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Ulta Beauty MUSE Cohort 2023 Applications Open

Published May 30, 2023
Published May 30, 2023
Ulta Beauty

Diversity leads to more innovation and more vital industry. Stimulating BIPOC entrepreneurship is one of the ways to achieve this. Ulta Beauty joined the ranks of beauty retailers working to close the access gap for early-stage BIPOC founders by introducing the MUSE Accelerator in 2022. The programs underscore the continued commitment to amplify underrepresented voices and deliver diverse merchandise assortments.

Applications are now open for Ulta Beauty's 2023 MUSE Accelerator, which provides a robust curriculum, financial support, and access to beauty leadership for early-stage BIPOC beauty brands to prepare for retail readiness. The program will welcome eight new, early-stage BIPOC beauty brands to a comprehensive 10-week opportunity anchored in retail readiness and industry expertise. Selected brands will receive $50,000 to support long-term success.

MUSE Accelerator's inaugural year fostered the growth and development of its first cohort of eight beauty brands. Pound Cake Cosmetics, a lipstick brand from founders Camille Bell and Johnny Velazquez, participated in the program and is set to launch at Ulta Beauty this fall.

"The Ulta Beauty MUSE Accelerator was an amazing experience,” said Camille Bell. “I am proud to have been selected to join this community of like-minded founders who aspire to transform the beauty industry and together, we learned firsthand about what it takes to launch and scale successfully in retail. The program effortlessly mixes accessibility and scalability, allowing me to take what I learned with me for each phase of Pound Cake."

With consistent, sustained engagement, each participating brand founder remains connected to Ulta Beauty leaders, hoping to continue learning and growing in the industry.

“We launched MUSE Accelerator to build a community where all involved would naturally find value, connection, and access in support of long-term success,” said Jessica Philips, Vice President of Merchandising, Ulta Beauty. “To us, it’s not about speed to achieve retail readiness; we believe it’s much more important brands are set to reach their fullest potential and can thrive with a retail distribution. We’re so proud of all participants and we’re all excited to celebrate Pound Cake as it joins the Ulta Beauty assortment this fall.”

The program will begin in September 2023, featuring a robust curriculum of in-person and virtual sessions addressing every stage of retail preparedness. 

  • Retail 101: Expert training on successfully launching, growing, and thriving in a national, omnichannel retail environment.
  • Brand Strategy & Positioning: An immersive, 360-degree planning session that provides tools, support, and resources needed for long-term success.
  • Product Development: Tips to maximize product development, packaging innovation, and production timelines.
  • P&L & Financial Management: A critical course on financial planning and developing an expense roadmap.

MUSE Accelerator Mentors for 2023 include brand founders Monique and Melvin Rodriguez of Mielle, David Yi of Good Light, Fiona Co Chan of Youthforia, Sonsoles Gonzalez of Better Not Younger, Ju Rhyu of Hero Cosmetics, Dorion Renaud of Buttah Skin, Yve-Car Momperousse and Jean Baptise of Kreyol Essence, and Sarah Cheung of Sacheu Beauty.

Applications for the program are open from June 1 – June 26, 2023. Ulta Beauty will announce the MUSE Accelerator 2023 cohort in August 2023.


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