How About That: Female Founder Honoree Nyakio Grieco, Founder & CEO, Thirteen Lune, and Relevant: Your Skin Seen
Before Nyakio Grieco founded Thirteen Lune, the first ever retail site dedicated to BIPOC brands, she created a beauty line based on her Kenyan roots. It turns out not knowing what she didn’t know would serve her well, and that the challenges she faced as a Black female entrepreneur would empower her to make sure others wouldn’t face the same challenges.
- Nyakio’s Kenyan roots are the cornerstone of her inspiration and success. Her grandmother was a Kenyan coffee farmer and taught Nyakio how to make her first coffee scrub. Her grandfather was a medicine man who cold pressed oils from botanicals. “His wisdom was passed down to me. This generational knowledge paired with experience and passion for beauty enabled me to build a two-decade career as a beauty founder and leader,” says Nyakio.
- Nyakio went to college for business and then moved to California where she landed in the entertainment industry. She started out as an assistant at a big talent agency and ended up working under a partner at a talent management firm. Nyakio worked during an era when magazine cover talent was undergoing a sea change from models to actors. “I had all these amazing actresses that I got to work with, and my favorite part was fashion and beauty. I loved that way more than reading scripts and finding acting jobs. This was a really interesting time in the early 2000s, because it was right when we were starting to see actors get beauty deals, and I always wanted to be a part of those negotiations, be on set, and be in the makeup trailers. I have always loved seeing how beauty brings people together.”
- The challenges Nyakio faced as a Black female entrepreneur – raising capital, approaching retailers, ensuring more people of color saw themselves at shelf — made it clear to her that her purpose was to support other BIPOC founders so they wouldn’t have to face the same challenges.
- Outside of work, Nyakio loves to travel to new countries with her family and spend time mentoring the Girls Inc of Los Angeles community. “I am on their board and I am endlessly inspired by the work they do to uplift girls to dream big and realize their potential.”
- Nyakio’s advice for all is to be generous with knowledge and resources for the next generation of founders and entrepreneurs. “This helps in creating an open and transparent community, one where we all feel empowered to lift one another up.”