A brand built to bless

$22,147 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 11 months
                                                                                                                                     OUR WHY

She awakens and begins to pray for relief.  Meet Ayalech:

She begins her climb up Entoto Mountain to begin a long day of work.  Her assignment? Gather eucalyptus, strap it to her back, and begin the treacherous journey down the mountainside. Her load will average out at roughly 100 lbs, weighing about as much as she does. Her day, is largely occupied by this task.  For her troubles, she’ll receive about 20 BIRR, the equivalent of $0.60/ day. Her hope?  Something other than this…

This story represents the hundreds of women on this mountain alone, thousands of women on this mountain range, and tens, if not hundreds of millions of women around the world subjected to back breaking labor simply to survive.

Hi - We are Nakisha & Ray Guzman, founders of Entoto Gear, named after the mountain above.  We are a socially conscious backpack and apparel company.  We are going to give Ayelech something other, we want her to thrive but we need YOU to link arms with us.

Our primary mission is to create opportunities for girls and women to thrive spiritually, economically and emotionally.

We will accomplish our mission by becoming a world class socially conscious backpack and apparel company.

Our first initiative at Entoto Gear is to lighten the loads that the women carry.  We've designed a pack that is literally going to help lighten their loads.  We are calling this pack The Purpose Pack.  The Purpose Pack is designed to shift the weight from the back into the lower body where more powerful muscles can better carry heavy loads. By shifting the weight the load essentially feels 50% lighter.  We want to give The Purpose Pack away to the ladies at no cost to them.  These women are Entrepreneurs choosing respectable work in order to care for themselves and their families.  Many of the women we interviewed from ages 20 to 60 have dreams of owning their own business and using their talents to do more but without the willingness of those more fortunate these women will not be able to recognize their dreams.

When you invest in our movement, YOU are creating global impact.  

Our goal at Entoto Gear is to use the profits from the sale of our products to cultivate strategic partnerships and creative initiatives that will empower projects, programs and people. 

Will you join us in lightening the load and creating entrepreneurial opportunities for women?

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" an African Proverb

Here's a snapshot of our timeline with future expectations:

·        Jan 2014 -Nakisha went to Ethiopia 

·        July 2014- Ray & Tori went to Ethiopia

·        Feb 2015 – Sold our homes & transitioned our life to be more liquid and have mobility

·        Jan 2016- Family Tragedy-Nakisha's grandmother suffered a brain aneurysm - all plans on hold

·        Oct 2016- Launched our B-corporation- Entoto Gear Inc.

·        Jan 2017- Began developing the business model

·        April 2017- Dec 2017 Partnered with engineering company to begin developing The Purpose Pack

·        April 2017- Dec 2017 – development and design of traditional backpacks and apparel

·        Jan 2018-Aug 2018 - Purpose pack prototype built, field testing on pack, continual feedback informing design needs

·        Sep 2018-Launched Crowdfund Campaign

·        Oct 2018-Production of Purpose Packs and Core Collection of Backpacks

·        Dec 2018 – Jan 2019 Shipping, product delivery

As you can see we haven't given up on our dream and we aren't giving up on the women who need us.

Here's is where YOU come in:

Our goals is to raise $50,000.  For one person this is a lot but as a pioneering team I know that this can happen in the blink of an eye.  We can't do this alone.

We need your help in order to go deep and wide.

"There are those that will go.  There are those that will send.  There are those that do both!" J.P.

Many of you already know us.  Some of you don't.  For those that know us - you know that when we get passionate about something, we go all in.  As an Army veteran & homeschool mother of five daughters, 2 with special needs and one in college, you know that I (Nakisha) wholeheartedly believe in seeing women thrive.  I've been labeled the squeaky wheel or the barking dog because I refuse to give up.  You know that Ray is a business leader, Army veteran, community advocate and marketplace leader.  We are asking that you help us to continue building.  Will you help us?

We also know that YOU the individual taking the time to read this has a dream to leave a legacy and a desire to create sustainable change in our world.  There are many opportunities for you to use your buying power to treat yourself to something awesome.  We hope that you will use your power to not only treat yourself but to empower a life in the process!  Become a part of our story.  Make your mark on the world by immortalizing yourself a strategic pioneer in Entoto Gear's women's empowerment movement. 

We believe in the power of community; help strengthen that belief for us!

We deeply appreciate ALL donations.  We believe that everyone can do something.  No amount is too small because every dollar is a building block!

For all donations over $200 you will receive one of the pioneer collection backpacks (please ensure your email address and address are correct)!

For all donations over $500 you will receive one of the pioneer collection backpacks plus a special gift!!! (please ensure your email address and address are correct)!

We need champions like you to help us spread the word.  Share the link, inspire others to get involved and do it often. 

Together, we can changes lives for women globally. 

Let's use social media to help this campaign go viral within our circles of influences and across the web!

Thank you so much for praying, reading, sharing and supporting!

The Entoto Gear team!
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Hello EG family,

I hope this email finds each of you well. It’s hard to believe we’re three weeks away from the start of Q2, 2019. In our last update, we indicated that we’d be traveling to Ethiopia to distribute the first Purpose Packs. I’m excited to tell you that we have recently returned from Ethiopia and wanted to provide you with a brief update about the trip and about other EG related items.

• In late February, we traveled to Entoto Mountain to deliver a couple of Purpose Packs. It would be an understatement to say that they were both highly functional and well-received. The bags performed exactly as they were designed to! It was quite the moment for us given that we’ve spent four years on this journey. A fellow EG supporter captured footage of the initial giveaway in hopes that you would be able to experience it with us. We have secured a volunteer who is going to help edit the footage (we’ll share that via social media) but if you’re just dying to see it, and will extend a little grace to us about how badly we’ve edited the video, you can find the video below under "results". If you’re especially interested, we interviewed the two women and you can find that video below under "interviews". As a reminder, because of your support, 250 Purpose Packs will find their way to Entoto Mountain over the coming weeks. EG family, you did it!
• Continuing the good news, we’re also excited to inform you that the commercial laptop bags have arrived. We will be starting the Quality Control (QC) process soon. There are three types of bags and we have several hundred of them so it will take a little time to fully inspect each of them. Once the QC process is complete, we will begin contacting the supporters who are to receive a bag to see which bag they’d like to receive. Be on the lookout for an email from us soon!
• Now that the crowdfunding phase is complete, and the Purpose Packs have proven to be successful we begin the hard work of building an e-commerce brand. We are in the process of building out a new website with professional photos/videos (thanks to volunteers) to promote our brand and mission. We are very excited about moving into this next phase of Entoto Gear’s development!

We anticipate sending out one final update when the pivot to a traditional mission-driven e-commerce business is complete. It is our hope that you’ll join us in telling the world about it at the appropriate time. In the meanwhile, those who purchased a bag should expect to hear from us in the coming weeks.

In response to what we witnessed on Entoto Mountain four years ago, we stepped out in faith. We had no idea where all of this would go but we felt *called to action*. But it was your *faith in action* that got this project across the finish line. We hope the videos give you a sense of just how meaningful this work is to the women, it was amazing to witness it in person.

Thanks again for walking alongside us to get this far down the road. The journey is just beginning…

With love,

The EG launch team

Results: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FKY6LMDv4W-Y6cvnrYdLny1pb0nIConN/view

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Hello EG family,

I hope this email finds each of you well and off to a prosperous 2019! We wanted to take a moment to update you on the status of Entoto Gear. Before doing so, we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank you AGAIN for your support!

Over the past few months, we’ve achieved several critical milestones including: completion of the crowdfund, Purpose Pack design finalized, and the final laptop bag design completed (more on each of these in a moment).

• Completion of the crowdfund: We are humbled to have received the support of over 120 people. The crowdfund yielded $22,000 of support for Entoto Gear. On the surface it appears we did not raise enough to launch but then something amazing happened...
• Purpose Pack: After several iterations, including feedback received from prototype users in the field, we have finalized the design of the Purpose Pack. As we went to place the order to have the first 250 manufactured, a generous donor, who shall remain nameless (he hasn’t indicated we can reveal his identity), decided to pay for the entire order of Purpose Packs.
• Laptop bags: We have also finalized the design of the laptop bags that we will sell to fund our ability to continually invest in improving the lives of those we serve. We placed the initial order and expect the bags to arrive in the next few weeks. For those of you who purchased a bag as part of your gift, we will be shipping your laptop bag to you as soon as we receive them.
• Entoto Gear Foundation: During the crowdfund campaign we received feedback that establishing a not for profit foundation to complement the social enterprise would enable us to raise support from large companies, non-profits whose mission aligns with ours, and various foundations interested in our cause. Thank you for the feedback. We are listening and are pleased to announce that we have created the Entoto Gear Foundation!

Soon we’ll be traveling to Ethiopia to distribute a handful of the final purpose packs. The production run of 250 are currently being manufactured but we wanted to get some of them into action immediately. During our trip we will be capturing as much photographic and video footage as possible and will share that with you upon our return. It’s very exciting to think about how far we’ve come and where we hope to go with this effort.

Lastly, we’d like to close with something we were reminded of during the launch of Entoto Gear. As you know, we hoped to raise $50,000 to fully launch EG. Our entire family prayed multiple times a day for God to bless our crowdfund. Many of you joined us in our petition to God for our effort to be blessed. We launched the campaign and each of you jumped immediately jumped in as co-laborers with us. As the campaign momentum began to slow, we realized we were unlikely to reach our campaign goal. So, we prayed harder! And then the anonymous donor who funded the order of the Purpose Packs stepped in. We were amazingly humbled by it but also reminded that once again, we put God in a box. Rather than asking God to bless our vision - the very vision He gave us - we asked him to bless our crowdfund. We took the smallest box possible and put God in it. This experience has taught us a lot but one of the most powerful reminders, that we hope serves as a reminder to you as well, is that we serve a BIG God. We need not put him in our little limited boxes!

Until next time. Stay tuned! And thanks again for walking with us on this journey.

With love,

The EG launch team
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Thanksgiving is a day when we reflect on all of the things for which we are thankful. So it’s only appropriate that we post an Entoto Gear update today to our core group of supporters for which we are immensely grateful.  We are pleased to announce that thanks to YOU, we are one significant step closer to realizing our shared vision. We have ordered our initial inventory of bags, which we’ll begin selling in about six weeks – so be on the lookout for those!
We are also on the cusp of ordering the initial Purpose Packs which we intend to take to Ethiopia during our trip in February. We’ve been coordinating with our ministry partners there to create a distribution strategy to ensure the women who need Purpose Packs receive them!
We are quite thankful for your support and soon the women who receive Purpose Packs will be too!
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$22,147 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 11 months
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