In conjunction with our launch of BAUCE HAUS, we interviewed black-owned businesses that supported our vision of creating a space where women of color could see their future self-made selves. Continue reading to learn more about Pure Tropix, an award-winning skincare and ingrown hair system for self-care enthusiasts, in this conversation with the company’s founder David Wongk.
What inspired you to start a skincare business for women? Where did the idea come from when the business launched back in 2016?
David: I suffered from ingrown hairs! and every-time I would shave my face would break out full of bumps…. So after trying every product on the market and most not working or breaking me out really bad, I decided to make my own products and out of my suffering, Pure Tropix grew!
There are many skincare products on the market. How did you get people to find out about your product initially?
David: Pure Tropix was born and grown on Instagram! Word of our products grew because of the amazing transformations we posted! Hundreds of customers posted and talked about our products. [We also grew] from our favorite strategy of sending out free products daily!
At what moment did you know that you made it and that your product was a success?
David: I remember back when I first started, we did an Instagram shout out with a similar page and it did 1k in sales in a day (we didn’t even have enough products back then) and I knew right then that we were on the right path.
Are people surprised to find out that this popular skincare brand for women was originated by a man? How does being a man of Caribbean descent inform your knowledge to create products that work for women’s skin?
David: Yes, most people are surprised that a man runs this company and many still don’t realize that it is [run by a man]. But [Pure Tropix] didn’t necessarily start out for women, it started out for men. So many women were buying the products that it was a smart move to pivot switch to selling to women.
How does Pure Tropix differentiate its products from other brands? What is unique about the skincare products that you can’t find anywhere else?
David: I try to differentiate our products as much as possible. There are so many products these days that you must stand out from the crowd!
Another way we try to stand out is by sourcing our ingredients from locations all around the Caribbean. [For example], our soaps are from Brazil and our Sea Salt is from Grenada and Saline Islands! Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, and Jojoba oil are oils that everyone knows and every brand uses but we mix ours with so much greatness such as Cupuacu Butter or Bacuri butter which a is very popular in the north of Brazil. It comes from the seeds of a beloved local fruit with a rich pulp, smell, and taste. I could taste it in my mouth for hours. Also, anytime I visit countries I’ll try to speak with a healer or an herbalist or nationalist to try to get more insight that I can bring to our products
What has been the biggest challenge in your entrepreneurial journey? Where their times that you thought about giving up on your business?
David: I’ve been blessed to not really have many issues by living by my motto “Luck Favors The Prepared” So I’m always trying to be prepared for the unknown. When Instagram started changing the algorithm we were prepared by having our products listed on several platforms that way we can avoid taking a big hit.
What marketing strategy would you credit for the success of Pure Tropix and why?
David: If I had to narrow it down to only one strategy I would say the biggest thing that has grown us to where we are today is shutouts. I know for a lot of companies those don’t work, but because of our niche and how many natural hair natural skin pages there are I mean it’s perfect for us. Plus, for the price it’s unmatched!
What is your advice for a young woman who is interested in starting her own skincare line?
David: For anyone looking to start a skincare or beauty business I would say find a way to stand out from the crowd when you’re building your brand. Focus on solving issues! Its a million brands out there getting rid of acne, but how many are there getting rid of dark underarms?