April 14, 2024

Folklore was founded in 2018 by Amira Rasool. Previously, Folklore sourced, shipped, and did last-mile delivery to customers in 20 countries including the US which did not allow it to grow fast enough.

As there was a spike in demand for fashion and lifestyle products, their sales hastened the startup’s shift to wholesale.

The Folklore Connect is a wholesale platform that provides software for diverse and sustainable brands in global markets to manage and scale their wholesale business and retailers with a marketplace to discover and shop these brands. 

They help retailers and the next generation of brands work together to provide customers with products they will love.

The B2B fashion and lifestyle wholesale platform was launched in the beta phase. It sells products at up to 30 fashion brands, including Rich Mnisi and Suki Suki Naturals, both from South Africa, and Orange Culture from Nigeria to 15 retailers in the US.

As of now, the startup works with modern fashion brands out of Africa that have a proven track record and can keep up with demand.

Folklore aims to provide the industry’s next frontier of brands with access to opportunities that encourage scalability and fuel them to compete globally and its vision is to see the brands sell their products in retail stores worldwide.

How it Works

Applications

The Folklore works to provide brands with an opportunity to be discovered by the top retailers on the planet without attending costly trade shows and market weeks, a simple way to digitally organize products, generate physical line sheets, set order terms, and arrange market appointments, and an all in one platform to receive and manage all of your whole orders and chat with retailers to organize a successful delivery. 

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Additionally, they provide retailers with a virtual passport to explore collections from vetted and high-quality brands without leaving their desks, a transparent and straightforward ordering process where you simply browse products, add them to a cart, and check out, and a card processing system that provides a quick and secure method of payment and avoids costly fund transfers.

Applications will be reviewed in the order they were received. You will be notified in 1-7 business days if you are accepted to join the platform.

Once your application is accepted, you will receive an email notification with registration instructions. Once you have registered, you are all set to browse brands and start ordering.

However, If you receive a notification that you were waitlisted, please don’t be discouraged or think it’s because they are not fans of your awesome retail company, and feel free to reapply again at least six months after submitting another application.

Folklore Connect 

The Folklore Connect is a wholesale platform that provides diverse brands in global markets software to manage and scale their wholesale business and retailers with a marketplace to discover and shop products their customers will love.

Folklore Retailers

Retailers pay no cost to join the platform and place orders. No hidden fees. Completely free.

Additionally, all retailers must apply using the retailer registration page to be considered for an opportunity to join the platform. Only retailers that are accepted will have access to view our brands and their products and place orders and they review applications on a rolling basis.

All retailers around the world are eligible to apply to join our platform. The retail categories we currently serve include men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, beauty, and homeware.

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Evaluation of Retailers

There are several factors they consider when selecting the retailers they invite to join the platform. 

These factors include: being in business for at least two years, verifiable history of selling quality and superior products and brands, and having contemporary or high-end price points. 

Although these are not the only factors they consider and they will occasionally consider retailers that do not meet all of the requirements, however, this is the primary way they evaluate.

Brand Categories

The brand categories they currently accept include men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, beauty, and homeware.

All brands on their platform are either based in an emerging market (Africa, South America, Asia, Caribbean, etc.) or founded or co-founded by someone of a diverse racial background (a person of color or POC). 

These diverse backgrounds include but are not limited to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander.

On top of that, brands can invite their current retail partners to have their applications fast-tracked using a special retailer invite link. Being invited by a brand using the platform will increase your chances of acceptance dramatically.

Founders

Amira Rasool

amira rasool

Amira Rasool is a writer, content creator, and entrepreneur currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. Amira is the CEO and Founder of The Folklore.

Additionally, she has worked for and contributed content to several notable publications, including V Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), The FADER, Marie Claire South Africa, and Milk.XYZ, Obsessed, and Blavity.

Investors & Funding Rounds

Techstars, Slauson & Co, Nneka Ogwumike.

The Folklore Group announced a shift from direct-to-consumer to B2B wholesale against the backdrop of a $1.7 million pre-seed funding, which the startup plans to use to fuel the growth of its new business.

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The funding round was led by Slauson & Co., a Los Angeles-based VC firm focused on early-stage technology investments, with participation from the Fearless Fund alongside other notable Black angel investors, including WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike.

The startup’s new wholesale business, dubbed The Folklore Connect, will link luxury fashion brands in emerging markets to bulk retailers in North America and, later, Europe.

 A spike in demand for the fashion and lifestyle products they sold also hastened the startup’s shift to wholesale.

The startup is also rolling out a new marketplace to be an affiliate partner of fashion brands or platforms, as well as The Folklore Edit, an online media site that will carry stories on fashion.

Additionally, The Folklore anticipates greater growth for the partner fashion brands and the group following the new business pathway and funding.

Main Competitors

Bloomscape: This is an online plant shopping platform.

SoleSavy: This is a step into a genuine collective sneaker culture.

LXRandCo: It is an expert in modern vintage luxury handbags and accessories.

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