Meet Amanda Baldwin, CEO of Supergoop!, the first protective skincare brand that puts SPF at the forefront. The brand’s mission is to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen through its clean, feel-good, highly innovative formulas that are fun and easy to use daily and superpowered to shield skin from the full spectrum of light and other aggressors.
Supergoop! was founded by Holly Thaggard when her best friend was diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 25. Holly learned that one in five Americans will get skin cancer during their lifetime, a statistic that could be reversed if people took better precautions. Holly made it her mission to change those odds from one in five to one in 5,000 — she wants “to have every single person love sunscreen.”
Holly knew she needed to change consumer behavior by creating healthy habits early on. Since young children often balk at applying sun lotion, she teamed with a chemist to develop an SPF formula that wouldn’t itch, irritate or burn eyes. Originally Holly called it goop to heighten its appeal to the target audience, then eventually landed on Supergoop! as the name of both the lotion and her new company.
When it was time to take the company to the next level, Holly recruited Amanda, a CEO with significant marketing experience in the cosmetics industry. Together, they are scaling Supergoop! by bringing in investors and dermatologists to create an entire new category: a lifestyle brand dedicated to sunscreen.
Amanda oversees the entirety of the organization, setting its strategy for growth, building a world-class team and leading the company’s marketing, sales, product development, operations and finance divisions. Under her leadership for the past six years, the company has grown over 30x, become highly profitable and secured a majority investment from Blackstone Growth, Blackstone’s platform backing the next generation of category-creating brands
When asked how she transitioned from corporate to start-up — Amanda says “I don’t think I thought too much about how small Supergoop! was when I started - all I saw was how big the idea could be. I just dove in and got started - which I think was my first entrepreneurial lesson- just do it.”
Amanda is a veteran of the beauty industry. Before joining Supergoop!, she was a member of the operating team at L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused investment fund, collaborating with management teams across the portfolio with a particular focus on the beauty sector. She led the omnichannel marketing strategy of Dior Beauty at LVMH, Inc. and held several positions at Clinique, a part of The Estee Lauder Companies.
Amanda graduated magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and graduated with an MBA from Wharton, where she was a Palmer Scholar. She began her career in finance as a private equity investor at Apax Partners and an investment banking analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Amanda’s been named one of the top 25 Women in Consumer HealthTech and a Woman of Influence by New York Business Journal. She’s a member of YPO Manhattan, Harvard Harvard Women’s Initiative, Wharton Women in Leadership and the Baker Retailing Center Directors’ Council.
Holly and Amanda’s tenacity and commitment to their cause are among the many leadership qualities that have earned them success — including the 2021 majority investment from Blackstone Growth — and accolades, including recently being named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2022 National Overall Award winners.
Tell us a bit about your company
Supergoop! is the first and only lifestyle brand 100% dedicated to UV protection. Our mission is to change the way the world thinks about suncreen so that everyone wears it every single day.
What inspired you to start your business — what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?
Our founder Holly created Supergoop! to eliminate skin cancer which affects 1 in 5 people. So beneath all the incredible innovation and sunshine we have a very important purpose that guides everything that we do.
What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?
I’m a veteran of the beauty industry and have always understood that SPF is the single most important thing you can do for your skin and one of the easiest things we can call do for our health, so to dedicate my life to this mission is a dream come true. I also have learned over the years that I love being an entrepreneur- the idea of building something that wasn’t there before is always exciting and incredibly fulfilling
What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?
Launching products that everyone truly loves, and building a team that is best at what they do!
What has been one or two of your biggest learnings so far?
That the journey is not linear - you need to be very clear on the end goal, but very adaptable about how you will get there. And that great things are not accomplished alone - it’s all about the team.
What is an obstacle that you are grappling with as you continue to build this venture?
Scaling a business is hard - the saying of “what got you here won’t get you there” is true, and when you are growing quickly, always relevant. So building an always changing business in an ever changing world is not easy - but it’s what I love.
What surprises have you encountered as an entrepreneur? Something out of left field?
Every day there is a surprise- that’s what I’m here to help us navigate!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Never give up!
What has been the most rewarding thing about starting your own business?
Helping others fulfill their career dreams and meeting people around the globe who say how much the product has changed their lives.