BAOBAB is a polo shirt business founded by Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander III. They will be appearing on Shark Tank to pitch their business, in the hopes that an investor will help them expand their reach.
BAOBAB specializes in making polo shirts with added softness, durability and versatility. They also utilize special technology to prevent stains and wrinkles. Read on to learn more about Davenport and Alexander, their respective backgrounds, and how they plan to expand their business moving forward.
Here’s what you need to know about BAOBAB:
1. BAOBAB Polo Shirts Use Nanotechnology to Ward Off Stains & Odors
BAOBAB utilizes a special nanotechnology system known as BaoTech. It not only wards off stains, odors, and wrinkles, but it is impartial to coffee and wine stains. BAOBAB shirts also contain antimicrobial elements in their fabric, which means they can be worn 10-12 times before they require a washing.
The website states that the term “BAOBAB” is in reference to the tree of the same name. “Known as the Tree of life, the Baobab tree grows in Africa and Australia,” the site reads. “Legend has it that the Baobab tree can live thousands of years. The Baobab tree also provides nourishment to all whom collect its fruit and water. Just like the tree, BAOBAB Clothing Company has engineered and designed its shirt to be timeless with long lasting wearability.”
BAOBAB polo shirts come in short sleeve and long sleeve options. The former costs $88, while the latter costs $98, and both come in three variant colors: black, navy blue, and heather gray. Click here for additional costs and details about shipping and handling.
2. Davenport Worked As a Digital Acquisition Consultant Before Co-Founding BAOBAB
Brandon Davenport attended Morgan State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He then went to work as a digital acquisition consultant and product developer for several different companies. IRLCONN states that Davenport created his first startup, Vesta Mobile Solutions, in 2007.
Vesta Mobile Solutions is a provider of mobile marketing services that offers “mobile application and marketing services such as text-messaging campaigns for companies wanting to advertise on mobile devices.” He sold the startup in 2010. Davenport later served as a manager for mobile app products and user acquisition at Fortune 500 companies like DIRECTV and American Express.
Davenport currently works as the head of product marketing at PWc in addition to his work on BAOBAB. According to his LinkedIn, he has been there since June 2019. Davenport currently resides in New York City.
3. Alexander Was a Digital Sales Manager Prior to Heading BAOBAB
Marcellus Alexander III also has a background in digital consultation and marketing. He earned a Business Management degree from Hampton University in 2006, and has since gone on to head projects for several different companies. He co-founded Vesta Mobile Solutions with Davenport, where he specialized in managing a “profitable tech startup that helped generate incremental revenue for media companies and brands via our proprietary SaaS text message marketing platform.”
Alexander worked as a digital sales manager for Digital First Media between 2011 and 2014, where he says he “trained and managed leading team of account executives on digital strategies at all sales stages.” He also “grew overall brand and agency client billing revenue by 5x during tenure.”
Prior to founding BAOBAB, Alexander also worked as a digital media consultant for Hearst. His main focus at Hearst was to “generate new business partnerships with small to large size businesses that drive high ROI through comprehensive digital marketing campaigns.” According to his LinkedIn, Alexander currently resides in New York.
4. BAOBAB Was Founded In 2017 As a Polo Shirt Alternative
BAOBAB was founded in 2017 and launched in 2018. Davenport and Alexander were looking for a new business opportunity, and they both liked wearing polo shirts because they went well with any clothing. What they didn’t like was the poor quality of the polo shirts they were buying, and the dissatisfaction led to them creating their own.
Davenport detailed the inspiration for the business in his initial KickStarter description, and how he sought to provide an alternative to the traditional polo shirt. “BAOBAB Clothing Company was born out of our belief that people deserve better quality clothing,” he revealed. “National clothing brands are notorious for sacrificing quality to reduce their cost in order to make more money. In fact, most national clothing companies use a tactic called attrition which focuses on how quickly a customer will return to replace and repurchase a product.”
Davenport continued, citing BAOBAB’s mission as a brand. “BAOBAB’s mission is to offer exceptional products and unparalleled service to establish the highest possible value, trust, and loyalty to our customers,” he explained.
5. Davenport & Alexander Are Asking Sharks for $10K In Exchange for 10% of the Business
Between an IndieGoGo campaign and the aforementioned Kickstarter, BAOBAB has been able to raise $57,645. Davenport and Alexander are eager to pitch to Shark Tank, however, and take their business to the next level. In the promo for their Shark Tank pitch, the duo ask for $10,000 in exchange for 10% stock in the business.
“We are two hard-working professionals living in New York City who just love to wear polo shirts,” Alexander tells the panel. “It’s almost like our uniform. But we got tired and frustrated with how they failed us after only a few wears and washes.” Both Davenport and Alexander pitch the BAOBAB as the “perfect polo shirt.” Tune in to find out whether the Shark Tank investors decide to buy in!