Olamide Olowe, 26, is the co-founder of Topicals skincare, a company she was inspired to start after growing up with skin problems. Since then, the popularity of her skincare product has grown exponentially, with Tiktok and Instagram marketing primarily appealing to Gen-Z.
Olowe launched Topicals skincare in 2020, and its revenue tripled. Despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the product sold out in 48 hours at a market launch in 2021.
She later raised funds for her company from investors. She raised over $2 million in venture capital from notable investors including Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John and Insecure stars Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji. She became the youngest entrepreneur to raise such funds as a result of her fundraising efforts.
She also made her debut on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2022 for her previous $2.6 million fundraising. According to Forbes, the 26-year-old recently announced a $10 million financing round led by CAVU Consumer Partners, making her the youngest Black woman ever to raise $10 million in funding.
According to the source, Topicals will use the CAVU funding to expand the company and boost brand awareness. The company will also donate money to raise awareness about the link between mental health and skin conditions.
“To date, Topicals has donated more than $50,000 to support nonprofits providing mental health resources to marginalized communities. Now the company will be able to launch a 12-month accelerator program to support nonprofits in the mental health space,” Forbes wrote.
Olowe was born with post-barbae folliculitis (a skin inflammation), while Claudia was born with eczema. Olowe told Fortune that she understands what it’s like to live with skin conditions and the impact they have on one’s mental health, which is why she created Topicals.
She 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.
Prior to launching her own skincare line, she worked as an intern at Shea Moisture for two years, where she learned how to build a brand following for underserved consumers. “There was an ethos at Shea Moisture of doing well by doing good,” she told Forbes. “That motivated me to create Topicals with a social mission.”
Despite her success in raising funds to revitalize her business, Olowe’s entrepreneurial journey has not been without challenges. According to her, she must fight against the industry norm, which requires beauty companies to constantly launch new products, she told Forbes.
For others who want to be like her, the Nigerian-born entrepreneur said they should not hesitate to get started. “If you psych yourself out, even just a little bit, you won’t do it. Don’t even think about what you can’t do. Just ask, ‘Why not me?’”