Tuesday, February 17

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Taaluma Totes Backpacks

Taaluma Totes on Shark Tank

Backpacks Carrying A Country - Episode 617 - 2-20-2015

Limited Edition Backpacks from around the World
Taaluma Totes Backpack Owners
Jack Dufour and Alley Heffren
Traveling the World
 We know Taaluma Totes are custom Backpacks made with traditional fabrics from around the World, but what does Taaluma mean? Well, according to the FAQ on the website, Taaluma translates into "Culture of Swahili". The answer was still a little confusing, (at least to me) but thanks to Wikipedia, the Taaluma Totes Brand now makes perfect sense.

The entrepreneurs behind Taaluma Totes Backpacks are Jack Dufour, and Alley Heffren, who will be appearing on the Shark Tank in a Brand New Episode this Friday night, 2/20/2015. The young couple first met at Virginia Tech only a few years ago and now travel the world buying traditional fabrics from developing nations and turning them into back packs. Not just any backpack, but packs creating much-needed jobs here in the USA and several developing Country's around the World. I suppose lots of products could make the same claim, but how many give 80% of the purchase back in the form of micro-loans?

The Taaluma Totes Backpacks has created a business plan that keeps helping developing nations long after purchasing one of the products. When you buy a Backpack with fabric from let's say Guatemala, a big percentage of the purchase price goes towards a micro-loan to aspiring entrepreneurs within that same country. An excellent example, how Taaluma Totes is creating this never-ending stream of micro-loans, is a loan made to twelve hard-working women from West Guatemala. The twelve ladies known as the Jardan Group received a $4475.00 micro-loan the Taaluma Totes Packs helped financed in September 2014. Every month the group makes a payment of $373.00 for the next 12 months until the loan is paid back in full. Half the loan has been paid off at the time of this writing with the money going towards making more micro-loans in the future. So far, Jack and Alley have contributed to 160 micro-loans using this self-sustaining way to keep giving back long after you buy one of their products.

Taaluma Totes Backpack Reviews before Shark Tank Update

 The Mission Belt is another successful product seen on the Shark Tank also using KIVA micro-loans much like the Taaluma Totes. Interestingly, they never brought up this fact during the Show, even though this is their stated mission. Considering the micro-loans is a significant part of the overall business strategy, hopefully this episode will go into more detail how this continues to finance aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. It's a very interesting way to build a self-sustaining way to help other people for many years in the future. But getting a deal on the Shark Tank also requires a plan for the Sharks to make a profit when they loan money. Exactly what that plan is when such a high percentage goes towards micro-loans remains to be seen. No doubt Jack and Alley must have a solid plan, and we'll just have to wait until this Shark Tank episode airs this Friday night on ABC.

Buy a Backpack and carry a Country!
Taaluma Totes Website
+Taaluma Totes



  1. Wow @SharkTankSuccess! Thanks for the great writeup and awesome explanation! We're excited to explain more about Taaluma Totes to the Sharks and everyone watching Friday night!

    I want to clarify though that 20% of profits fund a microloan in that tote's country (rather than 80% mentioned). I think it will all make sense after Friday. Looking forward to "seeing" everyone then!

    -Jack DuFour
    Co-Founder, Taaluma Totes

    1. Call Paul Nolde at New Richmond Ventures and ask for a meeting. Feel free to say I suggested he see you and I am texting him that NRV should look at you.

  2. Wish I could give them -5 stars. Ordered 5 backpacks they charged my CC $275 after 2 months no product and no replies to many emails. No customer service at all. Stay far away from them. I guess the Sharks on Shark tank saw thru them.