Join us in our journey to change the status quo of authenticity and integrity in goods and services.
Birth of concept: Junior year of college
During his second year at SUNY University at Albany studying Communications, Business, and Music, Fodé increasingly became more and more interested in the legitimacy of the “name brand goods” that society deemed to be quality and superior to other, not so well known brands. As a consumers he was conditioned to use his dove soaps, head and shoulders shampoo and vaseline lotion which caused his skin to be dry and his scalp to be malnourished. He thought these conditions were simply “unfortunate health conditions”. It was not until he began reconnecting with his cultural past–visiting Mali (west Africa) and breaking the mental chains of capitalism–that Fodé began appreciating the natural goods provided to us by nature. As he began to use naturals goods such as African black soap, unrefined Shea butter, unrefined coconut oil and more, he began to see a positive effect in his appearance, health and attitude.
This exposure ultimately inspired Fodé to promote and innovate natural goods in order to challenge the societal norms of trusting goods just because of their brands and not their ingredients. The concept of Fodé Naturals was conceived to positively influence the world into living in a more natural and sustainable lifestyle. From then on, Fode began experimenting with different natural ingredients to make convenient, wholesome, natural goods for everyday consumers seeking wealth.
As you all may know, there is a difference between having an idea and making that idea a reality. Fodé knew he had a great idea but the challenge moving forward was turning a dream into a reality.
Luckily, as a business minor, Fodé had access to different mentors and professors who are experts in the field of business and was surrounded by like-minded people who were also trying new ideas themselves. After joining an entrepreneurial development program called Blackstone Launchpad UAlbany, Fodé had the support and resources to put his idea on paper and drafted a business canvas model. Check out the original model HERE → The original business canvas model(2019)
Thanks to Blackstone Launchpad, and Richard Neff at the University at Albany, by Febuary 2019, Fodé successfully drafted a business model for Fodé Naturals and was the first student at UAlbany to set up an official pop-up shop at Blackstone launchpad selling his Shea butter moisturizer on campus.
Exposure/Testing the waters
After developing a business model and having beginning to make sales, Fodé became more excited about his idea and seeing it come to life was a dream come true. Fodé’s business mentor and friends advised him to pitch his idea to different platforms to get feedback and exposure. This endeavor was a new challenge for different reasons but luckily his discipline as a communications major came in clutch for the win!