Introducing Tribe & Oak
We are Taylor Tankson and Kareem Wallace, the founders of Tribe & Oak, a luxury home essentials brand. We are our community, Kareem grew up here in Brooklyn and Taylor is a transplant from Detroit who has been here for 7 years. We started our business during the pandemic out of a deep need for self-care, mental health and bonding as a couple. We were apart for about 11 months during the pandemic due to Taylor being on a work trip (in Australia) so we did many activities that we carried on upon her return.
One of them was candle making and we loved it so much that after perfecting our formulas and giving them away to family and friends, we decided to start a business. We wanted to bring luxury vegan, natural and sustainable products at an accessible price to the people in our community. We chose the materials for our products with pets and individuals with respiratory issues in mind.
We make candles with our signature coconut soy wax blend and use phthalate free fragrance blends with FSC certified wooden wicks inside recyclable glass jars. We also carry hand soap made with organic oils and essential oils, hand sanitizer that is 70% alcohol and nourishing using organic oils and essential oils that can also be used as a room spray, and reed diffusers using phthalate free fragrance blends, recyclable glass bottles and natural rattan reeds.
What struggles haven’t we faced, we started a business during a pandemic! We were both brand new to entrepreneurship and we researched everything. We are still a very new business so we are learning new things everyday but our biggest challenge has been growing our social media and gaining brand awareness. We have been posting on social media and also participating in local pop ups to network and spread the word of our brand. I think this is a common challenge for people who begin at zero in a niche where they aren’t familiar. We were lucky enough to find communities where there were no gatekeepers and people gave away practical knowledge that we benefited from. We found bloggers, youtubers and Facebook groups dedicated to our niche and researched and spoke to people and made sure we got everything in order.
Our advice would be to research, research, research. There is no room for ego and when doing something new it is okay to explore all options. We are a partnership so it is important to communicate and respect each other always. Also, use ALL of your existing skills, as you build a business you will be the photographer, designer, maker, research and development, packaging development, and all other jobs so use all skills you have.
We don’t have a favorite quote but overall, we practice gratitude. We are truly grateful for all who share our content, tell their friends about us, purchase anything, meet us at markets and overall wish us well. Always, always be grateful.