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June 22, 2024, 9:22 am UTC

Damali Gibbs, LLC L13000073311 | Government Grant Application

Damali Gibbs, LLC | Application Preview

  • General Information

    Business Registration Number: L13000073311

    Location: Cape Coral, FL, United States

    Length of Operation: 1-5

    Number of Employees: 1-10 Employees

    Annual Gross Income: Less than $100k

    Annual Gross Expense: Less than $100k

    Open to Loans: YES

  • Funding Usage

    We plan to use this funding to pay some of our past due bills, which include our website subscription and mortgage payments, in order to relaunch our website and restart selling to generate income and more positive cash flow. We will also use these funds to acquire more high quality materials and equipment to continue to create our unique handcrafted jewelry more efficiently to keep up with ongoing trends and growing demand, as well as implementing a more effective marketing and advertising strategy to increase our brand awareness. Currently, we work with a third-party distributor who imports goods from Africa and wholesales at an inflated cost. These funds and investments will allow our business to connect directly with the artisans in Africa and set up our own distribution channels through the free trade market, cutting costs while increasing our margins. Lastly, this much needed funding will also go towards providing our essential employees with a reasonable salary/paycheck in order to sustain the business and improve workflow functions, creating a healthier work-life balance for our dedicated workers.

  • Business Plan

    To start off, MaliMasani is a handcrafted jewelry and accessory business that uses high quality materials and natural gemstones, that draws inspiration from Africa and the islands in the Caribbean. It started off as a hobby of making earrings in the early 90s, and grew into a lifestyle jewelry and African essentials business that put emphasis on embracing African and West Indies culture in the USA. Our plan to grow our business in the next five years includes setting achievable goals, continuing to do extensive market analysis, and expanding our creative thinking in order to reach a broader audience and scale, as well as to solidify our foundation as a black woman-owned business. This includes continuing to develop a compelling and recognizable brand that resonates with our target audience by extending our current market research to stay on top of changing trends, competitors, and our expanding demographic. During this first year, we plan to continue designing a diverse range of high-quality jewelry and accessories for women and men of all ages, as well as curate handcrafted products directly from countries in Africa, including bags and clothing from Kenya, Ghana, and Senegal. We also plan to relaunch our e-commerce website which has been created 100% in house in a more efficient manner, and reimplement our multi-channel marketing strategy, which included social media and email marketing, to increase our brand visibility and attract new customers. Our second year will include more growth and expansion. This will be done by analyzing our sales data and customer feedback for possible refinement, as well as exploring options for partnerships with retailers or specialty boutiques which may help to expand our brand. We will also continue to optimize our e-commerce website while upholding our SEO strategies to improve organic search visibility, driving more traffic to our website. Year three will focus on our scaling operations in order to accommodate the growing demand. This will include streamlining processes and automating repetitive tasks to improve efficiency. We will also continue to explore opportunities for international expansion by researching overseas markets, becoming more inclusive to a broader target audience. Expanding our product line into related categories, including home decor, health and beauty products, will also be done in order to diversify our product offerings to retain recurring customers. This diversification will also be used to identify new growth areas. During year four, we hope to strengthen our relationships with our existing customers, while monitoring our competitor's activities and adjusting marketing strategies to maintain a competitive edge. We also plan to invest in more research and development in order to be more innovative as trends change anticipating future demands, creating new product lines or features that help to differentiate the brand from competitors. At the start of year five, we hope to continue to optimize our business operations in order to improve our efficiency and reduce costs as inflation rises. We will also implement automated feedback loops to gather insights from customers and employees for ongoing improvement of the business. This year will also focus on continuing to build trust and loyalty with our customers and partnerships to solidify our brand in the market. This will include forging more strategic partnerships with like-minded brands or organizations to amplify our brand impact and reach new audiences, as well as exploring more opportunities to increase our social responsibility initiatives that align with our brand's values. Of course, nothing is ever truly perfect, and plans may need to be amended; however, MaliMasani has the ability to establish a strong foundation and become a recognizable brand in the minority community worldwide, achieve steady growth, and position ourselves as a leading player in the retail industry while staying adaptable. MaliMasani started off as a earring making hobby in 1990 by a young, Jamaican mother named Damali, with four daughters in Miami, trying to create something for herself that was not readily available or accessible -- unique, handcrafted earrings that had the vibe, look, and essence of her home country and African heritage. She wore her creations during regular errand trips and always had woman stopping her asking about her earrings. This prompted her to start selling her designs at local craft fairs, and from there the business (previously known as DamaliJewelry) grew into more than just earrings, but also handcrafted necklaces, rings, bracelets, and even decorative pins. As a working mother of four young children, however, the business never truly took off from more than just a hobby. Although she never stopped creating, a regular 9-5 job as a teacher had to take the forefront in order to sustain her family's life. Fast forward to 2019, the business took on a new breath of life, and she changed the name to MaliMasani, created by taking the first couple letters from her daughter's name and combining them -- (Mal)ika, (Ima)ni, (Sa)fiyah, and me, her youngest daughter (Ni)a. After graduating from Ringling College in 2018 working professionally, I decided to quit my design job and work full time for my mother in order to make her dreams a reality. I designed the website, took all of the jewelry and advertising photos, created all of the social media accounts, and designed all of the packaging materials. Our business went from 0 followers and limited sales, to over 4000 followers and sales in just a few months of self-taught research and development. MaliMasani became my passion, and I poured my heart into everything I created for it. In the last five years, I grew more as a person and entrepreneur than I ever could have imagined, and I would not be the kind of person I am if I would have stayed working at my previous high-salary but low quality of life job as a designer. I have been determined to make this business world renowned and one of the most recognizable African American brands for jewelry and life essentials for new generations to come, because I did not have the same access to that growing up as a black girl. Investors should invest in me and my mother because we are two of the most hardworking and determined women in this business. Despite hardships life has thrown at us, we have not and will not give up on our dreams, because we know that we are capable of making it. With an investment in us, the sky is the limit.

  • Self Identified Competition

    Our top 3 competitors include: • D'iyanu - a black-owned company that celebrates African culture by creating African inspired clothing using African textiles and patterns. • Kendra Scott - a billion-dollar company that sells jewelry made from semi-precious gemstones and high quality metals. • Swahili Modern - a business that curates free trade products such as handbags, textiles, and home decor goods from Africa We are different from our top competitors because we can hit from all sides. Similar to D'iyanu, we offer African inspired clothing options for women, children, and men using African textiles and patterns. However, we differ from them because we also sell head wraps using the same patterns, as well as a wide selection of African inspired handcrafted jewelry and other accessories in order to complete the look, something that D'iyanu lacks. As with Kendra Scott jewelry, MaliMasani also creates handcrafted jewelry made from high quality semi-precious gemstones and sterling silver. We differ from Kendra Scott not only from being a minority-owned business, but we also have a more diversified selection of bold and eye-catching jewelry that emphasizes style, color, pattern, and overall good vibes that is accessible and affordable to all people. Kendra Scott jewelry focuses more on a minimalistic style that caters to a more trendy crowd, with immensely higher prices. Swahili Modern is an e-commerce business that primarily sells baskets, handbags, and home decor sourced from countries in Africa, that is stemmed from their wholesale business- Swahili Wholesale which we've done business with. However, they are not particularly focused on building a sustainable brand that is accessible to big audience. We believe that MaliMasani has a bigger brand capability that can reach a wider target audience and can be a one-stop-shop for modern African and Caribbean lifestyle essentials for the everyday person. MaliMasani currently offers handcrafted jewelry and accessories, clothing, handbags and baskets, and essential oils, and we are looking forward to expanding into health and beauty products with our developing in house natural toothpastes, deodorants, as well as our hair and skin care products coming in the future.

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