In its sixth year, Sephora has evolved this year’s 2021 Accelerate incubator program, which will feature a cohort comprised exclusively of founders of color for the first time. Previously the program has focused on cultivating an international community of female beauty founders and supported the launch of more than 50 women-owned brands. The focus this year reflects Sephora’s commitment to increasing BIPOC representation in prestige beauty and on Sephora shelves.
The brands will participate in a six-month digital program supported by mentorship from industry veterans and culminating with a pitch day for leading investment firms and venture capitalists. Upon completion of the program, all participating brands this year will launch at Sephora, putting the prestige omni-retailer on track to double its assortment of Black-owned brands by the end of 2021.
Meet the 2021 Accelerate Cohort:
Christina Funke Tegbe, Founder, 54 Thrones: A natural, authentic and thoughtful beauty brand that celebrates and elevates African beauty rituals. The brand offers face and body products with African-grown plant botanicals blended to protect, soothe, and nourish your skin.
Marie Kouadio Amouzame, Cofounder, and Alice Lin Glover, Cofounder, Eadem: A beauty brand pioneering Smart Melanin Beauty, its products combine science-backed ingredients and heritage botanicals to effectively and gently care for skin of color.
Alisia Michelle Ford, Founder and CEO, Glory: A skincare brand focused on clean targeted treatments formulated for melanin-rich skin from head to toe.
Desiree Verdejo, Founder and CEO, Hyper Skin: A hyper-targeted skincare brand rooted in multiculturalism. The first issue that they are tackling is dark spots and discoloration on all skin tones and enhancing glow.
Nia Wellman, Founder, Imania Beauty: Believes that caring for your hair should be both simplistic and nourishing. The hemp and wellness-conscious brand is designed for textured hair, with a scalp-first approach.
Priyanka Ganjoo, Founder, Kulfi Beauty: Brings celebration into beauty with fun and approachable products designed around South Asian skin tones and undertones. They are challenging toxic beauty standards in South Asian culture defined by Eurocentric ideals and patriarchy.
Megan Graham, Founder, Ries: Brings luxury, function, and convenience to travel beauty offering reusable, leakproof, TSA-friendly travel containers made of biodegradable material.
Olamide Olowe, Founder and CEO, Topicals: A beauty brand celebrating the fun of flare-ups with effective skincare and mental health advocacy.
“Last year, we made a commitment to dedicate fifteen percent of Sephora’s assortment to Black-owned brands, and we quickly realized the role that our Accelerate program could play in not only helping us to reach that goal, but to set these brands up for long-term success and growth,” said Artemis Patrick, Sephora’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Merchandising Officer. “The goal of this program has long been to provide meaningful, ongoing support for growing brands, and that is exactly what we’re aiming to deliver to our 2021 Accelerate cohort. Each of the eight participating founders is inspiring in their own right, and we believe wholeheartedly in their potential at Sephora; we are so excited to help shape their futures and to ultimately introduce these brands to our clients.”
Photo: via Sephora