Sally Beauty and CosmoProf debuted the second iteration of Cultivate, an accelerator for women-owned brands looking to expand their nail, hair color and hair care ventures. The program is accepting applications until Sept. 7.
The program will choose four brands to be part of its Cultivate Cohort and provide them with online distribution, a business grant and a four-week virtual boot camp centering on merchandising, social media, marketing, e-commerce, store operations and entrepreneurship, per the company press release.
Sally Beauty and CosmoProf will choose one company to sell its products in-store based on a presentation with senior executives and online voting, according to the company statement.
Beyond its desire to support emerging brands, Sally Beauty noted in the press release that hair and nail care have become particularly important to consumers. Curlanista and Ceata Lash of PuffCuff were among the brands that Sally Beauty supported in the first round of its Cultivate program in 2018, per the company statement.
"We are excited to launch the second iteration of the Cultivate program, especially now when consumers are experimenting with DIY beauty and looking for the latest in beauty innovation," Chris Brickman, Sally Beauty's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Other retailers like Amazon and Target have launched their own accelerators to bolster startups and small businesses, and help build relationships with up-and-coming brands. Beauty retailer Sephora also has an accelerator program for beauty entrepreneurs, which has supported 58 founders across ten countries, according to the company website. Both Sephora and Ulta have made extensive efforts to partner with new DTC brands in stores.
During the coronavirus pandemic, some companies have released new efforts aimed to aid small businesses. Both eBay and Facebook, for example, have put together financial and digital resources for small businesses looking to start selling online during the health crisis.
Sally Beauty has recently been focused on revamping its digital strategy, including introducing new tech and payments perks to its customers. Last year, the company released a private label credit card and digital cosmetics try-on tools to its Sally Beauty app and in 500 Sally Beauty stores. In January, the retailer built out its digital team by hiring Kevin Metz as vice president of e-commerce and Vanathy Lakshmi as vice president of digital product.