Like I blogged about earlier this month, the stories of entrepreneurship coming out of my home away from home, Blacksburg, are growing by the minute. It’s extremely exciting to see, especially on the national level. Last night’s episode of the popular ABC show Shark Tank is a perfect example of exactly that.
Jack and Alley’s company, Taaluma Totes, has an absolutely extraordinary mission, and I’m proud to have been a supporter of theirs ever since I learned about them back in 2013, and was introduced to their product directly through the Innovate community in 2014.
Their pitch is beautifully simple and is also close to my heart. During a trip abroad last year they ended up going to a local market and started checking out some cool fabrics. From there, Alley had a skirt made. Jack asked for a backpack. The rest is history.
What Jack and Alley do with the proceeds from their product is meaningful. They take the money and embody Ut Prosim in the form of a microloan to entrepreneurs in the same developing countries they procure the fabric from. From there, the beneficiary of the loan is able to use it to continue their business. Within the year, they repay the loan back to Jack and Alley, and then Taaluma Totes uses THAT money to purchase more fabric and make more backpacks. THAT is what I like to call “closing the loop.”
You can learn more about Taaluma Totes by watching their appearance on the show, from last night, below! If you’re interested in purchasing a pack, check out their website.