Bevel: Beyond the 'ethnic' aisle

The Bevel Razor.

Walker and Company CEO Tristan Walker had a hard time shaving. When he was 15, he tried a multi-blade razor and woke up with bumps and rashes on his face the next morning.

So, in 2013, Walker founded a company to solve problems in the health and beauty space for the African American community. Their first product is called Bevel, a shaving system designed specifically for men with coarse and curly hair.

“It’s razor bumps and razor burn. It’s a problem that 80 percent of black men and black women have, and it’s a problem that 30 percent of other races have.”

Bevel works through a multi-step process. You start by applying oil and then shaving cream with a brush, using a single blade razor, and finishing with a moisturizer. The starter kit costs $59.95, and 90-day replenishment kits cost $30 each. That’s a total of $150 for the products.

Tristan Walker knows this is a high price for a shaving kit:

“I reflect back on my experience of going to a retail shop, having to go to the ethnic aisle that’s not really an aisle, that’s really a shelf. Then I have to reach to the bottom of that shelf for a package that’s dirty. Like, that entire second-class citizen experience… it’s not great. Considering how much money we spend on these things, how much need we have for products that work, I think having a respect for the customer is incredibly important.”

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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