What Happened To Natural Beauty Brand Kreyòl Essence After Shark Tank?

Since Yve-Car Momperousse was a little girl, her mother's Haitian castor oil has been her go-to for all things hair and beauty. Described as "the liquid gold of the Caribbean," the benefits of castor oil are unmatched, whether it's fixing damaged hair, thickening brows and lashes, or moisturizing dry skin. As Yve-Car grew up, she began to notice a lack of high-quality, authentic castor oil on the market, and she wanted to make a change. That's how her natural beauty brand Kreyòl Essence was born. 


Yve-Car is a long-time activist in the Haitian community, and her brand became a way to give back to her family's country in a desperate time of need. After the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Yve-Car knew she had to make a difference that went beyond donations. She and her partner Stéphane Jean-Baptiste founded a company that would source its products directly from Haiti, giving people job opportunities and a way to provide for themselves.

In 2020, Yve-Car and Stéphane decided to take the brand one step further and bring it to the investors of Shark Tank. After a persuasive and show-stopping presentation, the sharks just couldn't get on board, except for Kevin O'Leary. He made them an offer of $400k for 37% stake, but Yve-Car offered him an even better idea — a royalty deal. They settled on $400k for 25 cents per unit and 5% equity. Since then, Kreyòl Essence has taken the beauty world by storm.


What does Kreyòl Essence sell?

Kreyòl Essence brings high-quality beauty products directly from the Caribbean to your shelf. Sourced ethically from farms in Haiti, the brand sells Haitian black castor oil, shampoos and conditioners, hair and skin vitamins, skin and body care, and hair styling products. They even have a line called "Shark Tank Wonderful Bundles" marketed towards new customers who found them on TV. But what makes Kreyòl Essence stand out from other castor oil brands? 


You may see a lot of other options in your favorite stores, but many of them are processed by manufacturers who use harmful additives like bleach and hexane. Yve-Car and Stéphane aim to deliver only the purest of castor oil to their customers. Their castor oil is effective due to its composition of ricinoleic acid without additives, which allows the products to absorb deeper into the skin rather than sitting on top of it. This is particularly helpful for those with eczema, psoriasis, and a dry scalp. Kreyòl Essence also has a line of products made with Haitian moringa oil, which can be taken as a supplement or used for skincare.

The brand's journey so far

For many entrepreneurs, the road to success is often not an easy one. Yve-Car and Stéphane launched Kreyòl Essence in 2014 and started off strong with $135k in sales. In 2016, their sales dropped to $40k when they took a wholesale approach, selling their castor oil in bulk. One of their top clients pulled out of the business, and this really cost them. At this point, they were almost ready to shut down the business altogether. Stéphane opened up about their struggles during their Shark Tank pitch. "That time period was really tough for us in 2016, even to the point where we almost closed the business down, feeling like we failed our community and failed ourselves," he shared.


The couple did not give up despite this rough patch. By 2017, their luck began to change after switching to a direct-to-consumer business model and entering the retail space. Once they expanded from just oil to hair and body care, their sales jumped to $327k and skyrocketed to $1 million in 2018. A year later, they secured a contract with Ulta, one of the largest beauty retailers in the country. Yve-Car told the sharks that she projected their end-of-year sales to be $2 million, and they certainly reached this goal. 

Post-Shark Tank success

Kreyòl Essence continues to thrive in the beauty and wellness world, with a loyal customer base supporting them. They have over 175k followers on Instagram, with celebrities like Cardi B leaving supportive comments. After Shark Tank, Ulta is certainly not the only retailer to put Kreyòl Essence on their shelves. Their products can be found at stores all around the United States, Canada, Haiti, France — some of the largest retailers being Ulta, Whole Foods, QVC, Amazon, and Goop. The brand has received impressive write-ups and features on Good Morning America, Oprah Daily, and Marie Claire


The beauty brand has a lot to celebrate, making history as the first Haitian brand to be featured on QVC.  Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when countless businesses had to shut down, Kreyòl Essence was still able to persevere and continue selling products. According to Youthful Investor, the company reports an annual revenue of $4 million. 

Making a real impact

For Yve-Car and Stéphane, their work means much more than selling great beauty products. Their supply chain is sourced directly out of Haiti, providing people with employment opportunities, specifically women who have been affected by gender-based violence and poverty. 90% of their staff is women, and the brand has hired over 350 farmers to plant thousands of castor trees. The farming and harvesting of castor seeds also aids in the efforts against deforestation and lowers gas emissions in Haiti. 


After the 2010 earthquake, Yve-Car talked to her mother about putting her business idea aside and prioritizing emergency care to Haitians in need. It was her mother who encouraged her to keep the business going, as it provides a way for people to get back on their feet. "Education, health, and poverty alleviation can all be improved when people have income and unemployment is reduced. This is what we are championing as a brand" (via Kreyòl Essence).