- Ulta Beauty announced this week the second cohort of its MUSE Accelerator program for early-stage beauty brand owners, according to the company press release. Founders from underrepresented communities will undergo 10-weeks of training now through November.
- Representatives from Meta, TikTok, Métier Creative, and True Beauty Ventures will assist in mentorship alongside other brand founders from Hero Cosmetics, Youthforia and others.
- Founders receive $50,000 to help accelerate their businesses.
Ulta Beauty’s accelerator is one of the ways the company says it will ensure its unique assortment remains inclusive.
“As retail leaders and brand builders, we have a responsibility to create space and opportunities for all brands, particularly those who have been underrepresented to thrive in our industry and nurture an inclusive assortment that reflects the beautifully diverse community we serve,” Chief Merchandising Officer Monica Arnaudo said in a statement. “This year’s participants are a shining example of the bright future of beauty, and we can’t wait for the world to meet them.”
Brand owners will participate in sessions like Retail 101, focused on the omnichannel retail environment; a brand strategy and positioning planning session; product development where owners will receive relevant tips on production and packaging; and financial management to help owners develop an expense roadmap.
This year’s cohort includes:
- Devin McGhee Kirkland and Brit Kirkland of Deon Libra, an adaptogenic stress care brand
- Jessica Pritchet of OOLI, a plant-based, unisex hair care brand
- Sharie Wilson and Tonya Thompson of DreamGirls, a five-step hair care brand
- Ana Nuñez of Vida Bars, a texture-focused hair care brand
- Octavia Morgan of Octavia Morgan Los Angeles, a unisex beauty brand
- Leigh Joseph of Skwalwen Botanicals, a plant-based skin care brand
- Olivia Bae and Hyeri Sung of Perseve, a hair care brand
- Melissa Samuel of FinesseYourClaws, a luxury press on nail brand
Direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier operates a similar program. In July, the brand announced the 2023 grantees for its grant program for Black-owned beauty entrepreneurs. The program offers financial support, four months of mentorship, business programing and one-on-one meetings with the Glossier CEO Kyle Leahy.
Additionally, beauty retailer Sephora launched its 2023 Accelerate Brand Incubator Program aimed at founders from underrepresented communities. Participants receive six months of mentorship, merchandising support, grants, investor connections and an opportunity to launch at Sephora.