Basic Info

Name:
Tristan Walker
Contributor Status:
Native AdVice
Initial Contribution Date:
10/31/2014
Primary Location:
San Francisco, CA, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Beauty / Cosmetics, Retail, Technology
Personal Career Headline:
Founder/CEO of Walker & Company
Business Description (One-Liner):

E-commerce company focused on consumer-centric health & beauty products.

Experience Timeline:
11-15 years of work experience

My Native AdVert

Career Snapshot:

Before Walker & Co., Tristan was an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to this experience, he was the Director of Business Development for the mobile search application, Foursquare. In this role, Tristan managed integrations with large brands and media entities such as American Express, The New York Times, CNN, MTV, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Starbucks. 

My Native AdVice

How did you get into the industry?:

I’ve always had a passion for technology and I got my start working with Foursquare as one of its earliest employees and knew consumer technology was an industry I wanted to play in. Foursquare really taught me the importance of user experience and design and leveraging technology to scale a brand in impactful ways. After Foursquare, I knew I wanted to start a company that solved important everyday problems for consumers and Walker & Company was born.

Emerging industry trends?:

We see two.

First, the demographic shift happening in this country is way more profound than folks think. I fundamentally believe that the opportunity to serve black, Latino and Asian consumers is the greatest opportunity of my lifetime.

Second, the best advertising has always been word of mouth integrity coming from one customer to another and we believe online provides us the most efficient way to build lasting brands and drive word of mouth and mindshare which inevitably leads to market share.

These shifts matter. These shifts are real.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?:

At Walker & Company, our purpose is to make health & beauty simple for people of color. We do this by developing, designing and testing products and services specifically tailored to our community’s needs and delivering on the promise of great customer service and an easy shopping experience.

I started Walker & Company because I felt personal care manufacturers and traditional retailers are neither building brands nor merchandising experiences that cater to the uniquely differentiated needs of Black, Latino and Asian consumers three of America’s fastest growing and most culturally influential demographic groups. We can do better. These consumers deserve better.

We’re inventing a new class of ecommerce company that will build beloved consumer brands, win on customer experience and reinvent the way consumers learn about, purchase and enjoy health and beauty products.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

Keep building. We have a fairly ambitious roadmap and you’ll be hearing from us very soon. New products for Bevel and also new brands for Walker & Company. We couldn’t be more excited about them. Stay tuned!

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business? Greatest Accomplishment?:

My greatest success has been my ability to recruit and retain colleagues who I believe to be best in class at what they do. I’m inspired by their work every single day and I couldn’t be more excited to build a lasting business with them. I’m also proud of the diversity of the team. Majority women, majority minority and they’re all fantastic leaders. I couldn’t be happier that our team makeup is reflective of what America is to become!

Career advice to those in your industry?:

The trials you go through as an entrepreneur and the blessings you receive are the same things. Those trials are simply lessons for entrepreneurs to learn from and we should all be thankful we can be afforded the opportunity to go through those to be even stronger leaders.

What Else To Know

Your Business's Motto?:

Walker & Company aims to make health and beauty simple for people of color.

One food and drink on earth, what would you choose?:

Bacon Cheeseburger + Vodka Soda

What literature is on your bed stand?:

Race Against The Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson

Tell Us More:

Most interesting headline you’ve read this week:

“Following Bose sponsorship deal, NFL bans Beats headphones during broadcasts” Amazing given Beats’ rise to cultural dominance and will be interesting to see whether the NFL can contain this on the sidelines and elsewhere.

—-

Tristan has been included in Fortune 40 Under 40, The Root’s 100, EBONY’s 100 Most Powerful people list, Vanity Fair’s The Next Establishment, The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50 and Black Enterprise’s 40 Next. He’s also the founder and chairman of CODE2040, a nonprofit organization that creates pathways to educational, professional, and entrepreneurial success in technology for underrepresented minorities with a specific focus on Blacks and Latinos/as. Tristan holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with his family.

The vision of Walker & Co. is to build the world’s most consumer-centric health & beauty products company, by re-inventing the way our community learns about, purchases and enjoys health and beauty products. Walker & Co. plans to do this by developing, designing and testing products and services specifically tailored to the needs of people of color and delivering on the promise of great customer service and a simple shopping experience.

To learn more about Walker & Co., check out this video.

This is how Bevel work…

  • Bevel is a three-step system that is designed to prepare, protect and repair your skin.  The priming oil softens your skin and hair in preparation for your shave.  The exfoliating badger brush lifts hair at the root when applying the shave cream, which protects your skin during your shave.  Finally, the restoring balm heals and repairs your skin after your shave.
  • The Bevel razor is a re-engineered version of a single-blade safety razor, specifically designed to cut your hair right at skin level.
  • Multi-blade razors cut hair in a manner causing it to retract below the skin level leading to ingrown hairs.  Hair removal creams contain harsh chemicals that can potentially result in burns, blisters and dark spots. Bevel’s approach to shaving is safe, effective and will give you the smoothest shave you’ve ever had.

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