Yve-Car Momperousse pitched Kreyòl Essence on "Shark Tank" along with her husband, Stephane Jean-Baptiste. The two brought forward their brand of skin, hair, and body care made of Haitian Black Castor Oil, also known as the Liquid Gold of the Caribbean. The genesis of the brand was personal; Momperousse grew up around Haitian Black Castor Oil, as her mother used it on her hair and scalp frequently. However, when Momperousse was living in Philadelphia years later, she tried to purchase a high-quality, organic castor oil and couldn't find anything close to the product that her mother used during her childhood. So, she created Kreyòl Essence.
The brand is really special, not just because of the product, but because of the financial boon it has for communities in Haiti. Kreyòl Essence hires people in Haiti to produce their products, and Momperousse explained that they have their own farm in Haiti where farmers work for them directly, and they also work with cooperatives. Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste explained that they paid their farmers double the average salary. In 2010, when an earthquake hit Haiti, Momperousse asked her mom if they should stop production in order to help people, according to the brand's website. Her mother said, "Now more than ever, our people will need jobs and a way to be self-sufficient. When the donations stop, how will the country survive? I need you to persevere in making this dream a reality as the lives of many are at stake." So Kreyòl Essence remained a huge deal.
What happened to Kreyòl Essence on Shark Tank?
Yve-Car Momperousse and hubby Stephane Jean-Baptiste were an absolute hit on "Shark Tank." They came out with three friends who mimicked the experience of harvesting, pressing, and decanting castor seeds. Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste offered boxes of samples to the sharks, who were blown away by the scent, texture, and quality of Kreyòl Essence products. They were seeking $400,000 for a 10% stake in their company. While everyone seemed to love the couple, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and Lori Greiner all pulled out for various reasons. That left Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste with Kevin O'Leary, who gave them a tough offer. Mr. Wonderful offered them $400,000 for 37% equity. Obviously, Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste balked at these terms.
The intensity of the negotiation procedure made Jean-Baptiste emotional. He said that in 2016, they almost had to shut down their business because they lost a major client. He began crying and said that they felt like they had "failed" their community. Momperousse explained that their business was more than just a product; it was a blueprint for "poverty alleviation," and it was a really powerful moment. Momperousse re-negotiated with Mr. Wonderful until they came to an agreement; for $400,000, O'Leary would get 5% equity plus a royalty of 25 cents per item sold in perpetuity.
How Kreyòl Essence changed after Shark Tank
"Shark Tank" was hugely impactful for Kreyòl Essence. The exposure that comes with being on ABC's entrepreneurial show was a great thing for Yve-Car Momperousse, Stephane Jean-Baptiste, and their brilliant brand. A big element of that was Kevin O'Leary's offer. "I walked away with an understanding that we have so much more work to do to get folks to understand the value of businesses like mine in indie beauty, clean beauty, and inclusive beauty," Momperousse told Beauty Independent. "I also walked away with a sense of accomplishment because Kevin O'Leary is not a shark who gets involved in a business from an emotional standpoint. He gets involved because he's looking at the business merits."
After their episode aired, Kreyòl Essence products completely sold out on Amazon within hours, and online sales were boosted by around 50%. When Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste arrived on "Shark Tank," they already had a deal with Ulta at 1,200 of their locations in the United States. Since then, they've expanded to include products in Whole Foods and in other niche stores as well. Of course, online sales are a huge part of their business too, maintaining healthy growth since "Shark Tank". As of 2020, 60% of Kreyòl Essence's sales came from retail and 40% came from online. However, Momperousse told Beauty Independent that she was hoping to flip that so that the lion's share of their sales came from online shopping.
Kreyòl Essence is still in business ... and thriving
"Shark Tank" has proven to bring success to several skincare brands, like Glow Recipe, a Korean skincare brand that debuted on the show, or Saavy Naturals, a natural skincare line made by chefs. For Kreyòl Essence, the sky is the limit. Their exposure on "Shark Tank" worked wonders for the already-thriving brand, and they've continued to grow. On Instagram, they boast nearly 200,000 followers now. Plus, their press coverage has been tremendous. Kreyòl Essence has been praised by Good Morning America, Oprah Daily, and on countless other sites and in several magazines. In 2023, Kreyòl Essence ranked 44th on the list of Inc. Magazine's fastest-growing private companies in the Southeast region of America, because they saw a three-year revenue growth of 529%.
The brand makes references to its time on "Shark Tank" through what they cleverly call Shark Tank Bundles. There's the Mr. Wonderful Oils of Haiti. There's Haitian Mango Lori's Dream Body Set, and Barbara's Lavender Body Trio. Don't forget about Daymond's Face & Beard Essential Set and Mark's Coconut Coffee and Oil Set. Everybody's represented! It's such a clever way of harking back to their early TV exposure, and they're certainly having fun with that Shark Tank vibe.
What's next for Kreyòl Essence
We have no doubt whatsoever that Kreyòl Essence is going to grow, grow, grow. Look at the ambition that Yve-Car Momperousse showed on "Shark Tank." She fully expects to become a billion-dollar brand, and we believe in her. In an interview with Beauty Independent, Momperousse said, "The word 'niche' is used a lot for clean and inclusive beauty brands. We are very focused on our audience, but we are not niche."
What's so cool about Kreyòl Essence is that the brand is also breaking down barriers. In an interview with Glossy, Momperousse spoke about her desire to transform the ways in which the world sees Haiti. Rather than seeing it as an economically-challenged country, Momperousse is committed to showing the world its rich natural resources, Haitian Black Castor Oil being one of them, and making the country a contender in global trade. "We wanted to introduce a different relationship for people to have with Haiti, and to be able to help beyond a donation by doing business with the country," she said. "We consider ourselves a social impact business."
With this as their firm foundation, Kreyòl Essence continues to introduce new products. They've added Haitian Moringa Oil to their line of products, and their haircare line has absolutely dominated. When speaking with Glossy, Momperousse said that they've become one of Ulta's top hair care lines. All that's left to do is try this incredible brand for yourself and watch with excitement at what they do next.