The modern man is becoming more aware of his hygiene, body image, and self-grooming! According to ongoing statistics, the market size of the male grooming industry is expected to hit $29 billion by 2024 up from $15.68 billion in 2012. Spearheading this evolution is Andrea Polk, an award-winning entrepreneur with a keen interest in enriching the appearance of men of color.

Andrea’s story is as inspiring as it is captivating. It’s the story of how a determined woman is helping bring out the true potential of men of color through Solo Noir, an innovative male grooming brand. But how did the humble graduate from Tennessee State University (Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Master of Business Administration in E-Commerce and Logistics) rise to disrupt the cosmetics industry?

An Unexpected Eureka Moment

Let’s rewind to where it all began. The idea for Solo Noir took root on the soils of Tennessee State University. Andrea was required to design a business plan for a company in an untapped market. She saw a gap in the male grooming industry and sought to find a simple yet effective solution. Unknown to Andrea, the ensuing market research coupled with her inborn passion for natural health care would lead her to what is now a thriving and award-winning business idea.

Since the moment the idea of Solo Noir crossed her mind, Andrea has never looked back. This included taking a leap of faith by quitting a 9-5 corporate job to focus on her ambitions. With accolades such as “The 2014 Ariel Investment’s Top 40 Under 40 Game Changers in Chicago” and “The 2017 Best Consumer Product in Chicago” in her trophy cabinet, it’s hard to question her entrepreneurial spirit. Andrea is a woman who saw an opportunity in an unconventional industry, grabbed it tight, and ran with it – a true inspiration for young girls to speak out and own their ideas.

Shaking Up the Male Grooming Industry with Natural Ingredients

We’ve all heard the phrase “Black don’t crack!” Or better yet, seen it in some famous individuals such as Will Smith, Idris Elba and Pharrell Williams. Apparently, there is some truth to this cliché, thanks to the higher amount of melanin and collagen that protect men of color from UV rays. But it’s not all rose with no thorns. Men of color are also more susceptible to keloid scarring, uneven complexions, dry skin, dark spots, and hormonal effects.

Andrea seemed to hear the plight of the neglected man of color as she launched an innovative line of products, which addressed their skincare needs by using potent natural ingredients. Andrea believes that the best path is natural, a path free of unnecessary complications and harmful chemicals. Solo Noir products contain coconut oil, grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, and aloe vera among other ingredients that are individually revered in the cosmetics and health industry.

So, who is the “Solo Noir” Man?

According to the brand’s slogan, Solo Noir is the definition of a man! He is confident, comfortable, and health-conscious – i.e., the embodiment of modern masculinity. With plans to expand and continue stirring things up in grooming industry, Solo Noir’s current roster includes a shaving and facial grooming kit (DAPPER-face /beard wash, REFINED-buff/cleanser, SMOOTH-face/beard moisturizer, SLEEK-shave cream, and BRAVE-aftershave/toner). Andrea and her team have also ventured in beard maintenance through their MUSE and BOLD beard oils. She promises to be on the lookout for more innovative ways to meet the needs of the modern man while sticking to her initial mission of prioritizing customer experience and using natural premium ingredients.

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