Bevel is a cosmetics company for black men. The company prides itself in being able to solve problems that most hygiene and cosmetics brands can’t and offers solutions made by people of color for people of color. However, is Bevel black-owned? Let’s find out.
The answer is that technically yes: Bevel is still owned by its parent company, Walker and Company. Tristan Walker is a black American who is the founder and CEO, and is focused on providing high-quality cosmetic and hygiene products for black men (and women with the Form line). Walker and Company has been black-owned since its founding in 2013.
However, Walker and Company is a subsidiary of Procter and Gamble as of 2018. The larger company owns the stock of Bevel but doesn’t control the company. This deal makes it easier for Bevel to sell products all over the world with low financial risk. How did this happen, and what does it mean for the black-owned company?
Walker and Company
Walker and Company has existed since 2013 with the sole goal of providing high-quality shaving and hygiene products to black men and women. The mass-market products weren’t made with black skin and hair in mind, and Tristan Walker has sought to change that.
Walker and Company is completely black-owned and run, with a small staff dedicated to creating new products. Since 2013, they have expanded from just men’s products to a women’s beauty line as well.
However, there’s a catch. While Bevel is owned by Walker and Company, Walker and Company recently was acquired by the mega-company Procter and Gamble. Procter and Gamble, as you may have guessed, is not black-owned.
The Procter and Gamble sale, which took place in 2018, won’t change how the company is run, according to Walker. Walker and Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Procter and Gamble, meaning that the control of the company remains in Walker’s hands.
Procter and Gamble, of course, is not black-owned. It was founded in 1837 by William Procter and James Gamble. Now, Procter and Gamble produces and ships hygiene and cleaning products all over the world and is one of the top hygiene brands in the United States.
As a parent company, Procter and Gamble has almost one hundred subsidiaries, ranging from wholly-owned to partially owned. Each of these companies is a part of the Procter and Gamble mega-company in some way.
Walker and Company (the parent company of Bevel) has a unique position as the only subsidiary company that focuses on people of color’s physical needs. Procter and Gamble saw the void that Walker was trying to fill and allowed Bevel to increase production and reach more consumers.
A wholly-owned subsidiary gains all the resources of the parent company while retaining its creative license. Bevel will continue making high-quality products for black men just like it has, and Tristan Walker, a black man, will still own the company. Procter and Gamble is merely the parent company, offering backup and funds in exchange for company stock.
Procter and Gamble is a huge asset to Walker–their resources will boost the distribution of Bevel’s products worldwide at very little risk to Walker and Company. So while technically the parent company of Bevel is not black-owned, the products are still made with the same purpose and by the same employees.
It’s a tricky question when parent companies and grandparent companies are involved. But Bevel is technically owned by Walker and Company, a black-owned business. Tristan Walker is still fully in charge of the company and makes all the creative and financial decisions with his employees.
Both companies will make money when you buy Bevel products. If you are trying to support black-owned businesses, you will be doing that with Bevel. However, you will also be supporting Procter and Gamble, one of the largest hygiene manufacturers in the world.
However, if you are looking for authentically black-made products, you can purchase Bevel shaving kits. The production process remains the same and the mission hasn’t changed: to make shaving and hygiene products focused on the needs of people of color.
Although Procter and Gamble have money in the company and can put their label on it, most of the funds go to Walker and Company. Walker is using the market power of Procter and Gamble to get his product in more stores. This way, more people will have access to Bevel hygiene products.
Tristan Walker started Bevel because he felt frustrated with the lack of hygiene supplies for himself. In an interview with the National Retail Federation, he described his frustration with the lack of black-focused hygiene supplies as a “void.” His goal with Bevel was to fill that void and create a line of products that worked for men of color.
Walker started the company from scratch in 2013, with just one product: a shaving kit for curly hair. The company was a startup and began online sales before moving into physical retail stores. Soon they were able to increase production and widen the variety of products created.
Walker and company did well for five years before the Procter and Gamble acquisition. This offer gave the company a chance to increase sales and production without a huge financial risk. Once the acquisition was complete, Walker and Company relocated to Atlanta, Georgia with their production line and employees.
Now, Walker and Company operates two lines of products: Bevel for men and Form for women. Thanks to the partnership with Procter and Gamble, the company can distribute products worldwide and in major retail stores.
Bevel is still completely black-owned, despite its arrangement with Procter and Gamble. The larger company will make money off the sales of Bevel products, but most of the revenue will go back to Walker and Company. You can shop Bevel products with the knowledge that they were made by people of color for people of color.