767: How to Raise $2.7 Million, Sell Out in Nordstrom's and Disrupt the Skincare Industry with Topicals Co-Founders Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng


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In this episode of Support is Sexy, Co-Founders of Topicals, Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng speak about their business partnership, branding, and raising $2.7 million in investments by selling a vision, not just a product. Be inspired by their success as young women of color and learn about what it takes to create a truly disruptive brand on Support is Sexy.

Elayne Fluker

Elayne Fluker is the author of the new book, “Get Over ‘I Got It’: How to Stop Playing Superwoman, Get Support and Remember that Having It All Doesn’t Mean Doing It All Alone.” As host of the SUPPORT IS SEXY podcast, she interviews more than 500 successful women entrepreneurs around the world, who share inspiring, true stories of the ups and the downs of their entrepreneurial journeys. Elayne is also the founder of SiS.Academy, an online learning platform for women entrepreneurs. For more information about Elayne Fluker, please visit elaynefluker.com. Thank you for listening!

About our Guest:

Olamide Olowe is the 24-year-old Co-Founder & CEO of Topicals, a skincare company transforming the way people feel about skin with products for eczema and hyperpigmentation. A UCLA graduate, Olamide is the former Co-Founder of SheaGIRL, a Sundial Brands subsidiary.

Claudia Teng, also 24, is Co-Founder & CPO at Topicals, the brand creating “funner flare-ups.” Growing up with eczema and working in clinical research helped her see what patients really need and what’s lacking in the skin-care space. Topicals have sold out multiple times on nordstorm.com.

Insight from this episode:

  • Questions to ask potential business partners and investors.
  • Strategies for creating a brand that you believe in, even if others don’t.
  • A look into networking and finding investors, including Olamide’s experience cold contacting on LinkedIn.
  • How you can “do well by doing good.”

Quotes from the show:

  • “For anyone at any age, fundraising is really hard… It was really important for us, one, to find people who wanted to be allies with us.” –Olamide Olowe Support is Sexy Ep. #767
  • “We’re not just selling a cute cream on Instagram. We really are trying to change that category [of skin care].” –Olamide Olowe Support is Sexy Ep. #767
  • “Make sure that the people you have onboard with whatever facet, whether that’s a retailer partner, a retail partner, a co-founder, an investor, that this person really is on the same page with you about what the end goal is. Because when you’re not on the same page, that’s when dissension and a bunch of trouble happens because someone’s trying to pull forward while someone’s trying to pull back.” –Olamide Olowe Support is Sexy Ep. #767
  • “We wanted retail to help us tell our story. That was the purpose of being in retail.” –Claudia Teng Support is Sexy Ep. #767
  • “[Listening] is a simple but underrated tool. If you are a company, person, or brand that touts community and touts your brand having community, then it’s important to first and foremost be a listener to them and understand and be receptive to their needs.” –Claudia Teng Support is Sexy Ep. #767
  • “Inclusivity goes all the way back to product development.” –Olamide Olowe Support is Sexy Ep. #767

Resources Mentioned

Join Elayne live on your favorite social media platform: www.LiveWithElayne.com

Stay Connected:

Elayne Fluker

Website: elaynefluker.com

Twitter: @elaynefluker

Facebook: Elayne Fluker

Instagram: @elaynefluker

LinkedIn: Elayne Fluker

Youtube: Elayne Fluker

Olamide Olowe

Twitter: @OlamideAOlowe

Instagram: @olamideaolowe

LinkedIn: Olamide Olowe

Claudia Teng

LinkedIn: Claudia Teng


Website: mytopicals.com

Twitter: @topicals

Instagram: @mytopicals

TikTok: @topicals_

Support is Sexy

Website: Support is Sexy Podcast

Facebook: Support is Sexy

Instagram: @supportissexy

Youtube: Support is Sexy Podcast Playlist

Post-production for this episode was provided by Podcast Laundry.

[Music: “Stomp and Clap” by Scott Holmes from Free Music Archive]

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