Supergoop! CEO Amanda Baldwin on Finding Your Path
WIE SUITE WOMEN
September 5, 2023
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Amanda Baldwin is the CEO of Supergoop!, the first protective skincare brand that puts SPF at the forefront. 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.

Amanda is a veteran of the beauty industry, and before joining Supergoop!, she was a member of the operating team at L Catterton, 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 earned an A.B. magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and an M.B.A. with honors from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Palmer Scholar. She was recently named one of the top 25 Women in Consumer HealthTech and a Woman of Influence by the New York Business Journal.

Amanda lives in Manhattan with her husband and eight-year-old son.

You worked in consulting and investment banking before getting into beauty. What drove that career change?

I have always loved brands. There is something about how they tell stories, create worlds and inspire our imaginations, as well as reflect our reality. In fact I wrote my college thesis on the Gap in its heyday and created advertisements for PepsiCo while still an undergrad. I also love anything creative and aesthetically driven - photography was a big hobby for me growing up. I remember being in PE working on a fashion deal and all I wanted to do was to stay behind in the design studio. So I decided to see what it was like on the other side of the table and try my hand at actually being inside a business. I chose beauty because it leveraged all the analytics I still loved with the creativity I was craving.

How did you manage the transition from corporate to start-up and what excited you about that switch?

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!


Do you have advice for others who are considering that shift?

The best piece of advice I like to give is to follow your heart, it never lies.

You know if the shift feels right in your gut- trust it and then don’t look back. But I also think it’s important to acknowledge that this roller coaster ride isn’t for everyone.

Building something is not easy or glamorous - it’s fun and amazingly rewarding for the right people, but it’s totally ok if it doesn’t feel like the right fit. Larger organizations are amazing places too, so finding the right path for you is what matters most.

What are your top priorities at Supergoop! at the moment?

Supergoop! has grown significantly over the past years, but we are just at the start! There are still millions of people around the globe that we want to reach with our message of SPF for everyone, every single day. We will never stop innovating to create the best possible product and brand experience, building a strong business, and ensuring that Supergoop! is an awesome place to work.

How are you handling the shifts in the DTC landscape?

Our brand and our mission is a movement not a moment. So if things change in the business landscape we change right along with it. The era of fast scaling DTC brands might be shifting, but that’s never what we were. We see our website and our digital marketing as a part of a broader brand ecosystem and we are excited for all of the preparations we are making for what comes next.

How do you navigate through a world in turmoil and do you have any leadership tips?

I am learning as I go. First is to expect change and to know you don’t have all the answers - and to be open with your team about that. Second is to be ready to constantly shift and reevaluate as facts change (but that doesn’t mean going on the defensive). I learned the term, ambidextrous leadership, from a McKinsey podcast and it was all about being able to prepare for the downside while also always being ready to seize the upside. Not easy to do, but I have been thinking that way all along. And most importantly, take care of your people, and of yourself. That’s what really matters in the end.

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What women are you watching right now?

There is an amazing group of women at Blackstone who have taken me under their wing(s) in the most wonderful of ways. Each one is spectacularly successful in her own right, across many different disciplines. I’m learning a ton from each of them and am grateful for their friendships.

What is something you cannot live without?

Sunscreen! Seriously. :) And next up is definitely coffee, a good blowout, and a smile from my son.

What is one word that represents what you are thinking about or watching for at the moment?

Possibility.

What’s one trend you see on the horizon?

More rebalancing. I think we are all still learning what the “new normal” is and we have been using this term for two years. I think we’ve got to keep figuring it out and iterating. I know I sure am.

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