Ryan Westberg is the Co-Founder of Serengetee, a lifestyle brand that incorporates fabrics from all over world into their products. Since launch, he as been able to travel to more than 80+ countries around the globe.
Born and raised in Fairfield, CT his dream job as a kid was to live in New York City, wear a fancy suit and work on Wall Street. Even walking onto campus his freshman year at University of Arizona (Tuscon) he was unsure of what he was going to do. It wasn’t until he spent a semester at sea with 400 other students traveling to 13+ countries did it all come together.
On the last night of the trip he and his Co-Founder Jeff Steitz decided they were going to launch Serengetee. The plan was that they would sew the fabrics they had collected onto their clothes so that people could “Wear The World”. They also decided that they would donate a percentage of profits to organizations in the region where that piece of fabric was from. 6+ years later, they’ve expanded to more than just clothes and continue to grow with new products .
In this episode he discusses the hustle and grind it took to get to where he is today. Having their website crash 4 times because a product was featured in a Jimmy Tatro video. Helping Rosa, a Guatemala native get through high school and nursing school as she supplied materials for Serengetee. Redefining success as being in control of everyday and traveling more while giving back.
Check out the full podcast HERE
Podcast Outline (Time Markers For Audio Version Only)
Born / raised in Fairfield, CT. Mother worked in the school systems, father was an entrepreneur & one older sister (6:30)
Father played as a positive role model growing up. Taught Ryan work-ethic (11:45)
Growing up the dream job was to work on Wall Street (12:35)
Walking into University of Arizona (Tuscon) he was unsure of what he wanted to do (13:40)
Semester at Sea he traveled to 13+ countries with 400+ other students from all over the world (16:40)
The beginning of Seregentee “Wear The World” (21:35)
Traveling the world for fabrics and giving back to those places (24:50)
Getting the word out via Facebook. Friends + family changed their profile picture to the company logo. 1,000’s supported (28:00)
Unpaid internship Mon-Fri, Serengetee at night, train back home every weekend to bartend while living in NYC (31:30)
Jimmy Tatro (early YouTuber) wore Sergengett in a video and it crashed their website 4 times (34:25)
Forbes picks up on the company. Ryan gets super focused on Sergentee his senior year. Launches College Rep program (39:02)
Meeting Rosa in Guatemala. Buying all of her fabric and helping sponsor her for high school / college (43:40)
Dealing with fraud and losing six figures + bringing in too many people on the team (50:45)
Traveling to 80+ countries + his experiences (57:25)
Question from Zack Honarvar (Ep 95) - What’s your life hacks? Use credit card points, booking cheap flights and traveling with a mini gym bag (63:50)
TED Talk at Manchester High School (2017) “Everyone wants to change the world but I think the best thing way to do that is to change your world first” (63:40)
Redefining success as being in control of everyday (71:25)
Growing out new lines and promoting the lifestyle of travel more (78:25)
Best piece of advice he’s ever received - “Don’t be scared of success” (81:05)
It’s taken a long time for Ryan to accept he’s not sure what his purpose is (82:30)
Ask Bobbay 1 question - If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go? (84:50)
Find Ryan + Sargengett on social
Advice for finding a passion / purpose (91:10)
Be okay with no knowing because no one has it figured out
Read about other people
It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of not doing. Get outside, be around people and do things.