We take a dive into the mind of a kid behind bars turned into a successful entrepreneur raising $2.5 million for an untapped market in the male fashion and self-care industries with TROY Skincare.

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From prison to purpose-driven product

“We have to learn to just bring each other together and to have love. And through love and understanding that we are all one people, we can all do this together if we believe in one another.” Click To Tweet

Ever since he was a young kid Troy Alexander, founder of TROY Skincare, wanted to build something meaningful. Having been in prison for 2 years as a youth —  and taking it as an opportunity for personal growth — Troy turned a negative into a positive. In his own words, ‘prison was really my MBA. It was the greatest experience I could have ever had in my life.’ Troy shows us that through hardships come perseverance, grit, and growth. Since then, he has embarked on a journey of love, understanding, and success.

In today’s episode of Creating Community for Good, we take a dive into the mind of how a kid behind bars can turn into a journalist for Forbes, The New York Times, and Details; how he was able to travel the world and consult luxury brands like Bentley, Range Rover, Jaguar and Symrise; and ultimately, how he became a successful entrepreneur and is raising $2.5 million for his skincare brand, TROY Skincare for Men. This is a story synchronistically following the conversation with our previous guest, Celia Tejada, and our conversation about providing art and counselling to youth in juvenile hall via The Imagine Bus Project. 

Learn to stay out of your mind

As a man of color living in a country where racism runs through its veins, Troy is the embodied image of the American dream come true. He acknowledges the privileges that he had growing up with access to resources, education, and guidance from mentors. Nevertheless, he faced the same destiny that dawns on many of the minorities in the U.S., yet he pulled through with grace and focus. 

He realized early on that ego and pride will destroy a man, and he understood that he needed to learn to let go of those things, embrace both the divine masculine and the divine feminine within himself, and focus on kindness for all. Since then he’s become a student of life, questioning everything and giving it his all every day. Troy is all about helping others — through all skin tones — pushing us all to become better versions of ourselves. His theory is that if he can help men feel better about themselves through ritualized self-care and honesty, men will be compelled to treat others better. 

Tell it how it is

Back when Troy was a contributing writer, no one was targeting the market of men in beauty or in fashion. This untapped territory led to the ‘aha’ moment.

He had the opportunity to consult with Symrise, one of the top players in the beauty industry, and explore the markets in Korea, Paris, and Africa. Ultimately, he set up shop in Los Angeles — where the clean beauty movement is thriving. He gathered an all-star team including Snoop Dog’s son as a co-founder, President of a division at Mitsubishi Financial Group, and a board of advisors raining from the doctor of the Saudi King and Prince all the way to Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite dentist in New York. To put the cherry on top, all products are organic and named after women, in order to shift the mental consciousness of their clients. Needless to say, TROY Skincare was set out to be groundbreaking from the get-go.

Troy is a connector: he has that spark and that magic that’s just contagious, making you feel instantly better about yourself. I can attest to that as we randomly met on a beach in California and the rest is history! He believes the reason why men are suffering and struggling with their own identities is due to all of the mixed messaging. For him, being a man in this era brings a great opportunity to practice love, patience, and honesty. That’s why the whole brand and the whole vision in TROY Skincare is about men coming clean and being better versions of themselves.

Key Takeaways: 

02:40 – Why Troy’s personal prison number is on the back of every product and why his social impact program is about putting money in the hands of men and women in the penal system.

14:35 – What was his problem and what was his solution: uncovering an untapped market.

20:24 – What does it look like to be an evolved man? Embrace the divine masculine and divine feminine.

24:30 – Troy’s perspective on race relations and systems of oppression, as a black man.

28:46 – Business talk: a few vehicles for investments in the for-profit world and how to raise $2.5 million from 1 or 2 people by cold-calling 100 to 200 people!

32:05 – The difference between a for-profit and a nonprofit strategy for raising major funds. 

Connect with Troy

Connect with Troy through LinkedIn

Schedule Time to Talk to Troy

Listen to the groupTHINK podcast

Follow TROY Skincare on Instagram

Join the TROY Skincare Community

Episode Resources

24: Celia Tejada | Design and Creativity Build Communities

The Magic of Believing by Claude M. Bristol

The Century of the Self by Adam Curtis (documentary on Edward Bernays)


Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Nipsey Hussle

Jurriaan Kamp: Kamp Solutions