Queens man changing the face of skin care with shaving system for people of color

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A man from Queens has come up with a solution to help African-American men get better shaves, and avoid getting ingrown hair after shaving.

And his success story didn't begin with razors.

He grew up in the projects in Flushing, but he went to prep school and later onto to Stanford Business School.

He was one of the first 20 employees at Twitter, and now he's building a company that's all about the health and beauty of people of color. And it starts with shaving experience.

"I get this all the time, folks walk up to me, examine my face, is it real, is it working?", said Tristan Walker, whose face tells the story of a man who swore off razors until he created his own shaving system, called Bevel.

"It's a six product line that includes a single-blade safety razor, cuts the hair level with the skin not beneath like some multi-blade razors do, said Walker. "So for curly-haired folks you don't have to worry about ingrowing your hair."

And apparently this 31-year old Queens native is onto something.

His eponymous Walker & Company has $33 million in backing, 20 employees, and offices in Palo Alto and Brooklyn.

"Bevel is just the first manifestation of that vision. We want to build a suite of brands that solve really acute health and beauty needs for people of color," said Walker.

"The first thing that caught my eye is the packaging. I said wait a minute, this is for me?", said Michael Oloyede.

He liked how the products look. But more than that, he likes what they do.

"With that whole system, the aftershave, the lotion, the primer that helped combat the razor bumps I used to get all the time," said Oloyede.

"First impressions matter. Second impressions matter even more," said Walker. "That's a function of the use of the product and how folks feel when they get it. That's a big reason wby 95% of our customer keep buying from us every month."

Actually, Bevel sells via memberships. For $89.85 you get everything you need for three months.

It's a modern approach to buying skin care by a company that sees a new market of opportunity.

"We're focusing on problems that people of color over index on but everyone has," said Walker. "If you look at Bevel, it's a problem when you think of shaving, irritation, razor bumps etc. "It's a problem that 80% of black men and women have but also 30% of men and women of other races."

You can buy Bevel razors and products on line, but they'll be sold by Target in the coming months as well. And Tristan and his team have plans to launch ten new products in the coming year, the next product geared specifically for women of color.
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