Why Runako: When the Consistency is Right

This week I caught up with an old friend of mine from high school and as usual when old friends catch up, we usually get to speaking about the decisions we make as adults. We spoke for a bit and as I was reminding him that I am working on building Runako & Company, it got me really thinking why Runako?

Let’s start with a bit about me: I’ve been working behind the scenes in the music industry as a studio manager for Glenn Schick Mastering for about 12 years. I have assisted on album projects from artists such as J. Cole, Future, Chris Brown, Davido, 2 Chainz, Missy Elliot, Justin Bieber, just to mention a few. I also ran a boutique management and consulting company, where we managed Young Dro for a little while. I also did some consulting work for artists like Rich Homies Quan and YFN Lucci as a Digital Marketing Manager. While I still work as a studio manager, I shut down the management company, Tunnel Vision Management, last year to build Runako & Company one brick at a time.

Most of Runako’s customers know the story behind the creation and launch of Runako but there is an even deeper and more personal reason for me. Simply, I am deeply motivated by my daughter, Safari, and how she watches me. Now, I want Safari to always look at me as the first (and only!) man in her life. But when I say watching, I mean she gets to see her father in his best light. Without any planning, this company turned out to be something tangible that she can see, touch and be involved in.

Not only does she use the product but she has watched us build this company from the ground up. She was our human canvas, an early user of our butter until we got that consistency right. Her watching this process has been very important to me, because as a little black girl she gets to learn. She is learning how she can take her own passion, her ideas, apply them and watch what amazing results can come. She is learning she can do any of that, just by trying.

She is involved in almost everything the company does. She helps us prep for pop up shops and even helping us with packing products from shipment. I almost shed a tear when we launched our first visual campaign and she kept mimicking the part where I said, “don’t forget the elbows.”

Entrepreneurship is not easy at all, and no school system no matter what they say teaches someone how to be an entrepreneur. Along the way you’ll make mistakes, stumble, fail and pivot but somewhere within those processes, you’ll find success one way or another. But by being an apprentice, my daughter will always have an edge if she ever decides to follow the entrepreneurial path.

Even better we can probably build this company and she can be the CEO, who knows right? All I know, I get to make her proud.

Tawanda Kevin Gumbo is the co-founder of Runako & Company.

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