Ready to Beauty, the industry’s first global think tank dedicated to multicultural entrepreneurs and brands, partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue and The Salon Project by Joel Warren on September 19 to present a first-of-its-kind “Beauty Meets Business” pop-up experience in Manhattan. The pop up featured more than 12 brands and their founders representing every category of beauty. Brands included the U.S. debut of supermodel Lana Ogilvie’s eponymous skin care line; social media influencer and Afro-Latina powerhouse, Ada Rojas’ new hair care line, Botanika Beauty; breakout men’s prestige grooming company, Scotch Porter; plus a first look at celebrity makeup artist Derrick Rutledge’s luxurious capsule collection for Red Cherry Eyelashes.

“For me, breaking into beauty was hard, partly because it is a very insular industry. Therefore, I don’t want any qualified person of color, whether it is an entrepreneur, brand owner or future company executive to have to walk the same unpaved road I did,” said Corey Huggins, Founder & Global CEO of Ready to Beauty LLC. “We started Ready to Beauty to meet the specific challenges pf People of Color and pave a pathway for success.”

Ready to Beauty is comprised of seasoned beauty executives with expertise in the multicultural market. Its senior staff are all former L’Oréal USA executives, vendors and global business consultants.

Joel Warren, the colorist and founder of The Salon Project at Saks Fifth Avenue, said, “Despite our best efforts, a beauty divide still exists. At my salon, where we recognize the vibrancy of color and bring out the beauty of all individuals, I thought it was important to open doors for a community of extraordinary entrepreneurs. For this pop-up experience, our first-of-its-kind, we were proud to showcase the beauty of Black and Brown.”

The event also served as a backdrop for the announcement of groundbreaking initiatives that Ready to Beauty LLC will undertake in the coming months. At the event Corey announced an educational partnership with The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Graduate School, focused on Multicultural Beauty, which will begin this fall. He also announced the formation of a Capital Growth Fund, which will operate under the banner of Ready to Invest. The $3 million targeted fund looks to leverage financial expertise in addressing the three major pain points facing multicultural entrepreneurs and brands today: purchase order financing; distribution and direct equity investment.

The fund is scheduled to make its first investment in Q1 2020. The capstone of the upcoming Ready to Beauty strategic initiatives will be its Winter Showcase, set to take place in February 2020 in New York City. The showcase will feature both business and consumer activations all under one roof. “We’re excited about equipping multicultural entrepreneurs and brands to not only build their businesses but also to create beauty legacies,” said Corey.