People of color have long since endured hardships to create more visibility and diversity in the beauty industry.
Support for POC in beauty has been an uphill battle to have their financial, social, and cultural contributions acknowledged, but still, many entrepreneurs continue to push the envelope to shake up the industry.
Recently, two entrepreneurs — Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng — set out to accomplish their goal to create their own skincare line that aims to treat skin conditions for all skin tones and provide quality products consumers can rely on, according to Black Enterprise.
Topicals — a newly launched WOC-owned skincare company — was founded by Olowe and Teng to help people like them who have sensitive skin conditions like eczema, hyperpigmentation, psoriasis and more. Plus, they also aim to provide representation for people that look like them.
“With my background in clinical research and dermatology, I saw firsthand the lack of access to care that existed for these types of skin conditions,” said chief product officer and co-founder Teng in a press statement. “For me, I knew there was a serious opportunity to create something affordable, and that not only educated a broad amount of people, but also made their treatment experience more enjoyable.”
Teng and Olowe raised $2.6 million in starting capital for their brand with the help of celebrity angel investors like Netflix CMO, Bozoma Saint John, entrepreneur and DJ, Hannah Bronfman, and HBO “Insecure” actors Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji, lead by venture capitalist firm Lerer Hippeau in partnership with Mucker Capital, Black Enterprise reports.
“They’ve developed an authentic product for a Gen-Z audience that addresses an underserved area of the beauty market while changing the conversation through skin positivity and self-expression,” said Caitlin Strandberg, principal at Lerer Hippeau in a press statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with them on this journey.”
Both Teng and Olowe have donated 1 percent of the brand’s profits to various organizations such as Therapy for Black Girls and Fearless Femme 100 to provide more support in their communities.
The two founders have been trying to lead the charge for other POC-brands in the beauty industry where they’re normally overlooked for their work. By creating Topicals, they’ve been able to help pave the way for other POC entrepreneurs.
“It really validates the need for people who look like us to build companies the way we’re building them,” said Olowe to ESSENCE. “So we try to bring the same kind of [self-care] experience that skin care brands Glossier or a Drunk Elephant would give to their customers and try to bring that to the clinical space. And you haven’t seen that in our industry.”
Topicals has launched in Nordstrom, according to In the Know, and nearly sold out of the first two products to launch for the brand.
For more information on Topicals, visit their website.