A Note From Our Founder….

 

 

We always say there are no bad days in Kenya. Last month, myself and the American Rhino team spent our time between Nairobi, for factory check-ins and summer product planning, the Masai Mara for conservation work, and more. It was a productive trip and we are excited to share the work we have done.

The first part of the trip began with meetings with each of our manufacturers within Nairobi. I am proud to say that American Rhino has moved 90% of production to Eastern Africa. The team experienced each step that goes into our products: the dying and weaving of the Kikoy, the assembling of the clothing, and the craftsmanship of the genuine leather. We can’t wait to start to release our new collections this summer.

Once we finished our business in Nairobi, the fun really began when we traveled out to the Masai Mara. The Mara is a large game reserve in Kenya that continues into the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Our time spent in the Mara was filled with awesome and inspiring game drives, conservation work and of course plenty of sundowners.

The Mara is a special place for many who visit and especially important to American Rhino. This has been where the American Rhino Foundation does most of our conservation work. In 2017, I had the honor of presenting the foundation’s first grant to the Mara Rhino Team. We provided them with all new ranger equipment: uniforms, backpacks, boots, and hats. The Rangers are very important to the reserve and we need to make sure that they are equipped to do their job properly.   

During this trip to the Mara, the team and I were able to reconnect with the Rhino Ranger Team and present them with a new conservation car. The car will allow the Rangers the opportunity to protect the land more effectively. Before they were patrolling the area about the size of Rhode Island on foot, now this car will allow them to cover more area in a shorter time and continue their work on protecting the wildlife from poachers.

American Rhino is focused on the protectors of the reserve, but also the leaders of tomorrow. The team traveled to Laikipia, Kenya where they gave out the second grant of the trip. The team presented Kikoy backpacks filled with school supplies to the students of Laburra School. We coordinated for the students to experience a beautiful game drive, where most were seeing rhinos and lions for the first time. It gave us the opportunity to teach the students the importance of wildlife and the need to protect them.

We can’t wait to share even more stories about our trip and stay tuned to see what is coming!

-Chris Welles

Founder of American Rhino