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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

29 Y-O Jamaican Raises Millions to Start Health & Beauty Systems for African-Americans

Jamaican born entrepreneur Tristan Walker (pictured), a graduate of Stanford University, is aiming to help African-American men who have problems with their facial hair by designing a new shaving system to combat problems they face with hard stubble and facial rashes. 

The 29-year-old who grew up in Jamaica and Queens, New York, said that he noticed there is hardly anything on the market for people of color and what is available is not suitable for their type of skin.

With backing from organizations such as Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures, Collaborative Fund and Ron Johnson (former senior vice-president of retail operations for Apple), the young entrepreneur has raised $6.9 million to set up his new company Walker & Co.

The company aims to be the Procter & Gamble for people of color and he intends to set up an online magazine to advertise other products that the company will develop, said Walker. He adds that the company’s first venture is the “Bevel,” which is a revolutionary shaving system aimed at the African-American market.

According to Walker, “My experience of going into a Walgreens or CVS and going to the ethnic aisle, which is really a shelf, and having to reach down to get a package that is dirty, probably expired, with a photo of a 70-year-old bald, black guy in a towel on it, that entire awful second-class citizen experience has to go.” He continued, “Many African American men have never shaved with a razor because of problems stemming from coarse or curly hair.”

The Bevel retails for $60 for a six-piece kit that includes shaving creams and salves to help prevent rash while shaving and customers can also choose to pay an extra $30 a month to keep up with their requirements for the added extras.

The aim of the company, according to their official website, is to develop and test various products that are designed specifically for the African-American market. It adds that this vision, combined with their promise of delivering the best customer service, will establish them as the world’s most consumer-centric health & beauty product’s company on the market.

Marlon Nichols, a venture capital investor at intel-capital and one of the users of Bevel, said that he believes the Bevel is the best product for men of color ever invented. He adds that it is the only system he trusts to shave his head and neck without irritation.


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