Shontay Lundy of Black Girl Sunscreen secures $1m investment amid COVID-19

Theodora Aidoo May 31, 2020 at 08:00am

May 31, 2020 at 08:00 am | Money Moves, Women

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

May 31, 2020 at 08:00 am | Money Moves, Women

Founder and CEO of Black Girl Sunscreen, Shontay Lundy

Shontay Lundy, an African American woman founder and CEO of Black Girl Sunscreen, has managed to secure a $1-million-dollar investment from a private female funding source, notwithstanding the economic crises posed by the COVID-19.

While most black minority-owned businesses are struggling to stay afloat and finding it increasingly challenging to raise capital during the coronavirus pandemic, Lundy achieved this milestone with one single anchor product.

In an interview,  Lundy said: “It didn’t hurt that we secured a partnership with a big-box retailer, which activated national exposure for our brand. Some of my favourite leaders were women.

“Women helping women flourish vital to me, so it felt natural. This investment is just the start! But it will help Black Girl Sunscreen reach its full potential by bringing our ideas to life!”

Despite the fact that minority women account for 89% of new businesses opened every day, black women entrepreneurs are marginalized and receive little to no funding. However, women of colour, are not giving up on funding new businesses and bringing their dreams to life through entrepreneurship.

It all started when Lundy realized the need to educate people of colour, especially those having the misconception that they don’t need to wear sunscreen. She learned that people of colour are also at risk of getting skin cancer, despite additional melanin in the skin.

She also learned that African Americans have the highest rate of mortality in the U.S. population after receiving a melanoma diagnosis. Lundy recognized a business opportunity and launched her company based in Miami, Florida in 2016 – a sunscreen brand that caters exclusively to women of colour.

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⁣”Let’s talk SPF! This is one of my favorite sunscreens right now. @BlackGirlSunscreen is a great sunscreen for deeper complexions who have trouble finding a good drugstore sunscreen without leaving a white cast. This brand is WOC created so that’s something that is important to me.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ WHAT SKIN TYPE IS THIS GOOD FOR: I would say this sunscreen is great for drier skin types because it is formulated with jojoba, avocado, vitamin E, and sunflower oil to keep the skin glowing and moisturized! But all skin types can use this sunscreen.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN SHOULD YOU USE: Half a teaspoon is recommended in order to get the full benefits of the SPF 30″⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Thank you so much @thatsjustbeautyful for the GLOWIN’ review!

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Black Girl Sunscreen uses no parabens, or other harmful chemicals while infusing natural ingredients like avocado, jojoba, aloe, cocoa butter, and carrot juice, which are ideal to moisturizing skin with melanin, without the dreaded white residue familiar with most sunscreen.

According to Forbes, Black Girl Sunscreen is the only Indie black-owned brand carried full time in Target’s sun care section. Currently, over 200 Target stores across the country sell the BGS SPF 30 and BGS Kids SPF 50. With the new partnership, Black Girl Sunscreen is valued at $5 million.

The company has a five-member staff and according to Lundy, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, they implemented an “all-hands-on-deck” mentality to ensure the company thrived. “I told the team we need to change the narrative and be very nimble to survive this,” she said.

The team reportedly improved their social media strategy, worked longer hours, and amplified their marketing efforts. As a result, the brand has seen a tremendous increase in e-commerce orders, despite COVD-19. The company is now planning on launching a new product later this year.

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