Olamide Olowe is the co-founder of Topicals, a skincare brand with high-end beauty products intended to treat sensitive skin conditions at lesser price points. According to Olowe, she and her co-founder were inspired to create the skincare product because they both grew up with skin conditions.
She grew up with post barbae folliculitis (a skin inflammation) while her co-founder, Claudia, grew up with eczema. Olowe told Fortune that she knows what it feels like to live with skin conditions and the effect they have on one’s mental health, hence the creation of Topicals.
Olowe, now 24, is mindful of the role social media plays in how people feel about themselves or their skin. “That’s why it is important to us to create a brand that doesn’t focus on perfection or unattainable beauty standards. We want to transform the way people feel about skin and we do that on social media by showcasing people with visible skin conditions living life in full color,” she told Fortune.
Recently, she got investors to back her business in fundraising. She raised over $2 million in venture capital with some big-name investors such as the CEO of Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John and Insecure actresses Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji. The fundraising made her the youngest entrepreneur to raise such a fund, reports said.
“I’m a 23-year-old Black woman, so the stats were not in my favor, to begin with. I faced my fair share of bias from investors, but ultimately my overqualified background and my unique insights into the category got investors excited enough to back Topicals’ vision,” she said last September.
When Topicals was launched in August, the product was sold out in 48 hours despite the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the brand has built a cult following although in recent weeks, the pandemic has affected the supply of the product.
In a piece of advice to potential entrepreneurs, Olowe said they should develop unique insights and marketing niches around their product.
“Develop a unique insight and learn to storytell around the fact that you are the best person to bring this idea to life. Successful businesses are built around intuitive knowledge of an under-tapped category,” she told Teen Vogue.