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Lieutenant of Fire for the Oakland Fire Department, 10-year firefighter Wale Forrester co-founded the active care brand ShowerPill with his two former Cal-Berkeley college football teammates. The trio, who has taken their business from their garage in West Oakland, Calif. to retailers from coast to coast, recently appeared on Shark Tank. Forrester, with a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and master’s in public administration, has helped shaped ShowerPill into what it is today – the trusted solution for active people striving to stay healthy, clean and fresh without sacrificing performance.
What do I do best?
I excel at articulating a vision. And that’s very important because words lead to actions. In the Bible, God said, “Let there be light,’” and there was light. He spoke of light and then created it. In business and in life, I articulate the vision – making it plain and clear – so that it can manifest. It’s an important part of who I am and the way I approach life.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I’d have to say my drive to succeed. I may not be the most talented or the smartest or best looking, but I have a crazy drive. I am always seeking a challenge. And because I’m always seeking a challenge, I often find myself running toward adversity. But I thrive on that adversity, and it pushes me to give 110 percent every single day. My battery is never empty.
What are my aspirations?
Business-wise, I would love to see ShowerPill get acquired by a major corporate partner – i.e. a Procter & Gamble, a Unilever – one day. Personally, I want to become a motivational speaker. I want to take my story, my message, around the world to empower people who can relate to my experiences. My goal is to help them realize and unlock their inner greatness so they too can achieve their dreams.
My Biggest Success?
Professionally, it was starting ShowerPill. Three athletes, with no formal business training or backgrounds, came together to create an amazing personal care product that is disrupting the personal care industry. That’s pretty awesome. Personally, my biggest success is being a father. I have two beautiful children, and a beautiful wife as well. Watching them grow up, happy, healthy, talented, smart…that gives me great pride and lets us know that we are doing a good job as parents.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My first thought was to say appearing on “Shark Tank,” but that’s really not it. My most challenging moment was when I found out that my son was diagnosed with the blood disease sickle cell. It causes us to spend a lot of time in the hospital, and it prevents him from doing a lot of things that other kids are physically able to do. But we’ve since turned it into a strength because nothing is as tough as the days when my son is experiencing a sickle cell crisis.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I have two role models. The first is my mother, Sarah Ann McKenzie, the very first entrepreneur I saw. She had her own yogurt shop and Jamaican restaurant when was I growing up. She’s held two jobs at times and did anything and everything that she had to do to ensure that her children were successful in life. The second would have to be Sean “P. Diddy” Combs because he taught me that you could brand and sell your lifestyle. To me, that meant you could be an authentic businessperson, creating products for you and people like you. He’s ingenious, authentic and understands everything that he sells.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I absolutely love, love, love Cancun. And that’s probably because my wife and I have had some amazing times there. And number two would be Jamaica (I’m Jamaican, by the way). Every parish, every region…I just love Jamaica.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I know it’s very weird, but I love pens. My favorite product is the Sharpie pen. I get the full effects of a Sharpie, but it doesn’t bleed through paper. It’s genius! I also love my DJI Osmo Handheld camera. It allows me to capture some awesome moments, and I love looking at my life through the lens of this high-definition 4K camera.
My Current Passions?
My passion is helping people self-actualize and fulfill their God-given potential – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I love, love, love mentoring people. It’s something I’ve done my whole life. My family has welcomed people who need help to live in our house. We try to empower those who are not achieving their potential by providing them with resources and positive energy.