Duebest™ began with two best friends over one bowl of egg noodles! We were at a restaurant in lower Manhattan when Daphne pulled out her own personal set of chopsticks. We never would have guessed that this small gesture would spark a whole chain of events!
One year later… here we are.
Co-founder/Dreamer/CEO: Daphne Sculac (left) has a background in Merchandising and Product Development. She’s had years of experience and knows what it takes to make a quality product and where to find the right resources. With her gained experience, she is now using her knowledge to source fair and reliable resources for Duebest™. She currently resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
Co-founder/Realist/Chief of Marketing : BobbiJo McCauley (right) runs her own graphic design consultancy. As a designer, she’s worked one-on-one with clients to build their brand and is now putting forth those efforts for Duebest™. She is currently based in Brooklyn, New York.
With Daphne’s background in product development and Bobbi’s background in graphic design, they make the perfect team! From two young girls, to Brooklyn roommates, to now business partners and the best of friends… both ladies have always been environmentally conscious and continue to do their best to make sustainable lifestyle choices. For them, saying “NO” to single-use-plastics was just the beginning. They understand that sustainable choices aren't always easy, inexpensive, or convenient. With Duebest™, they aim to change that by offering a compact set that’s easy to travel with.
November 2018: THE JOURNEY BEGINS
The idea is incepted. We decide we are going to create a Fair Trade cutlery set. Daphne and Bobbi have their first business meeting.
December 2018-February 2019: RESEARCHING MANUFACTURERS
We started by researching all of the sustainable wood certified companies and Fair Trade certified organizations we could find. We went to trade shows, local events, and emailed as many people as we could in the industry.
February 2019-April 2019: DESIGNING OUR OWN CUTLERY SET AND CASE
We didn't know that we would be designing our own set right off the bat, but we knew we wanted our set to be one-of-a-kind. It had to be unique, special, and handmade by talented Fair Trade artisans. We began designing our set with compact measurements to fit in a convenient case. We curved the handles so they would be easy and comfortable to hold. We added a serrated edge to the knife to easily cut food (it actually cuts meat too). We also designed the case with a tab closure so you can easily choose the utensil needed without having to pull out the entire set.
Never in a million years did we think we'd learn so much about wood, lol.
February 2019-April 2019: SEARCHING FOR A FAIR TRADE ARTISANS
We learned more about the World Fair Trade Organization and the importance of supporting Fair Trade artisans. Although it’s been the most challenging part of our journey, we knew it was essential to find a Fair Trade partner that truly cares about its artisans and always sources their wood sustainably.
We sourced samples from about 20 different manufacturers and artisans. It was incredibly hard to get our set to the right specifications and we were really starting to give up hope...
April 2019: WE FINALLY FOUND OUR FAIR TRADE PARTNER
After looking on the WFTO website we found a group of artisans in Bali, Indonesia called Mitra Bali. After spending months on sample revisions, we finally decided that they would be our Fair Trade partner. They matched our specs and were able to meet the quality needed for our reusable cutlery sets.
May 2019-October 2019: REFINING OUR SET AND ADDING PRODUCTS
Since May, we've worked rigorously on improving the quality of our set and testing it. We’ve also added other products to our Duebest™ brand, such as a Glass Straw Set and a Mesh bag!
October 2019: KICKSTARTER LAUNCH
We made it! We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved as new entrepreneurs. The support from our partners, friends, family, and other contributors has been amazing. We’ve worked really hard to find the right Fair Trade partner to handcraft our wooden cutlery and are beyond thankful for our artisans. Our fabric cases are made by our partners in China with a vetted factory, but our goal is to have all our products 100% Fair Trade. Please email us if you have any leads: firstname.lastname@example.org
We wanted to share our journey with you, not just so you know the challenges we’ve faced to get here, but more importantly, to inspire you and others to believe in yourself. We hope that you'll read our journey and feel motivated and hopeful that you too can accomplish anything you set out to do. Remember that every journey begins with a single step.
We believe in you, we hope you can believe in us!