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Topicals Founder Olamide Olowe started winning by going where other skincare companies weren’t…

Joining me on the show today is Olamide Olowe, founder of Topicals.

Founded by two young women of color with chronic skin conditions, Topicals is transforming the way you feel about skin by making the treatment of stigmatized skin conditions like eczema and hyperpigmentation synonymous with the luxury and fun of self-care. Believing you shouldn’t have to hide, feel less-than, or settle for products that don’t serve or speak to you, Topicals products are effective and luxurious, but won’t break the bank.

In this episode we cover so many need-to-know things especially if you’re just getting started. Like the importance of marketing where other brands aren’t. And spoiler alert, the brand did more than 50% of their launch revenue through a surprising channel.

Putting the customer at the very forefront of what you’re doing and building strong relationships, and an interesting campaign with the help of Lindsay Lohan.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!

Yeah, my name's Olamide Olowe

I am the CEO of a skin care company called Topicals. We make skin care for chronic skin conditions and we're on a mission to transform the way people feel about skin through effective products and mental health advocacy. We talk a lot about mental health advocacy because people with chronic conditions are two to six times more likely to experience depression or anxiety. We donate a percentage of proceeds to mental health organizations now like Therapy for Black Girls, Five Girls Foundation and Fearless and one hundred.

Wow, that's so incredible. Amazing. Let's go back to life before you started Tropicals to talk about what was getting you excited about starting your own business in the first place.

Yeah, that's a really, really great question. So interestingly enough, I grew up as someone who was really interested in beauty but didn't really understand that you could make it into a career. I was the one who was always mixing ingredients in the kitchen, the cayenne pepper and olive oil to make Herath the base staff and look back because I was obsessed with the YouTube generation. And so I grew up knowing that I wanted to go to med school. My dad's a doctor. They built and run their own medical clinics for a while. And so I figured I followed in my family's footsteps and do something in the medical field. And so I started from dermatology because I thought, wow, you could do skin and hair and nails, but in a medical setting. So I attended UCLA on full scholarship. I was also a runner there. I got a full scholarship to Rentrak and got his M.A. in the summer of twenty fourteen, excited to be a student athlete. A quickly realized that doing both of those together is super, super hard. So I was juggling staying up super late to study for biology tests. But then also I had to lift weights in the morning at six a.m. and then practice in the afternoon, cutting in between classes. And so I realized that I wasn't going to have the same time that most of my colleagues did do clinical rotations or shadowing the doctors. So I thought, let me do something more entrepreneurial. I've always been entrepreneurial. My parents are entrepreneurs. Let me try something entrepreneurial that kind of mixes the med school and the skincare dermatology side of things.

And so I ended up really, fortunately, meeting a young woman named Michelle Dennis and we ended up cofounding a beauty brand called Shakra. In partnership with Moisture. She moisture's one of the largest multicultural beauty brands in the world. And Shakra was pretty much our thesis around young women of color not having brands that support them around puberty. And so our first couple of products targeted dry skin and sensitive skin for young women. We did that for about two years. I was so fortunate. This was in twenty, fifteen, twenty sixteen. We pitched to major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Ulta. We eventually took the brand direct to consumer in twenty fifteen because that's when Instagram was booming. That's when they had launched a was trying to figure out social selling. And so we convinced the higher ups and we said instead of going through retail, let's go online and two years into that. So 20, 17 year college, our parent company Send Out Brands was acquired by Unilever for half a billion dollars. And that was eye opening to me. I was like I'd never, ever had never heard the word billion. But like seeing that that was a reality, especially in an industry like CPG was so mind boggling to me. And I thought to myself, I loved what I did here. I don't want to go to med school, at least right now. I want to start something, but I want to start something that feels really close to me that almost has like a one to one kind of example with what happened at Shameless.

So the big thing about moisture is that they saw that there was this discrepancy between the beauty hair care aisle and then the ethnic hair care out there was like this segregation. And so as I was doing my own research about things that I was interested, I started to realize that like dermatological skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, those kind of skin conditions were relegated to the equipment aisle. And then all the other skin conditions that had kind of become mainstream, like acne were in the beauty skin care aisle. And I realized that there were no brands that people had an emotional affinity to in the aisle and realized that I could pretty much take kind of like the same playbook that I learned that moisture and maybe apply it to the skin care market. And that's how topics came about.

Holy moly. First of all, you're a superstar.

Thank you. So many things going on there. Wow. So does that technically make you like a university drop out then? Because you're like, I'm here, but you know what? I'm going to leave and start my own business. My mother would not allow.

So I did graduate from UCLA in the spring of twenty eighteen, which my major, though, so I did premed. So I, I had to do my premed Rex. But then eventually I said I wanted to do something a little more in the social sciences is like my actual major. So I got a B.A. in political science with a concentration in race, ethnicity and politics.

Gosh, wow, amazing. So what were people around you saying when you will like, OK, I'm actually going to start my own business, I'm not going to go into med school.

What was the reaction of the network of people around you immediately and then the kind of wider circle of people, you know, friends of friends and people who you were talking to about your idea?

So let's go from the inner circle first. My mother was horrified, absolutely horrified. She was like, you've worked so hard to get to UCLA. You worked so hard to study why doctors are med school like this is what you wanted to do. And my dad, who is just as wacky as I am, would like to do it. He was like, who cares if he was like, he's like, you'll never be twenty one ever again. So do wild things at twenty one. And you can always he's like, you figure things out all the time. I'm the first of three and I have a younger sister who's twenty two and I have a younger brother who's 18. And so my parents were like yeah you'll figure oh my dad was like you'll figure it out. My mom was horrified. Luckily though, I think my dad kind of calmed her down. So I actually didn't know until August of this year that my mother was completely horrified and very worried for me. She never really said anything, I think, because she didn't want to dampen my spirits. But my dad was always super encouraging. My boyfriend was super supportive. He was like he actually gave me my first twenty five hundred dollars to incorporate the company. He was like, You have a dream to do this thing. I have seen how meticulous you are about other things. So here's twenty five hundred investors in your business and start to incorporate the company.

And he was like my first money in. I already return the money back to him, but like he was my first money. So that was great to have that. I think outside of that though, my friends were kind of like, what are you doing? Why would you give up? Because at the time I had already decided like med school was going to wait a little bit. I wanted to do other things. So I had accepted a job to do consulting, management, consulting, and the salary was like eighty thousand dollars for a fresh undergrad. I was twenty one and my friends were like, why, what could you why would you take this down like any other like I just don't understand. Like that's so much money. None of us are getting offers like that. Why would you not take it. And then I think generally other people kind of in the business sphere saw me as someone who I think at the time people were like, oh, she's so cute. Like, you know, she doesn't realize how hard this is. Like not I don't think they discourage me. But they were also just like this. Twenty one year old girl has no idea what she's getting yourself into. And to be very frank, I don't fully know. I think I've adapted well, but like I didn't fully know. So that's kind of how the ecosystem was.

I also do think, though, that that naivety at the very beginning when you're thinking, you know, I'm going to start a business, it's kind of better.

I think it pushes you further because you've got to figure it out. I think if you knew how hard it is from the very beginning, maybe a lot of people wouldn't start.

I think you're absolutely right, I think is a risk in starting a business, and if you know too much or you have too many responsibilities, that it's very difficult to make the jump if you know, you have to pay X, Y and Z bills. If you know you have to support X, Y and Z people, that is a lot more difficult. It's a lot more difficult to start a business, which is why I do truly feel for people who have student debt or who have families because it's a big risk. And so I hope to see more programs get started for people at that stage who do have student debt or who have children or some other financial obligation where starting a company isn't exactly in their cards. Because I think entrepreneurship is a beautiful thing and I think it helps our ecosystem. It changes people's lives. And so I don't think the opportunity to be an entrepreneur should only be gifted to those who are privileged enough to have access to networks that have access to capital.

Totally. Totally. Absolutely.

So I want to ask you how you got started, what were the first kind of key steps to start building this brand in the very beginning?

Yeah, anyone who knows me knows that I'm super obsessed with consumer behavior, so I spend a lot of time understanding why people buy what they buy. I am not a impulse buyer, so it's very interesting for me to understand why people purchase certain products. Services from who? How do they hear about it? And so I think the first thing I did is I knew that I wanted it to be in the skin care space and I knew I wanted it to be accessible to people online and potentially in stores. But I didn't understand what kind of products it would be, who how I would marketed, the kind of branding, the kind of conversation and tone of voice that I would have. And so the first thing I always do is get close to the customer either by doing interviews with people and just asking them, finding people who have skin conditions and asking them questions about like how does it make you feel that there aren't any brands that have to packaging for your skin care, particularly for your skin conditions? How does it feel to have to shop in a completely separate aisle or a completely separate store? What is your experience with dermatologists when they're telling you about your condition? Is it cold? Does it feel clinical or is it fun? And so when you start to ask these questions and you start to see people with almost even when you're talking to them about certain things, it allows you to see that that's something that bothers people.

I think another way to do that outside of just talking to people is social listening. So I love to listen on Twitter. So I will search certain words and just read people's tweets to see, like, what are people talking about, about a specific subject and just kind of learn from people. And then the third is just doing data research in different industry journals. So there are a lot of reports that come out that say this is going to be a big industry in twenty twenty one or these are the top interesting ingredients or top interesting categories. And so I take a compilation of all of that, and that's when I start to scream out what this brand could be.

Mhm. That's so interesting. I love your tips on listening on Twitter. I'm someone that loves to go deep and read it and get lost in the substance of what people are saying and all the different opinions in this kind of thing. I find it so fascinating.

Yeah. I read it is a little hard for me. I've tried but I don't think I understand the UI UX just yet, but definitely trying to get into Reddit because I think it's a great community.

It's great on your phone. I quite like the app.

Like I haven't really used it on desktop, but the phone is good, so you kind of start formulating your idea. It's starting to come together. You've got lots of validation from these people that you've been speaking to on video calls and face to face and things like that. What's the kind of next key milestones to getting this brand ready to launch?

Yeah, so I think once you start to understand what the customer wants. So for us, the first iteration of what I thought was going to be was actually prescription products, particularly prescription products that were for chronic conditions, making them readily available online, similar to like a hems or hers or like a Roman or any kind of these urology things. That's what I thought at first. I thought, OK, archaeology's doing acti. There are a ton of other skin conditions that I'd love to tackle. When I started to do the research, people started saying that they didn't always have a great reaction to prescription products. For example, people with eczema, a lot of people who started seeing this interesting phenomenon called W or topical steroid withdrawal, where people where their skin and become addicted to the active ingredient in the steroids and that when they tried to be off their body would go into full blown highs and then hyper pigmentation. We started seeing that with hydroquinone if used improperly, which nine out of 10 people are using it improperly. With that prolonged use, you would get a condition called Okeanos this, which is basically permanent skin cell death. And so we sort of started seeing a lot of things where either it was miseducation, misinformation about how to use certain products and realize that the customer was actually not really looking for a prescription product. In some cases. I do believe in medicine. So I do think prescriptions work and in some cases people do need them. But people were looking for alternatives.

And so that's when I knew that it wasn't going to be prescription, it wasn't going to be kind of see a doctor via your phone or via computer. But it was going to be more of an education based company where we were shedding light on these skin conditions in a way that was super accessible. That's another thing we just started seeing that people just did not understand or know that they had certain skin conditions until it was broken down into terms that they could really understand and resonate with. And so once we figured that out, then Claudia was my co-founder. We met through a mutual friend and she had a background in clinical research at Stanford. And so we started talking about what it would look like to formulate products for these skin conditions. And so we formulated two products, one called Faded, which is a serum that works to reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots. And then like butter, which is a hydrating mask that can double as moisturizer for some people who use it alone for dry, sensitive or eczema prone skin. And so once we knew who we were talking to, how they want to be spoken to, then it started with me. And for us, we just Googled labs, we asked other friends that we knew who are in the industry to give us recommendations, usually a lot of it is recommendation based. And I know there's definitely a lot of work to be done in the product development sphere of the beauty industry because it's just very, very hard to navigate that system.

And to know that you're getting a good product, just good labs is a very, very hard process. And so did that start formulation. And then right as we were gearing up to launch, this was last year in March 20, 20, covid hit. And so when it hit, we were really taken aback because, I mean, we all I think everyone was just like this is something we've never seen before in the business world. People were just like, I don't know what to tell you. We started feeling a lot of hold ups, our packaging ingredients from different places. So we realized it just wasn't the best time to launch and that we could really pivot to doing more education, more community based learning with our audience. And so we pivoted to Twitter, which is an interesting case for us. We've been a case study with a couple of different outlets on this because most beauty brands live on Instagram, right. It's the place where you can show the product, the color, the hair, the texture of things. But it is expensive and very difficult to create good content on Instagram and Instagram is also really, really noisy. And so we knew that we were an education based brand and we started seeing skin care. Twitter really grow and started to realize that there wasn't that many brands on Twitter who were talking about skin care in the way that we were talking about it. And so we said, OK, like this seems like an arbitrage opportunity.

Let's focus here. Let's be consistent. And every Thursday, let's do a thread about a skin condition that we don't know about or about a topic that people have a lot of questions about. And so that started snowballing into us, tweeting a lot more on that channel, focusing a lot more there. And then using Instagram is almost like a mood board for the brand. As we were getting ready to launch an Instagram, we post people with physical skin conditions. We would kind of give a behind the scenes sometimes of like product process or growing the business, but really focused a lot of our attention on Twitter. And then our second time we went up to launch was in June. Right. As the Black Lives Matter protests were happening. And so we realized beauty products were the least of anyone's worries. I'm a black woman. Claudia is an Asian-American woman. So we understand racism very, very well. And so we decided that instead of putting our marketing budget towards launching the product, we should give that money to donating to causes that were really important to us, particularly around mental health, because our companies really rooted in that. So we donated money to the different organizations I mentioned earlier and then realized that this third times that we're going to have to get this company out of there. And so we finally launched on August 7th, 2020 in partnership with Nordstrom. And it was a whirlwind. That's all I can say.

I mean, third time's a charm. It sounds like it was a big charm for you guys. I read that you had sold out within forty eight hours of launching and the whole thing was just absolutely bonkers.

Do you think that that success really came from the move that you were doing on Twitter every week?

Definitely. I can even say from our own data that fifty percent of our revenue at launch was coming from Twitter, meaning the community we cultivated there was primed and ready to purchase from us. And on what I tell people when people ask me about advice for launching a company to fanfare launched a company that people want is to have that community before you launch. Because I think just in a typical friendship, a relationship, which is what we have, because we believe that's what we have with our customers, a relationship or a friendship, you would never meet someone for the first time and say like, hey, can you loan me ten dollars? You would never say, like, hey, can I move in with you? You wouldn't ask a question that would require a lot of that person. Similarly, as a brand, your first introduction to someone and in some cases it will be as you grow it as a brand and people care about you. But the first thing when you're launching it shouldn't be like purchase from us. It should be you have given something to someone or you've given them information or connection or inspired them in a way that then they get excited about the brand, not only for product, but just because they want to be a part of the brand story.

Totally, absolutely, and it's so true, and I think like people want that authenticity and that transparency of people who actually are sharing, like valuable information and they're building something for that long term vision of building a community not just like sell, sell, sell on the hard sell.

Right, exactly. I think that's just generally like capitalism has made a sell, sell, sell. And I think we live in a capitalistic society. And so we play by these rules. But I think, again, my time shame moisture left them. I absolutely loved my time there because they taught us about this concept of doing well by doing good. So when the company did well financially, we could do good for our community. And I think I try my best. That tropicals. And I love hearing feedback from our community, from people who work with us about how we can give back and do more for our community. But I do get really excited about how do we create new ways to we're seeing what's happening. We've relied on the government. We relied on different political figures to be our saving grace. I think it's almost time for the people now to use different vehicles to circumnavigate certain institutions and create our own institutions with our companies that we support. You vote with your dollar. And so I hope and I know that top schools were super hard at work figuring out how to do that in a way that's really sustainable because we don't want to do it just one time. Right. When to figure out a way that really impacts people and then also is very sustainable for the company and for our community.

Mhm. Yeah, that's a really interesting way to look at it and I totally agree.

I want to talk about something that I saw in one of your ads that you posted, it's a video of Lindsay Lohan and you're using a platform called Cameo, which is something that I haven't actually spoken to anyone on the show about before. But it's something that I've been personally super interested in and I've been seeing it a lot here and there.

Could you talk a little bit about the platform and how you've been using it and how it works?

Yes, that was so much fun and such an honor to work with Lindsay Lohan through Cameo. She's so sweet, obviously the sweetest. She's so, so sweet about the whole process. And it was a very seamless process. And Cameo has a business platform, which is more like an ad based platform where you can connect with people who you think really align with your brand. And so we worked with Lindsay as part of our Facebook campaign. So if anyone has watched mean girls, you know, the first book is a book where people talk about other people. We a spin on that and did a book where we talked about beauty status, which never existed. And so it was a really fun activation of our community to just again poke fun at parties. And it's like that's our whole brand. We're super nihilistic. We poke fun and we we always say we know the world's ending and we want to go out with a bang. And so we worked with her and she just said some words about the campaign and how you could join in. And our community loved it. They went wild for it. And I was so happy because, again, this whole thing about consumer behavior and understanding who your customer is, you know, how to support, how to like delight, surprise and delight your customer when you really study, too. They are.

Yeah, I thought it was so clever. I loved it, I love the video.

Are you able to share how much a project like that kind of costs when you're using a platform like Kamir?

So I can't remember off the top of my head, but I do know that that platform is more expensive than the typical platform. So I know sometimes on the typical platform can range between like ten dollars and maybe two fifty. I know that this platform, depending on who you're working with, can be upwards of a thousand dollars per video. If you're working with someone who's a pretty big talent, it really just depends on the person.

Got it. Got it right. And I didn't ask you in the beginning.

I kind of got ahead of myself with the marketing side of things, but I always love to dig in a little bit around the money side of things and find out how you were financing the brand in the beginning. I know you've done a really cool series, a fundraiser recently, which is so exciting. But going back before that to financing the brand in the very beginning with that startup capital, you needed to get going.

Yeah. Disclaimer here, it took me two years to raise that capital, which is way too long. But also I don't dislike any part of my journey to have gone to Tropicals. I think everything happens for a reason. And so the twenty eighteen right after I graduated. This is why I think a lot of people were like, this little girl has no idea what's happening and what's going to work out. And I had worked at a VC firm for about three months, my senior year, junior year of college. So I understood and understood kind of what investors were looking for. But I think I still I mean, you make a lot of mistakes. I think I know so much now, which is why I try to help other people. We're trying to fundraise. I mean, I also tell people that not everyone should fundraise, but I don't think everyone's business is fit for venture capital and kind of the pressures and speed that it puts on you. I love my investors, though. I think I have the best investors in the world. I have no problem at all. They've all been extremely helpful. But starting in twenty eighteen and I was really fortunate because I had just graduated college and there were two funds that were specifically for recent grads and undergrad students.

So one was called Dorm Room Fund and the other was called restauranteurs based in the US and they invest small check sizes into student led companies. And I was really fortunate that I just made the cut off of that. So that was my first money in outside of what my boyfriend put in that really helped us get going on understanding. Because the thing is, too, is like your early investors know that you're using the money to test. Right. Like they know that you're not going to blow up off of that first money in. But they do help to kind of shape what the company is going to be. So got those two first checks is super helpful, really great community. And then got into an accelerator called Mucker Capital and then from Mucker Capital, they connected me to different people, different angel investors. And that's when I really started getting angel investors on our top table. So we had we quite a bit of angel investors who are really, really helpful. And then again, this is so started in twenty eighteen, I'll say my first check was November of twenty eighteen and then the last check was literally July of twenty twenty.

So it was a full two year cycle of raising the money to get to the amount that we did. And twenty twenty was a whirlwind here. I'll tell you, even in May of twenty twenty we still have not raised that much capital. The, all the investors you see now that kind of are the ones that help us make the headlines, that we're not a part of the round yet. That's how quickly and shortly it's been that we've raised this money. But June, after Black Lives Matter and after just getting connected with the right kind of people, I think you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to the investors. I pitched over one hundred. So, yeah, just it takes a while and it takes it also. You need to get your feet wet too and like really understand, like, OK, this investor likes to hear these kind of things. Right. Some investors care more about the story and the team, other investors care about how are you going to get revenue like do you have contracts with retailers already? And so I think also our Nordstrom contract did help kind of solidify for people that this isn't just a brand that is going to launch on Instagram, like they have some sort of way to already before launch secured Nordstrom.

And so we we're really excited that they were excited as well. And so we raised capital from Larible. So they're one of the first investors in classic Albats Warby Parker Casper, which is really exciting. We had participation from a ton of angels, including both in the St. John, ICRA and Aberfan and Yvonne Orji. And so I was really excited particularly to have black women and women of color on my cap table, because very rarely do they get access to deals like mine. And if I'm in a position of power to make certain people rich, I don't think it should just be men that get rich. I love other male investors on my capital, by the way, that they're great. But I also think that women should be able to make money as well. I mean, we're shoppers. We care about skin care more than anybody else. Why aren't we also making money off of our obsession? And so we raised two point six billion round total. Our funding today is about two point six million.

And it's been interesting, again, I think raising money.

For certain people, it's not for everybody, and I don't think everybody's business should raise capital. I think that we raise capital because I knew where I wanted to go pretty early on and I knew that we would have I would say right now with product market fit. So I already knew how to drive product market fit pretty much at launch. I want to fully idea because it's all right, but I knew what I wanted to do and so I knew that I just needed to have the capital to really have the runway, because ever since we've launched, we've been sold out every month. And it literally burns me up because we're trying to demand plan and try to forecast. But we just have so much demand. And so I didn't have the capital to raise that money. It would be pretty much impossible for me to buy inventory for brands like myself. You don't make money until you literally purchase, create, manufacture, fill and ship the product to the customer. And so for us, in order to be able to support that growth that I knew we were going to have, I have to have capital before we launched. But I'll say most investors want to see more traction before they put money in.

That's amazing, and I really love what you were saying about having women on your Investa list and helping make those women rich as well, and I think that truly goes back to what you were saying in the beginning about your whole ethos, about building this brand and what this means on a bigger level, which is just so cool.

I really love that. Thank you. What does the future look like? What is next?

Yeah, so today, actually this week has been a very busy week for some topics. We just launched the Skin Campaign, which is a campaign that is challenging the notion that clear skin is good skin. So we have a video campaign that is live on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and ticktock. And we have a very, very fun surprise coming to the streets of New York City the second week of February. So really excited to kind of have our part two of this campaign be released. And you all get an early snippet of the hint of what it is, but really excited to keep challenging this notion that clear skin is good skin in our again, our mission is to transform the way people feel about skin. And so I'm so excited that the burn book are reflect and connect box over the holidays. And now the Good Skin campaign have showed that this is really our mission and this is what we stand for. They'll be new products coming soon, new exhibitions and hopefully new locations that we're also shipping to.

So super excited for their fun. Very exciting. I'm excited for the second week of February. We'll be keeping my eyes peeled. Love it. What is your best advice for women who have a big idea and want to start their own business?

Understand your consumer inside and outside. I think when you don't know your consumer, but you think you have a really good idea, if they don't match up, you will have spent a lot of time and money and energy pouring into an idea or a business that is not going to actually start to turn the wheels and make money.

Great advice. Thanks. OK, we're up to the six quick questions part of the episode, super fun. We might have covered some of these already, but love to recap. Question number one is what's your why? Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because I believe I've been given a God given talent to connect with others and to help people see the best in themselves. Everyone knows me and my friend group is that person who is always hounding people to like, you can do it, you can do it, like I always see the best in people and try to push them to do that. So my way is to continue to do that, whether through tropicals or other business endeavors.

I have the ultimate high skill. I am. Question number two is what do you think has been the number one marketing moment that made your business pop?

The number one marketing moment has been our Twitter threads on Twitter that that was the key to creating community and to fifty percent of our revenue at launch coming from Twitter.

Yeah, it's just mind blowing. Incredible.

Question number three is where do you hang out to get smart? What books are you reading? What podcast? You listen to other any newsletters that we must subscribe to immediately?

I have a list. So obviously, I mean, I don't really go out of the house before. To be fair, last year in the House trying to build top schools, but I was covered, ready. covid thing has not impacted me in the way where I feel like I can't get out the house. I mean, obviously, I think we're all tired of being in the house, but I had already practiced my skills. So I absolutely adore Webb Smith, who is the founder of TPM. That is the playbook of my life. Let me tell you something. If you are anyone who is smart or who wants to learn about business and started out and where we tell where consumers go and you need to be subscribe to websites to newsletter. Additionally, I love how I built this that I love by Reid Hoffman Masters's. I actually haven't listened to podcast a little bit, but I love those ones for other podcasts. I love Side Hustle Pro by Nicola Mathews. That's a great one to a lot of black women and women of color, creating businesses out of nothing, no vesi, nothing. They're just doing it. Additionally, I love to read some books that changed my life over the last two years. Are One Is The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. The other one is Lean Startup Method.

Is that what it's called? Yeah, I think it's lean startup.

Lean startup. Yeah. That one was really good too. I mean, currently I'm reading the twenty two immutable laws of marketing, which is an interesting read. It's really quick. I think I'm already halfway through it and I just started it like two or three days ago. But it's about the laws of marketing that are just I won't say they're not breakable, but they're very much laws that coincide with each other. And I think they're really great because every time I read a chapter, I always put myself in the mindset of like top schools doing this, or do we have a thing like this one that I was reading that I thought was super interesting is is about positioning pretty much and owning a word. And I would say that tropicals, we really are the flareups market. Right? We I think we've popularized the term flareups. And so I love that and I love that reading books like that. I would say, as you're reading these business books, to really be in the mind of yourself, like when they're asking question in the book, ask yourself this business question.

As the founder CEO of this company, I love that I'm going to link all of those in the show notes. I love the the fun of flare ups that you guys talk about.

What a war One More Shoe Dog, which is the book by the founder of Nike. That was amazing because the man started selling shoes out of the back of his trunk and obviously was in the nineteen sixties, I think. But it's still the same idea that like this obsession with product and consumer behavior and like figuring out what people needed and how to, he literally created a new kind of shoe based on like understanding and learning about runners. I also was a runner in college, so I'm just really I have an affinity for that book as well.

Oh, it's on my list, I'm going to read it as well soon on my list. Question number four is how do you win the day?

And that's around your AMPM rituals that keep you feeling happy and successful and motivated.

Yes, so am I. I love a good shower. I am. People ask me all the time like, what's my thinking spot? And the showers, my thinking spots. I try to wake up in the morning and take a shower, a hot shower, just like recess for me for the day. Additionally, I like to pray and meditate as soon as I wake up, like we're the generation of grabbing our phones. And I try my best not to because as soon as you do that, it's like you're sucked into the day of like this, this, this, this, this. And there's a ton of information coming out. So I like to pray, read my Bible and meditate in the morning to try and have some sort of Zen before I start the day of a busy day. Nighttime routine is I work pretty late last night probably till at nine thirty, which is not I try not to do that. I don't think overworking yourself I used to be that girl that was like work, work, work. But rest is productive as well. But my nighttime ritual is I'll usually finish up work and then when I'm eating dinner, I'll watch an episode of something on Netflix. I'm currently watching for Jatin and it's so good. And then I will I try to limit how much TV I watch unless I really need to, like, decompress for the day. But then I try to read for 30 minutes before I go to bed. So I was actually reading the twenty two immutable laws of marketing. That's what I was reading last night before I went to bed.

Nice love that question number five is, if you only had a thousand dollars left in your business bank account, where would you spend it? And that's the kind of like look at what your most important kind of dollar invested into something in the business is. You know what?

There's a lot of different ways I can answer this question if I want us to answer it on a more business, the kind of way I'd say like paid marketing through like Instagram or Ticktock or Twitter ads. But I think honestly, where I'd leave that last thousand dollars is with our community. So donating it to some sort of mental health organization, because if we say our mission is to transform the way people feel about skin, that doesn't always have to do with sales. Transforming the way people feel about skin is very much a mental thing. There's a true connection between skin health and mental health. And so if that is the goal of the company, then donating that last thousand dollars to a mental health organization would fulfill that mission.

Amazing. And last question. Question number six is how do you deal with failure?

I love failure. It hurts, but I absolutely love hearing it really hurts. So I'm not going to act like, oh, I love to fail. But I think every time I failed, I've actually won. I've either learned a lesson which is really cliche to say I've learned a lesson or I've lost something that I didn't need to have in the first place. I think everything that is meant for me is for me and I have manifested it attracted all the things that I need for my life to be happy. Like I'm literally happy now. I'm I'm happy that I was successful. But even if it wasn't successful, people would be to able to impact the way we've been able to change the conversation and transform the way people feel about skin is enough for me. So I think. Yeah.

That's incredible.

I am just so in awe of you and what you've already created for the world and what you're going to be doing in the future. And so a huge thank you for taking the time to talk to me today and share all these incredible insights and learnings and advice from your journey so far. Of course. Thank you so, so much for having me.


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