Lydia Evans, owner of SWAG Essentials, began her skincare business with one proprietary product for men that changed her entrepreneurial journey.
Featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” last December, Evans had the opportunity to pitch her popular SWAG Bar, a loofah soap used to exfoliate and eliminate razor bumps, to the team of billionaire investors, in hopes of landing the deal that would take her business to the next level. But with only $54,000 in sales at the time and little market visibility, the sharks politely declined and Evans was forced to leave the tank without an offer.
Despite receiving a no from investors, her life since appearing on “Shark Tank” has been drastically different. Prior to the show, Evans says, the company only had a customer list of a few hundred people, but after the episode aired, clients poured in by the thousands.
“[It] was the best thing that ever happened to me because we indeed did prove that we’re a formidable product on the market,” she adds.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Evans to talk life after Shark Tank, her skincare line, and what’s next for SWAG Essentials.
Black Enterprise: What’s your career background in terms of offering this product?
Lydia Evans: I am a medical licensed aesthetician—simply stated, a skincare specialist. Within the field of aesthetics, I specialize in skincare conditions and sensitivities such as eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hair, hyper pigmentation and ethnic skin.
What was business like before “Shark Tank,” and how is business now?
Prior to Shark Tank our previous customer list was a few hundred. Now it’s in the thousands.
Last year, the SWAG Bar sales were around $54,000. We closed more than $100,000 the night we aired. It was crazy.
What’s your most unique item, where you got the idea and how many you’ve sold?
Our most unique product is our SWAG Bar, which is what landed us on “Shark Tank.” It is a 3-in-1 loofah soap that duals as a shave bar. Its primary benefits are those of convenience, as the bar cleanses, exfoliates and disinfects the surface of the skin in one use. It provides relief instantly from ingrown hairs, acne, razor burn and many other conditions. We sold more than 20,000 units of just this product over a three-month span, which is huge for us as a handcrafted business that manufactures and distributes its own products.
What makes your beauty line unique and who can benefit most from your skincare line?
There is truly something for everyone within our brand family. However, our brand is unique because we specialize in a subgroup within the typical cosmetics industry. Our delicate engineering that produces uniquely made multifunctional products score big in the convenience department.
How important was it for you to become a female entrepreneur?
To receive the large amount of emails and calls with respect to how inspiring my journey has been to so many people is amazing. I also speak at events and charity benefits inspiring and motivating entrepreneurs from around the world through webinars.
What is the next step for Swag Essentials, and where can we find them for purchase?
So far we have shipped to UK, Canada, Spain, Australia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Bulgaria, The Netherlands and even the North Pole. Literally. We always chuckled at the office about seeing an invoice come through with North Pole in the address. We are so grateful for a season of expansion and growth into international wholesale distribution. We are currently sold online and in 17 US retail locations. Visit www.swagessentials.com for full listing.