Entrepreneurial couple from Haiti who racked up $300K in debt sees 500% in growth after 3 yrs, here’s how

Dollita Okine September 07, 2023
Kreyol Essence landed a $400,000 deal with Kevin O'Leary on Shark Tank. Photo Credit: Kreyol Essence

The Haitian couple behind Kreyol Essence, the eco-friendly beauty brand that landed a $400,000 deal with Kevin O’Leary on Shark Tank, have not only seen a 50% increase in sales but have also managed to pay off a $300,000 debt in just three years.

According to The List, Yve-Car Momperousse and Stéphane Jean-Baptiste went on the 12th episode of Season 11 of Shark Tank to pitch their brand Kreyol Essence, which sells organic products infused with pure Haitian Black Castor oil, in 2020.

On “Shark Tank,” Momperousse explained that they made $135,000 in 2014. However, in 2016, they only generated $40,000 in sales, with Jean-Baptiste adding that Kreyol Essence was then selling in bulk and had lost their major buyer.

Kreyol Essence regained its footing in 2017 when it began selling directly to customers, and it made $1 million in revenue in 2018. Momperousse then mentioned that the company was on track to make $2 million owing to an agreement with Ulta, although the brand was $300,000 in debt.

After much negotiating, the couple ultimately accepted O’Leary’s offer of $400,000 for 5% stock and 25 cents per share in perpetuity. The investment resulted in an immediate 50% increase in Kreyol Essence sales. Their products have risen in popularity and can now be purchased at major retailers such as Ulta, Amazon, JCPenney, and Sprouts Farmers Market.

In addition to its multi-scented Haitian Black Castor Oil, the company sells vitamins, skincare, and hair products with moringa oil.

The couple recently promised that every purchase from their brand would have a positive global impact, such as creating sustainable jobs, protecting the environment, and empowering women. Thus, 90% of the Kreyol Essence staff are women, said Momperousse.

Raised in Haiti and the Northeast United States, Momperousse recalled asking her mother to send her a bottle of Haitian Black Castor Oil each time she found her hair falling out. She decided to go to natural and West Indian stores in Philadelphia to search for Haitian Black Castor Oil, but to her surprise, none of the stores had the organic oil available. That inspired her to start Kreyol Essence with her husband.

The company is said to have grown by 529% in the three years since its participation in Shark Tank. It also ranked 44th on Inc. Magazine’s “Regionals 2023: Southeast” list of 200 firms, making an outsized impact in the Southeast.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 7, 2023


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