- Shontay Lundy is the founding father of Black Girl Sunscreen, an organization she based in 2016.
- She based the corporate to supply individuals of coloration, particularly Black individuals, with a sunscreen that doesn’t go away a white forged on their pores and skin.
- Lundy additionally says she began the corporate to assist struggle the parable that Black individuals don’t must put on sunscreen in any respect.
- In an interview with Enterprise Insider, Lundy talks about securing funding for her model and why it is essential for individuals of coloration to put on sunscreen.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It was dangerous, Shontay Lundy stated, to create a sunscreen line marketed towards Black individuals. However it was a threat she was prepared to take.
In 2016, Lundy launched her firm, Black Lady Sunscreen, saying she was was “underwhelmed” by the variety of sunscreen choices for girls of coloration. It was particularly exhausting to discover a sunscreen that did not go away a white forged on her darkish pores and skin.
“I knew that there needed to be an answer to the shortage of choices,” she instructed Enterprise Insider. “The journey started to discover a answer for eliminating white residue and making ladies of coloration really feel nice and look nice within the solar.”
However nonetheless, her enterprise endeavor was fairly dangerous. Principally, she says, as a result of many Black individuals do not imagine they should use sunscreen — and due to this fact merely do not buy it.
“Usually, Black individuals do not put on sunscreen as a result of we weren’t taught to take action,” she stated. “I did not know if anybody would buy Black Lady Sunscreen — nonetheless, I did know that I could not be the solely Black lady that was searching for sunscreen.”
“They should acknowledge the ability of the Black greenback”
Black Lady Sunscreen is at present the one unbiased Black-owned model carried full time in Goal’s solar care part. It is also bought in retailers worldwide. The company’s valuation reportedly tops $5 million and earlier this summer time, it secured a $1 million investment in personal funding, Forbes reported.
Lundy recollects that discovering traders was “exhausting” for her, particularly as a Black lady, and says that enterprise capitalists “can do higher to diversify themselves” when it comes to what initiatives and which founders obtain their funding.
As beforehand reported by Enterprise Insider, female founders in 2017 received just 2.2% out of $85 billion in VC funding. And inside that, the variety of ladies of coloration who acquired funding is even decrease — in 2015, First Round Capital discovered that lower than 0.2% of all VC funding goes to companies which are run by ladies of coloration.
“I am in my mid-thirties, and from what I do know now, Black feminine entrepreneurs have been ignored within the funding area,” Lundy instructed Enterprise Insider. “[VCs] want to acknowledge the ability of the Black greenback and that Black and brown individuals are creating wonderful merchandise and providing nice providers.”
Lundy took specific care to make sure that Black Lady Sunscreen’s merchandise are water resistant and made utilizing pure substances, reminiscent of avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil. The youngsters’ sunscreen line is hypoallergenic, with no added fragrances, no parabens, no silicons, and no aluminum.
Lundy says she purposely selected substances that may “moisturize” the pores and skin and made positive none of her merchandise left “white residue” on darkish pores and skin — one of many greatest complaints Black prospects have on the subject of utilizing sunscreen. In hindsight, it appears Lundy made positive her product addressed all of the attainable excuses individuals of coloration might need for avoiding sunscreen.
“Because of our melanin, we do have some natural protection from the solar’s dangerous rays. However make no mistake, we’re all prone to the injury attributable to the solar,” she instructed Enterprise Insider. “We nonetheless burn and are prone to sun-induced injury reminiscent of sunspots, untimely growing older, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and most cancers.”
And as Rihanna so succinctly made clear this week, sunscreen is not only for the summer time. “You gon have wrinkles in the event you suppose SPF is seasonal,” she clapped again at an Instagram commenter who questioned why the pop star was promoting her model Fenty Pores and skin’s $35 sunscreen, which released this July and particularly advertises its compatibility with all pores and skin tones and “zero chalkiness,” at the moment of yr.
One in all Black Lady Sunscreen’s top-selling merchandise is its SPF 30 sunscreen
Lundy says Black Lady Sunscreen has continued to see large gross sales even because the pandemic started to brush by the nation and compelled individuals to social distance and restrict out of doors actions. Actually, Black Lady Sunscreen’s eCommerce has grown a lot this yr, the model feels comfy sufficient to launch a brand new product earlier than the yr lets up.
“We refused to let the pandemic decelerate our progress,” she stated. “Our crew adopted an ‘all palms on deck’ mentality to boost our social media technique, work longer hours, and enhance our advertising efforts.”
Lundy contributes the corporate’s large progress these previous few years to Instagram and says that platform is a “cost-effective medium” that allowed her to market and straight work together along with her prospects. At the moment, the corporate has over 100,000 Instagram followers whereas the web page devoted to its youngsters’ line boasts over 5,000.
“We’re right here to coach and begin the dialog amongst individuals of coloration to guard their pores and skin from the solar,” she stated. “Since we have now come on the scene, we have now seen different solar care manufacturers market towards Black and brown individuals.”
However nonetheless, Lundy says, the sunscreen business is one more sector that also has an extended option to go on the subject of optimizing Black spending energy, and creating merchandise which are extra inclusive of individuals of coloration.
“The business has now acknowledged that there’s a market,” she stated.” The business has develop into conscious that black ladies will spend the cash to deal with themselves.