SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Sephora North America announced the participants for its 2023 Accelerate brand incubator program, with a cohort of seven BIPOC brand founders spanning fragrance, makeup, and skincare. Sephora’s Accelerate program will continue to focus on BIPOC-founded and owned brands as part of its commitment to increasing BIPOC representation in its product assortment.
Now in its eighth year, the Sephora Accelerate program continues to build a community of innovative, inspirational brand founders in the beauty space, and creates a foundation, network, and ecosystem for brands to launch and thrive. The program features a 360-degree, six-month curriculum with mentorship, merchandising support, grants, and investor connections to all participants, with the opportunity to launch at Sephora North America upon completion.
“We are very excited to welcome all 2023 finalists to the Accelerate program and into the Sephora family,” said Priya Venkatesh, Senior Vice President, Global Merchandising. “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.”
Meet the 2023 Sephora Accelerate Cohort, demonstrating leadership in beauty:
- Brianna Arps, Moodeaux – Designed around the connection between scent, memory, and emotion, MOODEAUX’s line of clean fragrances turns accessorizing your mood into mindful self-care and luxury into a lifestyle.
- Malaika Jones, Tai Beauchamp, Nia Jones – BROWN GIRL Jane is a wellness-first multicultural beauty and health brand focused on solution-oriented, innovative products that boost mood and reduce the appearance and feeling of stress.
- Alicia Scott, Range Beauty – Range Beauty is plant-powered makeup that targets uneven tones and soothes irritated skin for melanin-rich women affected by acne and eczema.
- Sienna Brown, Glosshood – Glosshood is a beauty brand with a specialty in providing niche goods that honor your inner child.
- Camille Martin, Seaspire Skincare – Seaspire is disrupting the skincare industry with new ingredients that are safer for humans and more sustainable for our environment.
- Karen Young, OUI the People – OUI the People is a treatment-driven bodycare brand that is redefining the culture of beauty through a lens of inclusivity.
- Simedar Jackson, Of Other Worlds – Of Other Worlds is a clinically conscious, culturally-inclusive beauty brand that straddles the line between clean and clinical to develop skincare that doesn’t compromise on effectiveness or alienate our community.
This year’s program aims to prepare BIPOC-founded beauty brands to launch at Sephora North America via bespoke support from those in the retailer’s ecosystem of beauty entrepreneurs and experts. With a focus on building community and collaboration across the beauty industry, the program features six months of weekly content and curriculum dedicated to elevating the brands and positioning them for long-term success, with programming such as Nancy Twine’s (Briogeo) Financial Readiness Series; Vicky Tsai’s (Tatcha) Brand + Assortment Strategy Sessions; and Marketing Sessions with Amy Liu (Tower 28).
In addition to the support the founders received over the last two years in the form of merchant sponsorship and partners both internal and external, the 2023 Accelerate class will also be offered an advisory team inclusive of beauty industry partners, founders from within the Sephora portfolio and financial professionals.
- Investment experts include Ken Suslow, Founder and Managing Partner at Sandbridge; Alicia Sontag, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Prelude; Trevor Nelson, Founder and Managing Partner at Aria Growth; Alisa Williams, Partner at VMG; Ron Mackey, Managing Director at Pendulum; Janet Gurwitch, Operating Partner at Advent International and Phillipe Glessinger, Partner at REDO Ventures.
- Brand Founders + Legacy partners include Mazdack Rassi of Milk Makeup, Wende Zomnir of Urban Decay + Caliray, Nancy Twine of Briogeo, Lilli Gordon of First Aid Beauty, and Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes of Youth to the People, and Christine Chang and Sarah Lee of Glow Recipe.
In its 2nd year of partnership with Sephora, beauty branding agency School House will continue to bring individualized brand workshops and strategy to the program focusing on providing a bespoke approach to each Accelerate founder. With brand differentiation core to Sephora’s DNA and critical for brand success, Sephora aims to help each brand better define its distinct viewpoint and position in the market by access to School House’s experts.
All 2023 participants applied to the program in Fall 2022. Eligible applicants were required to be at least 18 years old, have a North American-incorporated company, and be in the early stages of development (i.e., not yet widely distributed by others). In selecting finalists, Sephora also considered each brand’s vision, innovation, and current stage of product development.
To learn more, please visit sephoraaccelerate.com.
About Sephora Americas
Since its debut in North America more than 20 years ago, Sephora has been a leader in prestige omni-retail with the mission of creating an inviting beauty shopping experience and inspiring fearlessness in our community. With the goal of delivering unbiased shopping support and a personalized experience, Sephora invites clients to discover thousands of products from more than 360 carefully curated brands, explore online and through our mobile app, enjoy services at the Beauty Studio and engage with expertly trained Beauty Advisors in more than 600 stores across the Americas. And with its new long-term retail strategic partnership, clients can now shop Sephora at Kohl’s, a fully immersive, premium beauty destination, with 600 locations nationwide and 850 locations by 2023. Clients can access the free-to-join Beauty Insider program and digital community, which together enhance the experience of Sephora’s passionate clients.
Sephora has been an industry-leading champion of diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment, guided by our longstanding company values. In 2019, Sephora announced a new tagline and manifesto, “We Belong to Something Beautiful,” to reinforce its dedication to fostering belonging amongst all clients and employees and to publicly strive for a more inclusive vision for retail in the Americas. Sephora continues to give back to our communities and advance inclusion in our industry through its social impact and equity programming, called the Sephora D&I Heart Journey.
For more information, visit: https://www.sephora.com/about-us and @Sephora on social media. For media inquiries, previous press releases, view media kit, and more, please visit our Sephora newsroom or email ExternalComms@Sephora.com.
Jess Diah, DeVries Global