Wife and husband duo Intisar Bashir and Rashid Mahdi, in 2018, started Browndages after noticing that they could not find bandages to match their family’s skin tones. Taking care of three kids running around daily meant that they used a lot of bandages because they are likely to be wounded.
“Bandages were supposed to be flesh toned and the ones we were buying in stores were not matching the tones of flesh in our household,” Bashir told NBC4.
The Columbus couple, therefore, decided to create their own line of darker flesh tone bandages to fill the market gap. The idea was championed by Bashir who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. The bandages come in four different shades of brown and are even approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
In addition, the bandages are among only a few wound-care brands for darker skin tones, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “Until we started researching to bring our company to market, I had never heard of anything like this,” Bashir told the outlet.
The couple in their interview with NBC4 also mentioned how they expanded their company Browndages as their children grew to “offer children’s bandages featuring characters in their likenesses.”
“Nailah is the aspiring chef, Yasmine is the future veterinarian and our son, Tahir, is the future astronaut,” said Bashir of the characters inspired by her children.
They also created pajama sets with the same characters and many children’s books.
Following the launch of their brand, they were hopeful of a favorable market but that did not materialize until June 2020, when Black Lives Matter protests peaked in the U.S. People began showing interest in Black-led ventures, which led to a rise in sales. In June 2020 alone, the company brought in $130,000 in revenue in just six days.
Bashir and Mahdi were recently on Shark Tank to pitch their business for funding to expand operations. They landed a $100,000 investment and a $75,000 line of credit, from the trio of Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner and Daymond John. This was after they asked for $75,000 in investment money, in return for 7.5% of their company, according to CNBC Make It.
What is more, Cuban, who owns NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, said he could get the team to wear and distribute the bandages themselves. He made the offer to help the brand “extend into multiple communities, so they can all feel represented.”