- Sephora on Tuesday announced the 2023 cohort of its Accelerate brand incubator program. The program focuses on startup founders of color.
- The company selected seven beauty brands: Moodeaux, Brown Girl Jane, Range Beauty, Glosshood, Seaspire Skincare, Oui the People and Of Other Worlds. As part of the six-month program, participants will receive mentorship, merchandising support, grants, investor introductions and the opportunity to sell their products in Sephora’s North America stores, per the press release.
- The retailer said it also teamed up with beauty branding agency School House to provide tailored brand workshops and strategies for program participants.
Sephora is continuing its efforts to diversify the beauty industry in the years following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
The retailer signed up for the 15 Percent Pledge in 2020 and released a study on racial bias in the retail industry in 2021. That study inspired the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter, aimed at addressing racial bias and discrimination in retail, which has attracted 42 members, including recent signatories LVMH, Glossier, Cartier and Urban Outfitters.
Sephora’s Accelerate program has been another method of improving diversity. The retailer has emphasized brands owned and founded by people of color for the past few years as a means of improving its product assortment. Last year, Sephora also released its first ad campaign highlighting Black-owned beauty brands.
“We are very excited to welcome all 2023 finalists to the Accelerate program and into the Sephora family,” Priya Venkatesh, senior vice president of global merchandising, said in a statement. “Our program continues to create spaces for BIPOC-founded and owned brands that represent our clients and the world today, all while providing meaningful support for growing brands to succeed.”
This year, Sephora’s cohort includes clean fragrance brand Moodeaux, multicultural health, wellness and beauty company Brown Girl Jane, playful beauty brand Glosshood, safe and sustainable skincare brand Seaspire Skincare, bodycare brand Oui the People, clean and clinical skincare company Of Other Worlds, and plant-based makeup company Range Beauty.
Walmart also launched an incubator program earlier this year to nurture emerging beauty brands. In August, the retail giant selected five participants: Dossier, Undefined Beauty, PaintLab, Pardon My Fro and The Hair Lab By Strands.
In its own effort to uplift Black-owned brands, Ulta in 2021 committed more than $25 million to diversity and inclusion efforts, including promoting Black-owned brands, implementing quarterly unconscious bias training for store associates, doubling its Black-owned brand assortment and pursuing other initiatives across its marketing, merchandising and employee training operations.