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Marketing beauty.

Ron Walker is on a mission. His quest: To bring science, technology and cosmetology together to develop "tecnologically soud" hair care and beauty products. So far the 47-year-old entrepreneur has been successful. As president of R.M. Walker HealthCare Products Co. Inc., a $2 million firm based in Tucker, Ga., Walker recently introduced his own line of relaxers, conditioners and shampoos.

Unveiling his own product line has been a longheld dream for Walker, who has over 25 years of experience in the hair care industry. However, when he launched R.M. Walker in 1987 with $500,000 in personal savings, Walker started out as a consultant, not a manufacturer. (Walker owns 49% of the company; Vice President Francis Guess, who is black, controls 14%, and Ray Danner, who is white, owns 8%. Walker says that he has three other minor investors.)

"We contacted other manufacturers and developed products, research and development plans for them," Walker recalls, adding that R.M. Walker's first client was Schering-Plough Corp., a Madison, N.J.-based pharmaceutical and consumer-products company. When Schering-Plough decided to concentrate on its pharmaceutical operations, Walker decided to research and develop his own line of products geared toward African-Americans.

Thanks to his connections, Walker in 1987 was ableto get Schering-Plough to invest $3 million over a three-year period for research and development. And the research has paid off. In early 1991, the "kink Wave Memory System," a complete line of wave and relaxer products, was introduced to hair stylists during the National Black Hair Fashion Group's semi-annual educational retreat in Chicago.
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Title Annotation:R.M. Walker HealthCare Products Company Inc.
Author:Torrence-Thompson, Juanita
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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