By Andrea Rumbaugh
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Love this story about Lydia Evans, and her foray into the skincare business, first for women then for men. Evan’s story is one of hard work and patience…her company was not an overnight success, but what happened the night she appeared on “Shark Tank” changed everything.
Lydia Evans created the SW&G Bar to appease her brother, a barber looking to soothe ingrown hairs and breakouts caused by shaving. The licensed esthetician never expected the loofah-infused shaving soap that cleanses, exfoliates and disinfects to become her most successful creation.
Her main focus had been creating skin care products for women. But SW&G Bar sales quickly overtook her other products, and that escalated further when Evans pitched the soap to investors on the TV show “Shark Tank.” She wasn’t offered a deal, but her sales from the SW&G Bar grew from $54,000 in 2013 to $400,000 six months after her episode aired in late 2014. The SW&G Bar is now patent pending, and Evans has two trademarks for product names.
Evans discussed the journey and her Houston-based company Soaps Washes & Grooming Essentials, known as SW&G Essentials, with the Chronicle.
Q: What were the early days like as an entrepreneur?
A: They were hard. They were a struggle. Wherever I saw a barbershop or a barber pole, if it looked reputable on the outside, I would go in. I would do a presentation to the barber. I would give the guy samples. And when I would come back in a week, generally the barber would ask me for samples and then he’d want a bar or two or three for himself and his special clients. And then my reputation kind of got a little bit better to the point where people would refer me and then I would get calls. It was heart and hustle in the beginning. But it was a learning process. I had to go through everything I went through to be prepared for something like “Shark Tank.” There’s just no way possible I would have been prepared if I didn’t go through the bumps in the road, the disappointments, the people who will order a bunch of stuff and then last-minute pull out on you.