I started Bevel for a good reason: I couldn’t shave. For 15 years, every single way I came across facial hair removal sucked.
When I was an intern on Wall Street, I had facial hair. One day a supervisor called me in front of everyone else because I wasn’t clean shaven. My confidence was badly hit. If you have curly hair – and most black men do – using multiple blade razors regularly results in ingrown hairs, skin irritation, and razor blades. Razor blades occur because razors with multiple blades cut the hair below the surface and, as it grows back, curl under the skin rather than over it, creating an ingrown hair.
Black men suffer disproportionately from these problems. These things affect our community’s trust, but have been openly ignored for almost the entire 200 year history of the health and beauty industry. I felt like I could do better for an audience that I care deeply about and for a community that I’ve been a part of my entire life.
Bevel was born in 2013 out of this hope and vision. I felt that black consumers deserve better – not just products that work, but also a nice, communicative, and authentic brand experience that we’ve all been looking for our entire lives. Our first product was the Shave Kit, a shaving system that includes a razor, shaving brush, replacement blades, foundation oil, shaving cream, and a restorative balm. The double-bladed razor is better for curly hair as it only cuts the hair on the surface and the hair underneath grows back properly.
It was difficult to be one of the first blacks to create something in the modern grooming field. I had to somehow form my own narrative. But I am inspired by people who have to deal with the world of life – they wake up every day and shave even when the products are not suitable for their needs because that is a requirement for them, the people who do it have a story similar to mine in which they were asked to shave their hair off their face without tools. I am inspired to find things that work for them. I am inspired to build and motivate other black entrepreneurs and companies on their way.
We were turned down by probably 99 percent of the people we asked for investments. Many of the people on the other side of the table did not reflect the audience we serve. So i understand I understand the lack of real and authentic understanding, but they left money on the table. I really had to build the conviction in myself. But it’s funny because when we launched Bevel, the Bay Area was one of our top three top-selling regions in the country. And I don’t think people bought just because we happened to be there. There were people who heard about it and needed it.
After entering into a partnership with Procter & Gamble in late 2018, we moved the company to Atlanta because we wanted better access to our customers and a diverse talent pool. Moving there was a great decision both for the company and for me personally. The Bay Area is the first place I’ve ever lived that has felt less diverse over time, and I think the gap between the owners and the non-owners has widened because Silicon Valley has become a hell of a lot more powerful.
But when it comes to actually making change and fostering an inclusive environment in your company, I would say two things: First, you know what your values are. How do you lead, recruit, retain if you don’t know you are hiring or trying to retain people who share your values? At my company, we haven’t done anything special to build our team other than define what our values are – courage, inspiration, respect, judgment, wellbeing, and loyalty.
And the second: I think there is always this goal, especially in large companies, of proportionality. They often say, “Blacks are 13, 14 percent of this country, so we let 13 or 14 percent of our workforce be black.” But why can’t more than 50 percent be black? Where is that assumption that proportionality is the best option? Instead, consider that these consumers have the most cultural impact and purchasing power.
I feel obliged to share with the world how effective our fellowship is in the world. Not only as a consumer, but also as a producer.– As Temi Adebowale was told
This content is created and managed by a third party and imported to this page so that users can provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at piano.io
This comment area is created and managed by a third party and imported onto this page. You may find more information on their website.