By G. Brown
Every success story starts with a vision. Tristan Walker’s vision is to become the next Johnson & Johnson for Blacks and people of color. This Stanford MBA Grad cut his teeth in the high-tech world of Silicon Valley, but his first step in creating his vision is to start very low tech with a razor.
Walker is the founder of Walker & Company. His flagship brand right now is Bevel– a shaving system that focuses on what has been until now the completely forgotten market of shaving products for Black men. Just like sisters require different products for naturally curly or kinky hair, brothers often discover that the generic brand offered by Gillette, Schick and other big names ignored their needs.
Walker wanted products made specifically for coarse, curly hair like his and most Black men. Walker explains “The multi-blade razor cuts hair beneath your skin explains. But if you have curly hair, then it grows back into your skin. It’s a problem. It zaps folks confidence, among other things and no one has tried to fix it until now.” Walker says says that “razor burns and bumps from shaving course curly hair affects about 80% of the black community”. It’s not a glamourous problem, but a problem nonetheless that requires a solution and people are willing to pay for it. Walker says, “Just look at the census, for the first time in the nation’s history, the majority of Americans are non-white. And all those babies are going to want to pluck, rinse, groom, and shave in the not-too-distant future.
How did all of the big companies miss this untapped market, well they simply weren’t looking. Until Walker started his Black Men Line…then supposedly this happened.
Now while TRN hasn’t been able to confirm the offer ever really happened, it is easy to believe it could when you consider that “razors, blades and replacement cartridges generate [an] annual revenue of around $2.6 billion” according to cnbc.com. Schick and Gillette controls the lion’s share of the market at around 80%.
Well, if the offer was true, what would you have done? Let’s face it, most of us, would have signed on the dotted line and taken the cash. But Walker doesn’t just seem to be in this for the money. He says he wants to find solutions that have plagued Black consumers and nobody really cared to find a solution,”I am dedicating my life to this demographic shift that’s happening.” Walker even addressed finding better hair care products for women saying that some current hair care products are connected to miscarriages.
If the big companies haven’t come to gobble up his dreams just yet, they eventually will. Let’s hope Walker stay on his current path of trying to provide Blacks with better, healthier products.
You can learn more about Walker in the video below where he discusses how his frustration as a Black man birthed his new startup of Bevel shaving line for men. And let us know what you think.