Dr. Derick McElveen Jr. is a pharmacist by training and an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of EveryDay Fresh Club, a self-care brand that was created to fill a void in the market for hair products designed by and for Black men. The company sells natural hair and beard care products that are free of harmful chemicals and preservatives.
McElveen, a Jacksonville native, co-founded the brand with Dr. Theron Douglas, a Jacksonville native as well. They both completed pharmacy school while also tackling COVID-19 as first responders.
They first met while working at a military base in 2017. According to the Florida Star, the two bonded by sharing their college experiences before discussing grooming hacks that best suited their jobs’ strict clean-shaven requirements.
McElveen received his doctorate from Florida A&M University, a historically Black university. His interest in pharmacy was sparked by his grandfather’s relationship with his grandfather’s pharmacist, he claims. McElveen interned at his grandfather’s pharmacy when he was in high school. “It was a cerebral decision for me. I am fascinated by science. “I enjoy assisting people and providing information,” McElveen told News4Jax.
Douglas was fascinated by math and science. He studied engineering at the University of Florida before switching to pharmacy. The lack of Black-owned beard care brands inspired McElveen to launch EveryDay Fresh Club. McElveen and Douglas used their knowledge to create EveryDay Fresh Club, a line of grooming, shaving, and hygiene essentials.
Before launching the brand, Douglas was frequently approached on the street by men who inquired about the products he used on his beard. That’s when he and McElveen decided to take their brand seriously.
McElveen was invited to pitch their products at the TechStars Start Up Weekend competition in 2020, which was hosted by Elevated Ventures and the University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurial Growth.
“We spent a whole three days building the model and doing the marketing research. That’s when I realized this isn’t just a product or something that was fulfilling a need for us, this fills the needs for a lot of people and there is a really large market for people who aren’t being addressed. And that’s us,” McElveen said.
According to News4Jax, McElveen and Douglas finished third in the competition with their Beard Meringue and earned resources for business development, sales modeling, and consulting. EveryDay Fresh Club would go on sale in June 2022.