EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — They started their teeth whitening business with a few hundred dollars and broken equipment.
"The lamps were hanging and it was bad," co-owner Cartier Banks said.
"It was duct-taped," Banks and business partner David Hicks III said simultaneously.
"Yep, we came a long way," Banks said.
Banks, Hicks, and Bilaal Mohamoud own Code White Teeth Whitening in Edina. They opened a second location in Eden Prairie last week. Both are within Salon Concepts, a shared workspace.
In addition to offering teeth whitening sessions ranging from 20 to 90 minutes, Code White has its own products, which include toothbrushes, water dental floss, toothpaste, whitening kits and other products.
"There is a clean mode, a whiten mode, a polish mode, and a gum care mode," Hicks said, describing the toothbrush settings.
Banks and Hicks say they're proud to run a Black-owned business that offers services and products for all people.
"To become the first Black company that's like Colgate or Crest, you know we feel like that would be a major thing," Banks said.
"This is something that will be a legacy we can leave for our children," Hicks said. "There's no locations of a Crest or a Colgate to get a service. Code White, we here have services where you can come and get your teeth whitened and come and get products as well."
As for what's next, they're working on opening locations in Atlanta, Houston and London. They're also seeking investors.
"We all brush our teeth every day," Hicks said. "Or at least we hope so."
"Now we have a chance to give the world a reason to smile," Banks said.