Tristan Walker: Founder/CEO of Walker & Company

My NativeAdVice:

Bio:

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. 

 

How did you get into the tech 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.

Tell us about Walker & Co. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

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 industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

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.

Life Motto?

You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Walker & Co's Motto?

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

Your greatest success as founder of Walker & Co? Most difficult moment how did you
overcome and what did you learn?

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!

Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?

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.

Favorite travel destination?

Jamaica, without question

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

Bacon Cheeseburger + Vodka Soda

What literature is on your bed stand?

Race Against The Machine by Erik Brynjolfsson

Role model business and personal?

Andrew Carnegie. He truly believed that the noblest possible use of wealth was to give much of it
away to improve society. A true hero.

Current passion?

Our newborn son, Avery. He is everything.

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.

What's next for Walker & Co?

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!

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http://walkerandcompany.com/

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https://twitter.com/bevel

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.

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