Polk was one of more than 800 small and medium-sized business owner finalists invited to pitch their U.S.-made products to Walmart buyers during 30-minute one-on-one virtual meetings in June 2021. Solo Noir’s all-natural product line was selected from a pool of nearly 4,800 other initial applicants.
"Partnering with Walmart is a dream come true. I have always aspired to offer my affirmative grooming brand to their consumers, and this opportunity couldn't have come at a better time. Now more than ever, consumers are looking to support small brands that empower the black community, and Solo Noir does just that. It’s only up from here for the Solo Noir brand,” said Polk.
The Solo Noir product line is designed for black men’s skincare needs with affirmative product names such as DAPPER, REFINED, and BRAVE to empower men from the outside in. Five of Solo Noir’s best-selling 2-in-1 grooming products will be launched in two phases in Walmart stores located in AR, TN, LA, MS, AL, GA, VA, NC, FL, MD, TX, DC, and NJ. DAPPER Face + Beard Wash, REFINED Buff + Cleanse, and SLEEK Preshave + Shave Cream will be availablestarting February 1, 2022, and BRAVE Aftershave + Toner, and SMOOTH Face + Beard Moisturizer are due to launch in June 2022.
About Solo Noir
Owner Andrea Polk was inspired to create Solo Noir when she discovered an untapped market of all-natural grooming products designed just for Black men. Now celebrating 10 years in business, the product line was selected as “The 2017 Best Consumer Product in Chicago.”
Polk is a certified licensed aesthetician, with a Master of Business Administration in E-commerce and Logistics and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Tennessee State University. In 2020, Polk was selected out of a pool of 55 applicants to participate in the inaugural cohort of the University of Chicago’s L1 Creative Business Accelerator program, operated and managed by the University’s Arts + Public Life initiative.
As part of the L1 fellowship, Polk is one of three businesses granted both a 20-month fellowship and subsidized access to the new L1 Retail Store (launched in October 2021), where Solo Noir has found its first brick and mortar home on the South Side of Chicago at 319 E. Garfield Boulevard until the end of 2022. The Solo Noir brand serves as Andrea Polk’s tool in empowering the black community, one confident man at a time.
In addition to her work with Solo Noir, in late 2021 Andrea Polk and her daughter launched the brand Zen Soul Apothecary, addressing health and wellness needs for women and mothers.