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Sephora Introduces Its 2024 Accelerate Cohort

Published December 13, 2023
Published December 13, 2023

In September 2022, Sephora opened the application process for its 2024 Accelerate program focused on BIPOC-founded and BIPOC-owned brands. Now in its ninth year, previous success stories from the incubator’s previous graduates include bestselling body care brand 54 Thrones and Topicals, which became the retailer’s fastest-growing skincare brand.

With many brand founders eager to grab a spot on the program, the 2024 edition saw a record-breaking number of applications. This week, the eight finalists across haircare, fragrance, color cosmetics, and skincare were announced, spanning from wild-harvested skincare paying tribute to a founder’s multicultural heritage to a new take on Ayurvedic products.

The Sephora 2024 Accelerate consists of:

  • Banuskin, Founder Roz Samimi: A full range of skincare products for all types of acne-prone skin (even fungal acne) with microbiome-friendly, vegan, and clean formulations.
  • Sienna Naturals, Co-founder Hannah Diop: A clean and clinically backed haircare range for textured hair to cleanse, condition, treat, and style.
  • ABI AMÉ: Founder Yasmin Zeinab: Actives-focused and results-driven body care made in France.
  • indē wild, Founder Diipa Buller-Khosla: Described as the world's first global Ayurvedistry brand, indē wild combines Ayurvedic ingredients with modern chemistry for skincare and haircare products.
  • Katini Skin, Founder Katini Yamaoka: With a range of facial oils using wild harvested and organic flora from around the world, the company pays tribute to its founder’s cultural heritage by using hero ingredients sourced from Japan, Australia, and Africa.
  • Harlem Perfume Co., Founder Teri Johnson: An olfactory ode to the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem Perfume Co. is a fine fragrance collection drawing inspiration from the vibrant city district and the jazz scene that underscores it.
  • MAED Beauty, Founder Denise Vasi: With the motto of “decadent lipcare for daily wear,” MAED Beauty is looking to infuse a sense of luxury and ritual into the product category.
  • Soft Rows, Founder Quani Burnett: Described as “a love letter to the rich and magical hair textures that have been left out and underrepresented in the beauty space,” Soft Rows is a haircare range rooted in salon culture and looking to “prioritize, not tokenize texture-rich hair.”

“We are thrilled to reveal the 2024 finalists of the Accelerate program and officially welcome them to the Sephora family,” commented Kristin Odegaard, Sr. Director, Merchandising Strategy and Business Development at Sephora. “This year, we received more than 800 applications—a record-setting number of applications in Accelerate program history—which we believe is a testament to the unique and differentiated curriculum we’re able to offer, plus the strength of our community. Accelerate continues to serve as a vehicle for discovering, cultivating, and even launching these amazing brands that represent so many of our clients and the world today, while providing meaningful support for growing brands to continue to succeed well beyond the program’s completion.”

In addition to the six-month curriculum encompassing mentorship, merchandising, investor connections, grants, and the opportunity to launch at Sephora North America, this year’s edition incorporates a new advisory team of investment experts, brand founders, and legacy partners. These include Alicia Sontag, co-founder and Managing Partner at Prelude Growth Partners; Janet Gurwitch, Operating Partner at Advent International; Alisa Carmichael, Partner at VMG Partners; Wende Zomnir of Urban Decay and Caliray; Danessa Myricks of Danessa Myricks Beauty; Lilli Gordon of First Aid Beauty; and Greg Gonzalez and Joe Cloyes of Youth to the People.

Participants will also receive personalized consulting from e-commerce and marketing agency Front Row and communication experts Clarity Media. The program’s weekly content and curriculum includes a session led by Nancy Twin of Briogeo on financial readiness, Vicky Tsai of Tatcha’s teachings on brand and assortment strategy, Sarah Lee’s and Christine Chang’s insights on social media and community, and a section on marketing led by Amy Liu of Tower 28.


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