Baobab Clothing: The Shirt That’s As Good As New
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It’s no secret that the quality in the clothing industry has been dropping over the years. In the race to make their brands more acceptable and affordable for a large audience, clothing companies are starting to compensate for quality over price and quantity.
Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander III are two friends who decided enough is enough. Why spend loads of money on clothes with questionable quality that will shrink or fade after a few washes?
Brandon and Marcellus created Baobab Clothing to offer the consumers quality, design, and functionality while at the same time following their own performance luxury prin ciples. In other words, they found a way for active professionals to look their best throughout the day and not worry about wrinkles, odors, and stains.
Stick around to read all about how two creative young individuals reinvented fashion.
A Star-Aligned Partnership
Having started as an Advertising Account Executive with CBS Television Studios, Brandon Davenport has a rather rich professional career. In 2007, he challenged himself as a co-founder of Vesta Mobile Solutions, which led to quite a successful venture. The company was acquired by Aegis Mobile in 2010, allowing Brandon to further develop his skills.
This Morgan State University graduate with a BSc. in Finance, worked as a Product Manager for most of his professional career. But there is also another side to him than just business. Brandon volunteered for iMentor where he helped and mentored students to succeed in their academic life.
Marcellus Alexander III is a Business Management graduate from Hampton University. He spent his career in the digital industry as a Development Manager, but is skilled in more than just development management, boasting a set of digital, mobile, and email marketing skills, among a few more.
The individual business-driven paths of Brandon and Marcellus crossed in the early years of their professional development. They were both the co-founders of Vesta Mobile Solutions, and went their separate ways after selling the business, only to come together again and start a new adventure by co-founding Baobab.
We suppose working together was written in the stars for Brandon and Marcellus.
However, since they’re interested in many fields of business, both Brandon and Marcellus enjoy other engagements other than Baobab. Brandon works full-time for Shopify as a Senior Lead Underrepresented Entrepreneurs, while Marcellus works with Colgate-Palmolive on Remote Selling and Digital Capabilities.
Baobab Lifetime Promise
Polo shirts are a got-to-have item in almost every man’s closet these days. They are practical and may be used for sports, work, and leisure, making this shirt one of the most desirable clothing items. Problems arise when they get dirty and it’s time to throw them in the washer. They lose their shape or shrink, the colors fade, collars warp, and you might not be able to get rid of those annoying coffee stains. The result is a ruined shirt that’ll probably end in the trash.
Well, Brandon and Marcellus embarked on a journey to solve this problem in 2016 when they co-founded Baobab. Wanting to come up with the perfect Polo shirt that will be worn for a long time, they needed to arm themselves with knowledge and work on the prototype.
The preparation period lasted for a whole year. Firstly, both Brandon and Marcellus went mobile and browsed the streets, interviewing around 500 potential customers. The reason for their hands-on prowl was to get feedback on what people are looking for in a shirt and to pinpoint the problems customers are facing.
After the young men got the feedback they were after, Marcellus and Brandon embarked on the journey of figuring out how to create an undeniably better shirt and make it last longer. It required time and expertise to figure out a way to meet all the demands and create the perfect shirt.
A BaoTech Revolution
After long hours of work and no sleep for Marcellus and Brandon, one day things fell into place. With the help of experts, the two friends managed to create a fabric that is antibacterial, stain-resistant, color-retaining, and pre-shrunk by use of nanotechnology.
The Baobab founders invented a proprietary nanotech fabrication process called BaoTech that offers durability, softness, and luxury. It is this exact technology that wards off wrinkles, and stains, and keeps odors far, far away from the fabric. However, the fabric is not the only fascinating item the product has to offer. The catch with their polo shirt invention is the stay- flat-no-curl collar allowing you to look sharp at all times. Forget about that “bacon collar” problem that annoys all Polo shirt wearers.
Overflowing with creative juices, Brandon and Marcellus wanted to spice things up a bit and decided the make the shirt multifunctional by adding a hidden lens microfiber cloth. Since all of us use our shirts to clean our glasses or smartphone devices, Brandon and Marcellus decided to make things easier for all of us and sewed on a piece of microfiber cloth on the inner right bottom side of the shirt.
What’s in a Name?
The inspiration for the company name came from a tree that is native to Africa and Australia. Based on mythology, the baobab tree can survive for hundreds of years, and during this time, it feeds those that collect its water and fruit. Using the analogy, the Baobab shirts are meant to last for a long time, providing the user with the comfort and blessing of looking sharp any time, anywhere.
The company set up offices in New York where the whole story began. Wanting to test the reaction of the market to their product, they organized a pre-sale via crowdfunding, where they raised $32,000.
The company then decided to take its shot with Shark Tank, a business reality show, seeking $100,000 for a 10% stake in the company, but that deal flopped. It seemed like Brendon and Marcellus didn’t make quite an impression on the investors.
However, this didn’t discourage the founders from continuing their work. Like many other businesses, they also hit a minor setback during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not letting this “dry period” discourage them, they used the opportunity to manufacture protective masks and make at least some profit.
In 2021, Brandon and Marcellus managed to raise $104,000 through equity crowdfunding. Today, they are going back to their normal business and working on new things to expand their product list.
Baobab’s Future Ventures
Brandon and Marcellus are exploring new possibilities for expanding their business and placing it among the many successful million-dollar businesses. Although Baobab Clothing is present in 22 countries, its main markets remain in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Brandon and Marcellus’ brand is continuing to garner the attention of more fashion-conscious individuals worldwide, thanks to the hard work and sheer willpower of their 5 employees, headquartered in New York.
Both Brandon and Marcellus were pretty aware of what they are getting themselves into, having in mind fashion industry Goliaths like Ralph Lauren, Gap, and Levi Strauss, for example. The founders of Baobab knew exactly how difficult it would be to make a name for themselves, but their belief in the idea is what kept them from backing down.
There are rumors that the company is currently working on launching a Baobab T-shirt on the market, but we’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, you may or may not be a fan of the Baobao polo shirt, but we have to admit that Brandon and Marcellus did revolutionize the clothing industry. With their patent-pending invention, we now have a Polo shirt we can safely use to clean our shades or smartphone while also looking sharp.