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!