnership with Farfetch, uh, in November where we actually. Work with them to bring more designers from Africa and the diaspora onto the platform. So we’ll have about, I think, 10 to a dozen brands.

[00:35:32] This season, the new styles coming in within the next few weeks there. Um, so starting to do more partnerships like that. That’s, you know, one giving these designers more eyes in the global market, and then also just providing more opportunity and more channels to make money. We want you to see it’s just the beginning.

[00:35:51] We want to expand into the really. But I’ve been saying like become that LVMH of Africa, where we are really owning the supply chain from beginning [00:36:00] to end, and being able to build the infrastructure only allows these brands to work really well with that’s the work well with people and be able to take advantage of other opportunities they would not have otherwise been able to do.

[00:36:12] We want to see these brands having a legacy of their own, you know, when Alexander McQueen passed away, the brand didn’t die with him. You know, they, they had somebody else coming in. Like we want people to be able to have those legacy grants in Africa that you see like Mexico. So it could be, you know, Sonya or orange culture could be that Alexander way.

[00:36:32] So really helping in, in every aspect of that supply chain, to be able to make that a possibility.

[00:36:39] Dan: [00:36:39] Do you have exclusive relationships? I must admit, I don’t know enough about the fashion world and how that works, but do you have exclusive relationships with designers or partially exclusive, or how does that work?

[00:36:50] Amira Rasool: [00:36:50] We have partially exclusive relationships where we have select styles that aren’t sold anywhere else. So that’s kind of like, what, our specialty is,  we like to pick [00:37:00] the styles that other people don’t. So we have a customer who, you know, they are coming to us for their first day of work outfit, or so stand out at this wedding or like they like the statement pieces.

[00:37:11] They like the things that aren’t on the runway that you think that anybody but the model was actually going to wear. and so, you know, we kind of let everybody else get like those commercial pieces that, you know, those random t-shirts and things like that. And we focus on these like really high quality pieces that tell a story because our customer they’re living in Japan, shipped to Australia, we’ve shipped all around the world.

[00:37:33] They’re living in these major cities and they are artists, they’re entertainers. They are people in marketing and the creative industries, a lot of people in media.  Their whole life is about creativity wanting to stand out. Um, so we really focus on curation for that customer. And that’s what makes us very distinct from competitors.

[00:37:56] And even sometimes with the brand sells themselves on their, on their [00:38:00] website. They’re trying to make as much money as possible with their entire collection. We’re trying to make as much money as possible with the collection that fits for our audience.

[00:38:08] Dan: [00:38:08] That makes sense. So we’re going to take another short break and we’ll be right back with Amira Rasool from The Folklore.


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[00:39:14] Dan: [00:39:14] So we’re back with Amira. So you said you have a team now tell us about convincing those first couple of people to come on board. How did that come about?

[00:39:23] Amira Rasool: [00:39:23] The person has been with me the longest actually convinced me to let her on board. And it was a really great decision. I’m really glad she did that. She was pressing me, she showed up at a pop-up shop.

[00:39:33] I was doing that LA. Her parents are from Nigeria. She really just love what we’re doing. She was like young and hungry and trying to do more production. And she was like, let me like, do some production work with you. And I think she produced one sheet with me. Like working with her. And so I asked her to come on board as our digital producer, which is the role that she serves now.

[00:39:52] So she’s the one who’s picks all of the great talent and puts together all the photographers and all of those beautiful visuals. You see, she’s the one [00:40:00] behind it. I think one thing that she, found appealing was my aesthetic. I think a lot of people really like what I’ve created on a brand level and how I’ve been able to get it out there.

[00:40:09] So like pressing all that stuff is really hard when you’ve been featured by everyone, both our best company for them. That helps. Because people want to work for the company. That’s always in the press. So then the next few people was more. I want to do a lot of people. There’s a lot of people like, you know, I’m not paying a bunch of money yet because we haven’t raised a bunch of money yet.

[00:40:26] So  they really need to love the mission. And so the people that I find, I end up hiring thing that remaining with the company are people that. I don’t even know necessarily if they like me, but then they like what I’m doing. And they liked that I’m executing it at a very high level and that I have very high standards of how we do things.

[00:40:45] Um, and that, when I say we’re going to do something, we do it. And I think that, um, that has really helped a lot, like when I’ll say something in the media and then they’ll see it in a few weeks. Like, I think that people have confidence in my ability to execute [00:41:00] and then they have the passion is seeing it executed because they’re invested in these people.

[00:41:05] We have a lot of people who are first gen, like based in the UK or the U S that it’s like they’re in Nigeria. I mean, every December with their, with their family life. So it’s, it’s, it’s like a way for a lot of them came from these bigger companies where they’ve worked with the great luxury companies, but they weren’t feeling fulfilled.

[00:41:21] That’s like a lot of times when I talk to people, I do interviews. We’re doing interviews right now for two positions. And they’re like, I’m just burned out. Like I just don’t, I’m just tired of doing things that don’t actually, first of all, I’m just like enough, I’m like a number and I’m not really seeing the results of the work that I’m putting in.

[00:41:41] And then on top of that, the results are still very, like when you work with the folks that you directly see those results. Cause you. Carried out that project when Beyonce was so Maxwell at, you know, when she went to Johannesburg or that, uh, global citizens festival, you know, that was her team discovering new.

[00:41:58] So Maxwell on our [00:42:00] website and then new. So Maxwell gone from 2000 followers to 8,000 followers in a matter of weeks. I got to see that who’s brand that I found. I had no followers in that wasn’t a big brand in South Africa yet. And now seeing them at this stage where I’m like, okay, like, this is great.

[00:42:15] Like, I know I contributed to that and we get those moments daily, weekly, and I think a lot of people are attracted to that.

[00:42:22] Dan: [00:42:22] That makes sense. And yeah, not everybody’s going to be liked, but they obviously believe in you and they respect you and they see your authenticity. I hope some of them do. I like you.

[00:42:37] Amira Rasool: [00:42:37] I think I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, but I try.

[00:42:41] Dan: [00:42:41] You know, this is an interesting segue, right? Because I think the challenge that I’ve heard from a lot of the black women founders I’ve talked to is this expectation that women founders in general are going to be more conciliatory, I guess, is the big, fancy word for it.

[00:42:57] Right. And that ends up not being [00:43:00] necessarily the path to success. Right. And so I wonder, like in terms of your fundraising and, you know, sort of perceptions of the people that you deal with as a black woman, founder, and a solo founder, which again, is something that sometimes people have a sentiment around.

[00:43:16] Do you feel like you’re challenged more because of that?

[00:43:19] Amira Rasool: [00:43:19] I’m definitely challenged. I’m asked all types of questions. And then I think about it, like those people who invested in that start Bodega, like, I know you didn’t ask them any questions. You ask them this many questions you want to invest in that company as much due diligence, you could have asked anybody, you could’ve stopped at a bodega and asked somebody if that was a good idea. And they would have told you no., so I often think about like, The fact that there’s no way that they’re asking other people in these questions, like I’m asked if I don’t have enough black models on the website. They’re like white people wear this? For years, we’ve gone on these luxury websites and it’s been nothing but white models.

[00:43:53] And have you ever asked if this is something that non white people can wear? You know, so I’m asked a lot of [00:44:00] questions, the most of it out of ignorance, and it’s something that I kind of like, just roll my eyes. It is like, to me, it’s, I’m not about to get stressed out about it because that just means they’re not, they’re not the right people.

[00:44:10] So I think that when I originally had started raising capital, I was so into like, oh my God, please pick me. But now you can go in through Techstars and stuff like that. That’s given me a lot of confidence too, in a lot of tools and information that I did not know when I originally tried to go out and raised, uh, where I realized that this is an opportunity that I’m letting you in on.

[00:44:31] And it’s like, yeah, this is like, this is a mutually beneficial thing. So I’m going to go after you, but I need you to go after me as well. I’m like, so I think that I’ve definitely over the years, been more strategic in the way that I do things. Because I know what people are thinking, you know, what things are not going to work and what things will work for me.

[00:44:51] And so I don’t put a lot of energy into like going after funds that have invested in one black person or one fashion company.  I’m not going to [00:45:00] sit there and just like, go talk to them just for the sake of talking to them for a conversation like it. I value my time a lot, a lot more now. So I think that’s kind of like how I’ve been approaching things now is like, my time is valuable in this company is valuable.

[00:45:12] And so like, if you’re really trying to chat, like cool, like I’m going to value your time in your firm as well. But if not, like, let’s just agree. You’ll stay on my inbox.

[00:45:23] Dan: [00:45:23] That’s funny. Uh, so tell us about Techstars. I mean, one of the questions we’d like to get into is when you are a black founder, what are  the people, the organizations, the programs, the experiences, that uplift us.

[00:45:38] And so you actually went through the Seattle Techstars program, which is where I’m based. So tell us about Techstars and what’s kind of a couple of the major benefits of going through a program like that. And then is there like a big challenge that maybe you didn’t expect?

[00:45:53] Amira Rasool: [00:45:53] Yeah, no Techstars was amazing.

[00:45:55] It definitely changed how I am as a leader. The most rewarding part about it is the [00:46:00] knowledge that I received mostly knowledge about how to be a better leader, even like them giving us an executive coach for the entire program who have now hired to be, you know, my executive coach moving forward.

[00:46:12] Those are things that I didn’t even think about. Like, you shouldn’t get an executive coach because people can’t just keep quitting and I’m like, you know what, maybe I should get my life together. You know? And now it’s like, now I know how to hire, you know, of course it’s not going to quit if you’re hiring the right person and you’re treating them.

[00:46:27] Right. So now it’s like, I’m able to, you know, ask the right questions during the interview. I’m able to communicate with them in a better way. And just like people on my team just saw this shift from like one month to the next month of how I communicate, how I encourage the team, being able to have access to these leaders , being able to do mentor madness and people who are, you know, that give first.

[00:46:48] You know, mentality is really something that they don’t take for granted with Techstars. And so having people like you and having all the other mentors who were like, I’m sending out my weekly emails, encouraging me, or like saying, oh, I [00:47:00] can connect you with this person. I can do this for you. That network has been really great.

[00:47:04] Great for me as well. And the knowledge of like, this is what you don’t do when you’re raising, this is what you do. I was like, well, I was doing everything wrong. Um, so I really, I love learning. I’m like someone who I will go and ask a thousand questions. It’s probably like the journalist in me. Like I just immediately will start asking questions and I’ll write it down.

[00:47:21] And I’m someone who’s really open to change and things, if that makes sense. Like, I’m definitely like if a makes dollars, it makes sense. Like, cool. Like you’re saying that if I do this, that this will happen. Cool. Like, I’ll do it, you know, as long as it makes sense to me, if, as long as you can show how it happens.

[00:47:39] And I think that a lot of the mentors, a lot of people I spoke to I’d asked very specific questions. So I always say you get what you put into it. So like a lot of people would walk away from some mentor. That guy didn’t get much from it. And I’m like, oh no, I literally asked them. And I had them walk me through QuickBooks.

[00:47:55] You know, like there was something in QuickBooks that I wasn’t understanding. So. I every time I’m [00:48:00] involved in a program like this, I just make sure that I get every thing out of it, especially since I’ve given them a nice amount of equity about the amount, the milk, this opportunity, for instance, as much as I can.

[00:48:11] Dan: [00:48:11] And have there been other folks  or, experiences you think that have been specifically as a black woman, founder, maybe that you’ve said, wow, they really buoyed me and helped me move forward in these big leaps and bounds.

[00:48:24]Amira Rasool: [00:48:24] Yeah, no, they’re just an individual founders who really like sit down and talk to me like Cherae, Tastemakers, Africa.

[00:48:34] Yes. Yeah. So she’s, she’s a really good friend of mine. I like slid into her DMS. Cause I was like, here’s somebody from the diaspora doing something in Africa. Let’s like, hang out. And we like met at the house and just. Like became friends from there. Um, I just, I actually went to her house this past weekend for dinner, having those relationships and being able to text her and be like, what do I do for this is a partner meeting.

[00:48:56] What does that mean? Does that different muscles have a different deck? [00:49:00]  I call her like my sister, when it came to like raising capital, as she told me, you’re not raising enough and this is your cap. And I was like, Um, so just having people like her, and then just having like ad hoc conversations with people, like Naj from Ethel’s club. I just like being able to talk to women who are either the same level or who are, you know, maybe a little bit above me so that I can get like tips from them. Cause they’re more directly in the moment.

[00:49:27] So that’s been really great. So I think it’s been more at individual level and then I’ve met people even through things like Black Women Talk Tech, um, which was a conference that’s like the last outing I went to before the pandemic started. Um, so being able to find and meet people that way has been great.

[00:49:43] Dan: [00:49:43] Yeah, it’s, it’s so refreshing for me to see so many organizations and as Black Men Talk Tech and Founder Gym, and, and you’re in Atlanta, you know, the stuff that Paul Judge did or has been doing. So it’s great to see these nurturing environments. And if somebody [00:50:00] wrote a blog, I forget who it is, wrote this blog about how raising money as a, as a black founder is almost like the SAT.

[00:50:07] You know, if you live in the suburbs, you know, you’re paying somebody to teach you. And it’s essentially a game. I mean, yeah. There’s some brilliant people who can ACE it without studying, but most of us it’s like, you study enough, you’ll do well. Right. And you pay a lot of money to study. And I think as black founders, it’s like, we don’t know what we don’t know.

[00:50:24] And then we’re penalized for that. Right. Cause it’s like, you don’t have the secret handshake. Whoa. All of a sudden that’s like, I, I don’t even know why I’m talking to you. Right. Whereas like, You know, I thought like I’m building a cool business. I’m making progress, you know, like you said, you’re in like every media publication that most people would dream about being in.

[00:50:41] Right? So it’s like programs like Techstars and having mentors and some of these other programs. I think it’s so important too, to help give those little insights of like, yeah, this is what’s in their mind. And this is a way to sort of get past that and just have them focus on the beauty of your business.

[00:50:58] Amira Rasool: [00:50:58] Yeah. I mean that, twice as [00:51:00] hard for half as much is so evident in raising capital. Like people are asking me for like crazy month over month revenue. And I’m like, I just saw you invest in a pre revenue company and that person has way less experience, no press like, you know, so I’m seeing things where I’m just like, Nope.

[00:51:17] Don’t tell me I’m too early. When I saw I know how much that person is making because I spoke with them, and then I even find myself in certain spaces where I’m just like, how am I even in competition with them? Or like,  how are you putting you on the same level as them?

[00:51:31] Like, I’m, I’m doing way better than them. And I think that. We have to keep working that confidence level up and like, don’t allow them to put us in, that space when people tell me like I’m too early or something like that, I’m just like, you’re lying, but it’s okay. Like, you know, I’m not going to say that to them, but like, in my mind, I’m not about to sit there and convince myself that maybe I’m too early.

[00:51:51] No, you’re just, you just don’t get the vision. You just don’t, you’re not willing to, you know, I would say. Scared money don’t make none. A lot of these investors are [00:52:00] very scared and that’s why they have the whole FOMO thing. Like literally  they’re afraid and they’re going to go and jump in with a bunch of other people jump in.

[00:52:07] But like, I want the investors who like, don’t have to wait for other people to validate my experience. But I think that there are a lot of even, I want to say they’re even a lot of black led funds that. I’ve seen, don’t usually invest in black founders until they got white validation. And I think that that’s something that happens in a lot of different industries where like, okay, like once this person says you’re cool, like, okay, now you’re cool.

[00:52:31] It was like, brah I’ve been hittin you for like years. And now all of a sudden, like you can respond. Um, and so I think we have to also look internally too. That’s something that some of our designers have mentioned too, like locally, they’re not supported by some of their people until Vogue says they’re cool. And then all of a sudden locally there, they’re selling out.

[00:52:51] Um, and so I think that’s something that we really have to think about is like. Why do you value the opinion of outside people? And why is that going to be the thing that makes you [00:53:00] support your own people? Like we should be able to like see the beauty without being told that this is that it’s beautiful.

[00:53:08] Don’t let white people dictate what is good and what is bad and what’s valuable. And that’s a big thing I do, or I’m not going to change my prices. Oh, there’s so expensive. Yeah. But like we’re valuable and you’re not going to go and question or ask somebody else for a discount at Gucci. And so don’t, don’t come here and try to disrespect and be value what I’m doing.

[00:53:31]And that’s something that I’m really passionate about value.

[00:53:33]Dan: [00:53:33] I love that. And, uh, so eloquently put  you definitely need to be doing lots of podcasts and I love that you do your own podcast, cause your wisdom is strong. So to that end, we also like to ask, so the quintessential question, if you could go back in time, let’s just say maybe before Cape Town so you hadn’t really started to think about being an entrepreneur explicitly.

[00:53:55] If this Amira could go back and talk to that and Amira about the [00:54:00] journey of being a founder, what would you tell her?

[00:54:03] Amira Rasool: [00:54:03] To save more money. I didn’t matter. I’m going to have a little bit of money, but I didn’t have nearly as much say so I would, I would tell her like, be more realistic about. How long it’s going to take.

[00:54:20] I’m like super ambitious. So I’m just like, I made great stuff. Why won’t it automatically sell? Like I thought the date, I thought I didn’t have enough products. Like the day we launched, I was like, oh gosh, like we’re just going to sell out like Vogue’s gonna write this article and we’re not going to have any more clothes I had like probably too much skus.

[00:54:38] And I was like, oh man, like it’s gonna be terrible.

[00:54:44] Um, so yeah, I would tell myself, dude, You can plan as much as you want. And I’m like really crazy planner. I’m super organized, but you can’t get everything like right off the bat. Like you, it’s going to take twice as long in three X, the amount [00:55:00] of money that you than you anticipated. And to keep that in mind, and that doesn’t need to be less ambitious.

[00:55:06] That just means to be prepared for the unexpected and making sure that you’re able to reach those ambitious goals.

[00:55:14] Dan: [00:55:14] And if there’s other black women founders out there, what specific advice would you give them? If they’re starting their journey?

[00:55:20]Amira Rasool: [00:55:20] It’s all about confidence. I didn’t realize that a lot of people don’t have confidence until like I got older.

[00:55:27] I was just like, what do you mean? Like do it, like, you know, if you think the boy is cute, go ask him for his number, what are you afraid of? Um, and so I think that really like, even if you aren’t naturally a confident person practice in the mirror, it’s all about confidence.

[00:55:42] And it’s all about like, even being able to maintain that confidence in the face of all of these no’s, because you get a lot of nos and if you’re not competent, they can make you second guess what you’re doing with them. If you change a lot of things. Um, so it’s really about like going and tell yourself in the mirror, like ain’t nobody doing this better than me, [00:56:00] and then go make sure that that’s true.

[00:56:01]Make sure that you aren’t one stopping your stuff, because they’re going to measure us in a different way than they’re measuring everyone else. And it’s, and it’s unfair, but it’s also like, , make sure that you’re getting that when you know that your teammates better than that person find out what their valuation was.

[00:56:16] And 2X your valuation, like, um, really just owning that you were the best at what you’re doing. Anybody who is working with you or who partner with you, isn’t it. Investor, either getting in on something that you’ve graciously let them in.

[00:56:32]Dan: [00:56:32] Nice. I love that. Um, I’m excited. You got me all riled up to go and conquer the world.

[00:56:37]So how can our audience be helpful for The Folklore?

[00:56:41] Amira Rasool: [00:56:41] Oh, go buy some clothes. That’s that’s like the main thing that’s everyone drops a bunch of money on Gucci bags and stuff. Go buy your mom something nice. Go buy yourself something nice.

[00:56:51]And consistently make sure that you’re checking back and that you’re supporting not black-owned companies like mine and like so many other companies. [00:57:00] And if you are not necessarily a customer from the standpoint of our stuff is expensive, follow us on Instagram, tell people about us like us on LinkedIn, or Twitter put her followers and all of those places.

[00:57:11]And just show support that way we have incredible content. That we drop four or five blog posts a week, and then we have our podcasts. So like, even if you can’t necessarily purchase any products from us yet, um, you can still show your support in that way because you know, investors and partners still look at how many followers you have on Instagram and how many likes you get on your LinkedIn posts.

[00:57:35] So just showing up for us in that way, if you can’t show up as a customer,

[00:57:39] Dan: [00:57:39] I love it. And you want to share any ways to find out more or , what are your social media

[00:57:44] Amira Rasool: [00:57:44] handles? Yes, you can follow us on Instagram @TheFolklore. Twitter is the same thing @TheFolklore, and then you can visit our website and then thefolklore.com.

[00:57:55] And you can follow me at a Miura, a M I R a [00:58:00] R I S O L a on Instagram and on Twitter.

[00:58:04] Dan: [00:58:04] Nice. Well, this has been a great conversation. I could talk to you for another three hours. You have such a wealth of perspective, but, uh, thank you so much Amira for taking the time today. It’s been great.

[00:58:14] Amira Rasool: [00:58:14] Thank you, I really appreciate it.

[00:58:16] Dan: [00:58:17] We’d like to thank our guests, Amira Rasool and our sponsor of The Plug.

[00:58:20] This podcast was produced by me. Dan Kihanya.

[00:58:23] Our music was arranged by Michael Kihanya.

[00:58:26] Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or simply go to foundersunfound.com/listento. That’s listen T-O. And follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn @foundersunfound.

[00:58:37] Thanks so much for tuning in.

[00:58:39] I am Dan Kihanya.