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Thirteen Lune: FUTURE50 2023

Published June 8, 2023
Published June 8, 2023
Angelica Chrostowski

The inspiration behind Thirteen Lune was to create a destination where Black-and Brown-founded brands would receive consistent support and visibility. With the support of investors and dedicated partners who care deeply about ensuring that the work to end systemic racism continues, we have worked to build a new paradigm where Black-and Brown-owned beauty brands can realize a path to generational wealth. We do this by amplifying representation and enacting our own 90/10 rule: 90% of the brands on Thirteen Lune are BIPOC-founded and 10% are ally brands committed to inclusion. Thirteen Lune is dedicated to bringing a range of offerings to consumers of all backgrounds—going beyond the capabilities of traditional beauty retailers by highlighting beauty founders’ stories, traditions, and heritages. We wanted to build this business to help create a community within the beauty industry where all founders feel comfortable and seen.

Brand Founder: Nyakio Grieco and Patrick Herning

Founded: 2020


  • Nyakio Grieco, Co-Founder
  • Patrick Herning, Co-Founder and CEO

2023 Full Year Expected Revenue Range: $10MM to $20MM (estimated by industry experts)

Categories: Retailer, Skincare, Color Cosmetics

Funding Rounds: Seed

Total Funds Raised: $12.5MM

  • In January 2021, Thirteen Lune raised $1 million in funding from investors that included Gwyneth Paltrow, Sean Combs, Naomi Watts, Gregg Renfrew of Beautycounter, Tracey Cunningham of MèCHE Salon, former US Ambassador Nicole Avant, venture capitalist Patrick Finnegan, and Sydney Holland of The Urban and The Mystic.
  • In November 2021, Thirteen Lune raised $3 million led by Fearless Fund.
  • In January 2023, Thirteen Lune closed an $8 million seed investment round with new participation from BrainTrust Founders Studio.

Notable Investors: Fearless Fund, The BrainTrust Fund, Capstar Ventures, Sean (Diddy) Combs, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hannah Bronfman, and Naomi Watts

What are some of your key business initiatives for 2023?

This year is all about growth for Thirteen Lune. We will be opening into 600 JCPenney stores as the final stage of our partnership, including stores in my home state of Oklahoma. Along with our JCPenney Beauty partnership, we’re opening our first brick-and-mortar store on Larchmont Boulevard. This expansion into our own retail space is huge for us and something that we’ve always seen as part of our brand story. We knew that we wanted to give consumers a space to experience the Thirteen Lune community and connect directly with the brands in real life. We’re also focused on growing the Thirteen Lune e-commerce platform and are introducing even more brands and products. We started with just 13 foundational Black-founded brands in December 2020, and today have 160+ brands, all while continuing to stay true to our 90/10 rule.

What are you most proud of having accomplished?

Mere months after Thirteen Lune launched in December 2020, JCPenney jumped at the opportunity for a long-lasting partnership and we’ve since started the expansion to 600 stores nationwide. Recognition for Thirteen Lune from a major retailer so early on was a huge accomplishment and has given us the chance to uplift so many more indie and BIPOC-owned brands. Additionally, I’m proud of raising capital with the right partners. In November 2021, we announced that Thirteen Lune raised $3 million in funding led by Fearless Fund, and in January 2022, we announced an additional $8MM raise with new participation from The BrainTrust Fund. Over the course of my 21-year beauty industry career, I’ve experienced the constant struggles of raising funding, especially as a Black woman. To date, only 93 Black women have raised more than $1 million in venture capital funding, so to raise capital with women of color-led entities is a huge win.

What has been the biggest surprise since the brand was founded?

The biggest surprise was how quickly we saw the industry and consumers positively respond to Thirteen Lune. We knew that Thirteen Lune was needed in the beauty industry, but the quick response confirmed for us just how much it could be a catalyst for change. One of the biggest examples of the support we received was in the first 90 days when we received a call from JCPenney inviting us to partner as part of their new JCPenney Beauty department in stores nationwide. When I was younger, JCPenney was my family’s favorite department store, so this was such a huge moment for me personally and professionally.

What aspect of your brand DNA fuels your competitive advantage?

Since Thirteen Lune was founded, our focus has always been on helping build the BIPOC beauty community and developing an alternative retail option where shoppers of all backgrounds can connect with an inclusive range of brands and products. I saw the lack of representation in the beauty industry and knew that there was a better way to highlight the amazing BIPOC-founded brands that were making products for people of all colors. While other beauty retailers gave up to 15% of their shelf spaces to BIPOC founders, the 90/10 rule allowed Thirteen Lune to uplift and put Black and Brown brands at the forefront while honoring and highlighting the individual stories of the creators. This connection to the founders at Thirteen Lune and the focus on BIPOC founders in a larger capacity is what puts us ahead of our competitors.

"While other beauty retailers gave up to 15% of their shelf spaces to BIPOC founders, the 90/10 rule allowed Thirteen Lune to uplift and put Black and Brown brands at the forefront."
By Nyakio Grieco, Co-Founder, Thirteen Lune

Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.

I see the industry continuing to make strides toward inclusivity and sustainability. As younger generations get older, there will only be more demands for inclusivity and sustainability. Consumers are belief-driven buyers, now more than ever. My daughter and her friends have shown me firsthand what the younger generations are looking for—they’re so diligent in supporting brands that align with their values. It’s inspiring! If the industry doesn’t follow its lead, we will see brands become irrelevant.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best piece of advice I've been given is to stay true to what you want with your brand and to not take "dumb money." I didn't know what this meant at the time, but I now see that taking money from people who don't truly value your ideas and aren't aligned with your brand's ethos can lead you and your brand into a position that isn't the most beneficial.

Paying it forward, what advice would you give to someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?

When pursuing your dreams, always come from a place of kindness in finding better ways to serve the collective. Any failure is just an opportunity to get up again and do it better. The problem solving and resolve that comes out of failure is powerful. Don’t be concerned with what other people think of you. Other people’s negative thoughts are none of your business or concern.

If you could change one thing in the beauty industry, what would it be?

My hope is that we continue to see the industry change so that it is celebrating people of all colors and skin tones. While we’ve started to make strides in this direction, there is so much more that major players in the beauty industry can do to support smaller and up-and- coming BIPOC-founded brands. It is hard to break into this industry and to raise funding, and it's even harder for women of color. I hope that the industry will continue to provide more opportunities for smaller brands to thrive.


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